I have a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, with all-time 4 wheel drive (4 high/4 low).

When the vehicle is cold, I can make tight turns in a parking lot with ease. However, if I've driven the vehicle for 10 minutes or more, usually at higher speeds, and then try to make a tight turn in a parking lot, the wheels will chirp and the vehicle feels like it's "bucking".

I have done the following:

  • I have ruled out bad cv axles because they were replaced along with the hubs two months ago.
  • I have flushed and refilled the fluid in the transfer case
  • I have topped off the front and rear differential oil

What would cause a vehicle to wheel hop / buck only after getting warmed up?

2 Answers 2


See 1998 Grand Cherokee 4WD wheel hop - I had a similar problem on my 1998 which I've learned was caused by the viscous coupling. If yours is also "automatic" full-time 4WD with "low range" as the only control related to the drive system, it was probably also fitted with a viscous coupling. In later years, full-time was implemented by an automatic clutch system, but of that vintage, it was almost certainly a viscous coupler.


Have you checked if the centre dif is locked?

It may show as being unlocked but if it is stuck in the locked position it will cause exactly the symptoms you describe.

If it does not have a centre dif then it needs to be used in 2wd on metalled roads. On mud etc the distance differential between front and rear when in 4wd is dissipated in slip at some of the wheels.

And I had the same issues on a different 4wd vehicle.

Another possible cause is having different size tires front compared to rear.

  • It's full-time or all wheel drive. I definitely agree this is a transfer case issue, though. Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 21:58
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 is correct, I don't have a center differential, my vehicle is always in 4 wheel drive. I'll give the transfer case another look though and see if there's any other indications of an issue
    – KevBot
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 2:23
  • @KevBot all the permanent 4wd vehicles that I know of do have a centre dif - Rangerover, Volvo (also known for trashing the centre dif when different tire sizes have been used), Subaru, Jaguar (checking the X-type shows the transfer case contains a differential). This is essential as the front pair of wheels travel a different linear distance compared to the rear. Do you know what the transfer case is? Perhaps this will help you: cherokeeforum.com/how-tos/a/…
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 8:10

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