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2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport 135,000. 3 issues. 1). I have a small oil leak somewhere, I check the levels but never seem to need to add any. I smell burnt oil when I walk by the vehicle after driving. 2). Recently have noticed that it has been eating coolant. 3). Handling issues, feels like I am driving on flat tires when they aren't. Kind of a floating feeling. Is that shocks?

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Seems that you have some problems that may or may not be related. The one of most concern is using coolant. You need to have the system pressure tested and checked for hydrocarbons in the cooling system. If you have a 4.0 engine, they are prone to developing micro-cracks in the cylinder head. (bad castings). You need to make sure that the coolant isn't escaping into the oiling system or you will loose the engine. Before testing, you can take a really good look at all hose connections, the water pump and the radiator, especially where the end tanks join with the core. Look for dried coolant stains as well as wet residue.
The burning oil smell can come from minor seepage that is getting on either the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipes. Even a tiny amount can smell really bad. The leak does not have to be coming from the engine but could come from the power steering or transmission as well. (all need to be checked).
As for the steering problem, without seeing it, it could be caused by worn shocks, or any steering component that is worn and loose, causing wandering. All bushings and joints need to be checked for excessive clearance or play.

Posted on Mar 17, 2011


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