Jeep Cherokee (XJ): Service procedures

Coolant-routine level check

NOTE: Do not remove radiator cap for routine coolant level inspections. The coolant level can be checked at coolant reserve/overflow tank.

The coolant reserve/overflow system provides a quick visual method for determining coolant level without removing radiator pressure cap. With engine cold and not running, observe coolant level in reserve/overflow tank. The coolant level should be between ADD and FULL marks.

Coolant-adding additional

Do not remove radiator cap to add coolant to system. When adding coolant to maintain correct level, do so at coolant reserve/overflow tank. Use a 50/50 mixture of ethylene-glycol antifreeze containing Alugard 340-2 y and low mineral content water.

Remove radiator cap only for testing or when refilling system after service. Removing cap unnecessarily can cause loss of coolant and allow air to enter system, which produces corrosion.

Coolant-level check

The cooling system is closed and designed to maintain coolant level to top of radiator.

WARNING: DO NOT OPEN RADIATOR DRAINCOCK WITH ENGINE RUNNING OR WHILE ENGINE IS HOT AND COOLING SYSTEM IS UNDER PRESSURE.

When vehicle servicing requires a coolant level check in radiator, drain several ounces of coolant from radiator drain cock. Do this while observing coolant reserve/overflow system tank. The coolant level in reserve/overflow tank should drop slightly. If not, inspect for a leak between radiator and coolant reserve/overflow system connection. Remove radiator cap. The coolant level should be to top of radiator. If not and if coolant level in reserve/overflow tank is at ADD mark, check for:

  •  An air leak in coolant reserve/overflow tank or its hose
  •  An air leak in radiator filler neck
  •  Leak in pressure cap seal to radiator filler neck

Cooling system-draining and filling

DRAINING

WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE THE CYLINDER BLOCK DRAIN PLUGS OR LOOSEN THE RADIATOR DRAINCOCK WITH SYSTEM HOT AND UNDER PRESSURE. SERIOUS BURNS FROM COOLANT CAN OCCUR.

DO NOT WASTE reusable coolant. If the solution is clean, drain the coolant into a clean container for reuse.

(1) Remove radiator pressure cap.

(2) For access to radiator draincock (Fig. 21), remove radiator grille mounting screws and remove grill. Refer to Group 23, Body for correct procedure.

Fig. 21 Radiator Petcock-2.5L/4.0L (LHD/RHD)
Fig. 21 Radiator Petcock-2.5L/4.0L (LHD/RHD)

1 - RADIATOR PETCOCK

(3) Attach one end of a 24 inch long X 1/4 inch ID hose to the radiator draincock. Put the other end into a clean container. Open draincock and drain coolant from radiator.

(4) Drain coolant from engine by removing the drain plug and coolant temperature sensor on left side of block.

REFILLING

(1) Tighten the radiator petcock and the cylinder block drain plug(s).

(2) Install grille.

(3) Fill system using a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze as described in the Coolant section of this group. Fill radiator to top and install radiator cap.

Add sufficient coolant to reserve/overflow tank to raise level to FULL mark.

(4) With heater control unit in the HEAT position, operate engine with radiator cap in place.

(5) After engine has reached normal operating temperature, shut engine off and allow it to cool.

(6) Add coolant to reserve/overflow tank as necessary.

Only add coolant when the engine is cold.

Coolant level in a warm engine will be higher due to thermal expansion.

Cooling system-reverse flushing

CAUTION: The cooling system normally operates at 97-to-124 kPa (14- to-18 psi) pressure. Exceeding this pressure may damage the radiator or hoses.

Reverse flushing of the cooling system is the forcing of water through the cooling system. This is done using air pressure in the opposite direction of normal coolant flow. It is usually only necessary with very dirty systems with evidence of partial plugging.

CHEMICAL CLEANING

If visual inspection indicates the formation of sludge or scaly deposits, use a radiator cleaner (Mopar Radiator Kleen or equivalent) before flushing.

This will soften scale and other deposits and aid the flushing operation.

CAUTION: Be sure instructions on the container are followed.

REVERSE FLUSHING RADIATOR Disconnect the radiator hoses from the radiator fittings.

Attach a section of radiator hose to the radiator bottom outlet fitting and insert the flushing gun.

Connect a water supply hose and air supply hose to the flushing gun.

CAUTION: The cooling system normally operates at 97-to-124 kPa (14- to-18 psi) pressure. Exceeding this pressure may damage the radiator or hoses.

Allow the radiator to fill with water. When radiator is filled, apply air in short blasts allowing radiator to refill between blasts. Continue this reverse flushing until clean water flows out through rear of radiator cooling tube passages. For more information, refer to operating instructions supplied with flushing equipment.

Have radiator cleaned more extensively by a radiator repair shop.

REVERSE FLUSHING ENGINE

Drain the cooling system. Remove the thermostat housing and thermostat. Install the thermostat housing.

Disconnect the radiator upper hose from the radiator and attach the flushing gun to the hose. Disconnect the radiator lower hose from the water pump. Attach a lead away hose to the water pump inlet fitting.

CAUTION: Be sure that the heater control valve is closed (heat off). This is done to prevent coolant flow with scale and other deposits from entering the heater core.

Connect the water supply hose and air supply hose to the flushing gun. Allow the engine to fill with water. When the engine is filled, apply air in short blasts, allowing the system to fill between air blasts.

Continue until clean water flows through the lead away hose. For more information, refer to operating instructions supplied with flushing equipment

Remove the lead away hose, flushing gun, water supply hose and air supply hose. Remove the thermostat housing and install thermostat. Install the thermostat housing with a replacement gasket. Refer to Thermostat Replacement. Connect the radiator hoses. Refill the cooling system with the correct antifreeze/ water mixture.

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