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May 28, 2013

'02 Jeep Cherokee 'groans' when turning

Q: I have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Limited, Quadra-Drive, 4.7-liter, eight-cylinder PowerTech with 67,000 miles. It has been serviced regularly at 3,000-mile intervals at a Jeep dealership. All fluid levels are as they should be. Intermittently, at parking lot speed, when making fairly sharp left or right turns, there is a “groaning” sound — source unknown. Some time ago a local garage said it was caused by asymmetric tire wear. Since then I have installed four new tires and I still experience the “groaning.” Have you any experience of this phenomenon and suggestions for resolution?

A: The noise you describe could be from the front CV axle, which is being stressed to the limits of the flexibility that is documented by the manufacturers. The other, and more probable, source of the noise is a front-end suspension component such as a ball joint or a tie rod. If this is indeed a consistent issue, there is a very simple answer to diagnosing the source of the groan. Poke a very small hole in the ball joint boot, and load it up with a can of WD-40 and then go for a road test. If the noise is still there, treat the rest of the steering components with a shot of WD-40 one by one until you discover the source of the noise.

Q: I have a 1984 Corvette C4, which I love, but the frustrating issue (for about eight months now) is whenever I put a fuse in for the taillights, it always blows and all four lights go out. When I put the fuse in, they all light up, but within minutes they are all out again. While they are out, my turning lights and brake lights still light up. We replaced the headlight switch but to no avail. I really want to drive my car at night this summer, but can’t until this is fixed!

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