common 2003 grand cherokee problems

2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee Problems

Jeep, the name itself is synonymous with SUVs. The brand has a long and rich history of producing rugged off-road vehicles that have become instantly popular due to its unique looks and aesthetics.

The brand has maintained a loyal fan base that is eager to get their hands on a new Jeep model whenever it arrives in the market.

It is especially popular in the younger generation and off-road enthusiasts who know that these off-road beasts can conquer any kind of terrain.

However, the brand has faced its share of problems in recent years, the company has seen several owners throughout its entire history, and currently, it is under the control of Fiat Chrysler automobiles, the company notorious for manufacturing unreliable vehicles.

The reliability issues have increased manifold since 2014 due to cheap build quality, and it has become difficult for Jeep to entertain every consumer complaint.

One such Jeep SUV that has received numerous complaints is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee was launched in 1992 and was intended to target the luxury SUV segment.

The SUV has gone through four generations and the current generation has been in production since 2010 and is intended to be replaced by the fifth generation in 2021.

However today we will discuss the issues the 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee has faced, the production of the second-generation Grand Cherokee also known as WJ started in 1998 and lasted till 2004.

The second generation was completely built from the ground up and featured several improvements over its predecessor.

Like other Jeep SUVs, the Grand Cherokee WJ was also renowned for its off-roading capabilities. Following are the most commonly faced issues in the 2003 Grand Cherokee:

Common 2003 Grand Cherokee Problems

Warping rotors:

The front rotors on the earlier production models of the WJ tended to warp. This is perhaps the most common issue owners had to face.

However, it is relatively easy and cheap to fix. Good quality aftermarket rotors will do the job just fine and will last much longer than the stock ones.

Blend doors:

The second most reported problem in the 2003 Grand Cherokee is blend doors, the problem is more prevalent in trims that offer auto climate control. They generally fall off and the dashboard has to be removed to fix them. The fault is expensive to fix, mostly because the labor is expensive. Therefore, it is best to stick with trims that do not have auto climate control.

Cooling system:

The cooling system especially the fans is prone to eventually breaking down. The relays and the bushings wear out after a certain time interval.

Once again, this problem is easily fixable as relays are cheap and one can replace them on their own. If the fans are messed up, they can be replaced by even a Chinese aftermarket one.

Transmission leak:

The transmission drainage seal eventually leaks out, and the problem is common in all the trim levels. It will be an inexpensive repair in case you are lucky to notice this issue in time. Otherwise, you will have to replace the whole transmission, which is pretty expensive.

Power window motors & regulator:

One would think that Jeep would have installed good quality power window motors and regulators as these are one of the most frequently used parts in a car. But the cheap window motors and regulators often break down and the driver side window is especially prone to fail.

Aluminum heads:

The aluminum heads introduced in the V8 models tend to warp and this problem is prevalent in all the models of second-generation Grand Cherokee. The repair is expensive and will cost you a lot of $.

Transmission & axle:

The transmission and axle in I6 models mostly fail after clocking 100,000 miles. And to be honest this is a fault common in nearly all the I6 models even if they are well maintained.

The V8 models are immune to this problem as the transmission and axle in them are very strong. • Struts: The struts for the rear glass and hood are also notorious for failing before their expected time.

This problem however can be seen in any older car, even in a Toyota or a Lexus as all the struts eventually give up. You can easily purchase struts from a local auto store and install them by yourself and they only cost a couple of bucks.


Despite the aforementioned problems, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is still a very capable full-size SUV. It can greatly serve your needs if you are looking for a family SUV, that is also capable of off-roading. They were specifically made to be driven on rough terrains,

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