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2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude 3.2L 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2016 Cherokee Latitude V6 4x4 ADI 112000 miles
So here's the deal, it's been doing it since I got it nearly 2000 miles ago, I thought nothing of it but my passengers all thought that it didn't sound right. When making a turn to pull into a parking spot or around a tight corner or backing out of said parking space it makes a groaning sound and kinda stutters backward like it's not catching properly. Watching the transmission I can't tell any gear slippage and regardless it only occurs on hard turns and when you give it some gas, doesn't seem to matter if it's just rolling. I am leaning towards it being the PTU but that's because I am stupid and still don't know how to properly diagnose a car. It also doesn't happen after the car has warmed up after driving and I can pull up to work just fine, but leaving it makes the noise and the little lurches/stutters. (I uploaded this video but honestly, you can barely hear it)
I bought it used so it doesn't have a warranty(although if y'all have any recommendations for warranties I could get). I would highly prefer not going to a Jeep dealership for a part replacement as the only things I read on this forum is horror stories on how little they give a **** about my money and rarely get the problem on the first try. It's not impeding my ability to drive yet but I wanna figure it out before something breaks. ( also buying a new car and trading in are not solutions)
Thanks, y'all
Edit: Heres the front wheel wells if that helps.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Rim Automotive design
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Tread Gas
 

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What wheels/tires do you have on it? Does it only happen at full turn lock (can't turn the steering wheel any further)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What wheels/tires do you have on it? Does it only happen at full turn lock (can't turn the steering wheel any further)?
What wheels/tires do you have on it? Does it only happen at full turn lock (can't turn the steering wheel any further)?
225/65/17, I haven't lifted or spaced yet so I did rule out rubbing but I could be wrong(it does sound similar tho). And yeah its mainly happening at the full turn but you can get a little at 80% of a full turn and then increases upto 100% turn
 

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More likely in the front end, not the PTU. Either suspension or EPS/steering linkage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
More likely in the front end, not the PTU. Either suspension or EPS/steering linkage.
But it seems like that would then make the sound all the time I'm steering, rather than just moving slowly and only when giving it gas.
 

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You are rarely (if ever) close to lock in steering when at speed.
Since you are at/near the limits when this happens I'd check steering/alignment 1st before jumping to the PTU.
Could even be as minor as a ball joint.
I'm just giving you decades of experience as advice, none of us here can give you a definitive answer.
A lot cheaper, too, esp. at the mileage yours has...
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are rarely (if ever) close to lock in steering when at speed.
Since you are at/near the limits when this happens I'd check steering/alignment 1st before jumping to the PTU.
Could even be as minor as a ball joint.
I'm just giving you decades of experience as advice, none of us here can give you a definitive answer.
A lot cheaper, too, esp. at the mileage yours has...
So I did some testing laps at my work parking lot(only one here on Sundays) to really try and see when it was most happening. It was almost non-existent on rolling turns but still a little bit there. Pushing the gas made it noticeable on near 90 curves, however, really only occurring under 10 mph, anything above and there's no sound. Now the main reason I think it is the PTU was because of this thread
What you describe happened on my 2016 and my 2014, but after the 2014's PTU replacement. The AWD system is always active at lower speeds and is sending power to the rear.

Now the binding should not be as pronounced as you describe though. There is different programming between vehicles. Which I discovered after the PTU was replaced in my 2014.

What likely is the issue is the rear differential and more specifically the torque transfer device that engages the rear diff to get power to the rear wheels. If it is engaging too much then you will get a binding feeling. Try doing a slow turn in a parking lot in sand/mud mode and I bet the binding will get even worse.
I put the car in sand/mud mode and it's really noisy.
So here's a video of just-auto pushing the gas.
And here's a video of sand/mud mode(its pretty noticeable here)

So if it could still be steering or alignment related I would be ecstatic but it seems like PTU, if it is where would yall recommend, a dealership or a trusted mechanic who I'm 90% sure could do it. Do I buy a ptu myself to save costs or just fully put it in their hands?
 

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Ok, so the sound in those videos tell a whole different story.

It does sound like something is binding along the driveline. To me the sound seems to be coming from a u-joint that is binding somewhere, possibly a C-V.

A shop / good mechanic should be able to isolate the exact location of the noise with the Jeep on a lift. And it may or may not be related to the 4x4 system. (a FWD can do this with a bad C-V as well)

I can't rule out the PTU, but starting with replacing that without an expert diagnosis could be $$$ miss spent.

So you really would be better off taking it to a dealer or other shop with more experience, since they are likely to have a mechanic that has worked on this situation before.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, so the sound in those videos tell a whole different story.

It does sound like something is binding along the driveline. To me the sound seems to be coming from a u-joint that is binding somewhere, possibly a C-V.

A shop / good mechanic should be able to isolate the exact location of the noise with the Jeep on a lift. And it may or may not be related to the 4x4 system. (a FWD can do this with a bad C-V as well)

I can't rule out the PTU, but starting with replacing that without an expert diagnosis could be $$$ miss spent.

So you really would be better off taking it to a dealer or other shop with more experience, since they are likely to have a mechanic that has worked on this situation before.

Best of luck!

So maybe good news, I don't think its the PTU anymore. I followed the advice to check PTU in this thread

I like to tinker with things, today I pulled the 4x4/PTU fuse. For those that don't know some members have had their PTU's replaced. After doing so the slip threshold before the AWD/4x4 kicks in has been raised, meaning it allows more slip before the back tires kick in. This has positives and negatives, positive is that fuel economy goes up because the rear end is not getting any power (The awd system can completely disengage meaning the driveshaft isn't moving at all). Negative is with the slip threshold higher when driving in slick surfaces unless un snow or sport mode you will see more tire spin than before.
I pulled the 4x4 fuse on my TH, driving characteristics changed alot. Its actually surprising how much power the rear axle gets in warm dry weather. With the fuse pulled I can spin the tires through most of first gear. From a roll anything below 30kms/h a downshift to first causes a lot of tire spin. Now i didn't do this so I could spin tires, I did so to see if there is a fuel economy gain. I can't report on that until next week when I take a long highway trip.


Try this at your own risk.


It the F10 Fuse (20Amp) in the fuse block under the hood.
Make sure the vehicle is completely off when you remove or install the fuse.
If successful, upon start up you will see "SVC 4WD" in the bottom right corner of the Driver Information Center. The message "4WD system unavailable service required" this only happens at startup.
To return everything back to normal, turn the vehicle off install fuse and start vehicle.
I tried that and the binding/sound still persisted now without the PTU involved, I still don't know why it gets worse in sand/mud mode but I think that's helped narrow the problem down further.
 

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Sounds like front axle binding, and CV joint starting to fail, but it's still wise to have a professional diagnosis done. That's where I would start...😎
 

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hmmm... i get that too on my 2020 TH. I was thinking the front tires were rubbing.
 

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I just got a 2019 Limited, and I noticed the noise as well. I wonder what it could be.
 

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2016 Jeep Cherokee Latitude 3.2L 4x4
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ve been too lazy to take it in so I’m still not sure


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So just to update this, I took the car to a trusted family mechanic and he didn’t really know much about the cherokees 4x4 system, so he recommend one like 2 minutes away and the guy there said he thinks it’s the PTU. He then said I should find a 4x4 specialist to take care of that.

So here’s the main question, do I take the risk and bring it to a jeep dealership, Quite literally my worst nightmare. I’ve seen enough horror stories on here to think that even if they diagnose it properly it’ll cost me more than I can happily afford. As I don’t have any kind of warranty I’d prefer another option. So finding a mechanic here in Atlanta that could properly fix /replace the ptu would be awesome. If anyone knows one lemme know.


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So just to update this, I took the car to a trusted family mechanic and he didn’t really know much about the cherokees 4x4 system, so he recommend one like 2 minutes away and the guy there said he thinks it’s the PTU. He then said I should find a 4x4 specialist to take care of that.

So here’s the main question, do I take the risk and bring it to a jeep dealership, Quite literally my worst nightmare. I’ve seen enough horror stories on here to think that even if they diagnose it properly it’ll cost me more than I can happily afford. As I don’t have any kind of warranty I’d prefer another option. So finding a mechanic here in Atlanta that could properly fix /replace the ptu would be awesome. If anyone knows one lemme know.


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All dealers aren’t bad, and as your finding independent shops don’t want to touch it cause they don’t know enough.
Dealer will be your best bet.
 

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So just to update this, I took the car to a trusted family mechanic and he didn’t really know much about the cherokees 4x4 system, so he recommend one like 2 minutes away and the guy there said he thinks it’s the PTU. He then said I should find a 4x4 specialist to take care of that.

So here’s the main question, do I take the risk and bring it to a jeep dealership, Quite literally my worst nightmare. I’ve seen enough horror stories on here to think that even if they diagnose it properly it’ll cost me more than I can happily afford. As I don’t have any kind of warranty I’d prefer another option. So finding a mechanic here in Atlanta that could properly fix /replace the ptu would be awesome. If anyone knows one lemme know.


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Landmark Atlanta is pretty solid...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Landmark Atlanta is pretty solid...
Man you must live pretty close to me, that’s like 5 minutes away, are you sure? It’s got 2 stars with 189 reviews?


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Man you must live pretty close to me, that’s like 5 minutes away, are you sure? It’s got 2 stars with 189 reviews?
I'm just putting out my own recommendation, I've been more satisfied with them than some other CJDR dealers in the ATL. I saw that rating, but I also saw high Google ratings 4.2/2,373...
 

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