Chrysler manufactured the Jeep Cherokee for nearly twenty years, when it was replaced by the Jeep Liberty in 2002. The unibody design and reliable performance makes the Cherokee a popular sport utility vehicle even now, when the only available models are used. Recalls for the 1992 Jeep Cherokee include the exterior lights, the hydraulic brakes and the acceleration pedal. When something goes wrong with your Cherokee, the first place to look is the instrument panel. The instruments will highlight problems with the oil pressure, battery voltage and engine temperature.
Pull any trouble codes stored in the Jeep's computer with a diagnostic scanner. Plug the scanner into the diagnostic test port under the driver's side dash. Turn the ignition key into the "On" position and follow the prompts on the scanner screen to retrieve the codes. Look up the code meanings in your repair manual. The meanings will point to the source of the engine trouble.2
Test the battery and alternator for sufficient power output. Connect a voltmeter to the Jeep's battery posts while the engine is off by attaching the positive lead to the positive battery post, and the negative lead to the negative battery post. The positives are red and the negatives are black.3
Check the voltmeter's reading with the engine off for the battery's output, which should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts if the battery is strong. Crank the engine and check it again for the alternator's output, which should be between 13.6 and 14.3 volts. Low readings are signs of a weak battery or alternator.4
Test the fuses for breaks if you have small electrical malfunctions, such as the interior lights failing or the air conditioning not working. Locate the fuse box under the dash on the driver's side and pull each with a fuse puller to look for breaks. Most Jeeps are equipped with a plastic fuse puller, located inside the fuse panel. If your Jeep doesn't have one, buy a fuse puller from any auto parts store.5
Start the engine and look under the hood for obvious signs of damage. Look for loose belts, loose or disconnected wires, and broken or flattened hoses. Check for signs of corrosion or rust on the alternator, water pump, radiator and battery connections. Look for signs of spilled battery acid.6
Be mindful of patterns in the Jeep's behavior. Take note if it only has trouble running at high speeds or over rough terrain, in rainy weather conditions or tends to overheat. Each is a sign directing you to the root of the problem.