Question about Jeep Cherokee

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My dad's Jeep Cherokee is a 2005 model. He's not very good at taking care of it but my dad at 63 still needs to work to support himself and needs his car to get to and from work. Im trying to help out. He's had the check engine light on for months and went for inspection recently and obviously failed. I was able to sneak the car and run it over to Pep Boys for a free diagnostic. They said there were two vacuum leaks. That they could not give me an exact cost of repair because it is like finding a needle in a haystack. More labor intensive most likely than parts. Please help and let me know what I can do to narrow down this problem? Is there anything I can do on my own? Any help is appreciated!

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  • ANA Jul 27, 2009

    Thank you! It seems that trying a few things on my own may be best solution or atleast step yet. Thanks!

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Though it will make you look silly, The best way I have found to check for vacuum leaks is to take a short length of garden or heater hose 2-3', put one end to your ear and use the other end as a directional microphone. You will be able to "zero in" on any leak very quickly and is accurate within an inch or so. When you find a suspected leak, use a spray bottle with water in it and spray suspected leak. the engine will stumble or momentarily miss if there is a leak. Water in that small amount will not harm the engine (they actually make water injection units to kill detonation). You can "gauge" how water affects the engine by first creating your own "test leak" and spraying it. Also...do not entirely trust any diagnosis offered by peppy boys...techs there are generally "beginners" some of which may later in life become decent techs, others may become stock boys... Do your own testing with a decent volt/ohmeter and a basic manual like chiltons or haynes to guide you. Questions along the way, I or most others here can help you with.
Good luck, hope it's something simple!

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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