Question about 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Muffler doughnut? Also loose steering & idiot lights an issue.

I just purchased a 94 Jeep Cherokee Country & am having several issues. First, there is a loud muffled sound coming from front & back end. Not sure if this is the muffler, c/c or something my Dad referred to as a muffler doughnut. Secondly, I can turn my steering wheel 2-3 inches each direction before I feel a change in direction. Third, the driver's side door is the only way I can put the remaining three windows down. I've checked the lock but it doesn't seem to work whether it's engaged or not. My interior dome light doesn't come on & my cigarette lighter shows no signs of working. Lastly, the original radio is still in place. It resets to 12a every time I start the vehicle and it takes 15-20 mins of driving before the radio kicks in, otherwise all I hear is static.

I realize that's a long list. I have little to zero experience with cars but my Dad might be able to follow some directions. Thanks in advance.

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  • 6,982 Answers

Exhaust leak: Visually check all pipes under vehicle for obvious holes. Run engine and check again, this time using your hand to detect escaping exhaust (e brake on, in park) Don't touch pipes they can get very hot and WILL burn you!
Steering play: Generally is caused by one or more worn steering components. Most common are tie rod ends.In park, e brake on, engine running, have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth. Watch the steering linkage and check for excessive movement at jointed ends. If everything looks OK, have someone check the balljoints. Steering boxes themselves generally generally don't wear out quickly but should be checked as well.
Dome light and other electrical: Dome light and lighter may be on same fuse. So, check all fuses. Lighters sometimes short out. check by removing wire behind it if new fuse blows right away. Window switch sounds like a bad Master switch (Drivers door) Expensive new, about $25 at a junkyard. Factory radios are usually junk... Get yourself a good one (aftermarket) and install it. The better radios have adapter connectors and faceplates that make the job pretty simple.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008

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