As time goes on the complete lock up of the engines in 3.0 Diesel engines is becoming more and more common.
At the time of writing we had replaced only one and had come to the conclusion that the cause for this failure was due to the towing of an extremely heavy caravan. Whilst i still stand by that diagnosis it must be said that these vehicles are designed to endure such loads and the failure of the engine is not what we deem to be acceptable.
This fault is becoming more and more common amongst owners of the Jeep Cherokees. Owners of them are reporting this fault on a daily basis on the online community.
As far as a comprehensive diagnoses goes, there is no definitive answer yet apart from the fact that it’s becoming a common fault and that the crankshaft bearing lock up causing the crankshaft to seize.
Repairs (at the time of writing) are also difficult. Getting new bearings, piston rings and other internal engine components from the Jeep dealers is near impossible. One source informed us that this is due to a patten the Italian designer has on the engine internals which will not allow the release of these parts into the market. As far as the accuracy of this goes, i have no way of verifying. What i do know is getting parts to repair this, inside Australia, is difficult.
Buying a complete engine from Jeep (at the time of writing) was set to sell for $64,000 then add a bit of pocket money to actually fit it to the vehicle and in most cases you have exceeded the value of your Jeep twice.
Basically this leaves owners with one of two options.
- Purchase the engine internals from the USA. If genuine can be found or aftermarket options and ship them to Australia. Then get and engine builder to rebuild your existing engine and pray it doesn’t do it again or
- Purchase a second hand engine, replace all the common items on it before you fit it into he engine and then set off with your new, second hand engine of unknown kilometers and condition and also pray it doesn’t happen again. The cost of this will depend on the engine you get, what wrecking yard has one and what condition it’s in. This will cost you, best case scenario $15K and worst case up to $25K.
As time goes on, the cause for this will become more known but at this stage is suspected to be a design fault and for the most part unavoidable. That is to say it’s totally a game of chance and if it does happen to your vehicle, it is unlikely to be anything you did as the driver to cause the failure.
Having said that, I am highly suspicious of these engines not being up to the task of towing. Ridiculous as it sounds, as thats exactly what these vehicles are made for. I would advise any Grand Cherokee owner to avoid towing with it in order to reduce the chances of this happening to you.
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