At the heart of every vehicle, the Grand Cherokee engine needs motor oil for it to perform properly and meet or exceed its lifespan. Motor oil protects, cleans, lubricates, and cools down the engine, but you must make sure you use the right type. If not, you might end up spending a considerable amount of money on repairs or worse; the engine gets damaged completely.
So, what Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type should you put in the engine? The specific engine oil to purchase and use depends on your Grand Cherokee’s year model and engine type. The good thing is that Jeep usually provides these specifications for you.
Although most people entrust your car to professionals, it is best to know what kind of oil it needs because you might forget to check its level and need to refill it in the middle of nowhere or while off-roading. Also, part of your car’s regular maintenance is an oil change, and you must know when it needs one. This Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type guide will provide those bits of information on the most popular year models of the Grand Cherokee.
What Type of Oil Does a Jeep Grand Cherokee Take?
Motor oil is available in several types, including conventional or petroleum-based, full synthetic, synthetic blend, and high-mileage, but what you’ll need will depend on your car’s engine. The Grand Cherokee year models we focused on in this guide all have gas-powered engines but have different oil capacities and specific oil requirements that you need to be familiar with.
General Types of Motor Oil
For the Jeep Grand Cherokee models we looked at, they require full synthetic oil, except for two. Specifically, the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type requirement is high-mileage, while the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type recommendation is conventional. As such, we’ll only discuss the three types in detail so that you have a better understanding of how they differ.
Conventional or mineral oil is made from refined underground crude oil and meant for cars with simple designs and drivers with regular driving styles. This oil is more affordable than the others, but quickly thickens in low temperature and thins out at high temperature. It is also a type of oil that is prone to sludge and tar-like-deposit buildups, so your car will require more maintenance.
2. Full Synthetic
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a vehicle that you usually drive on rough terrains and use for heavy-duty jobs such as hauling or attaching your snowmobile trailer, so most models require synthetic oil. It is a type of oil that has better lubricating, impurity removing, sludge buildup prevention, and heat-resisting properties. It is also less affected by temperature changes.
Synthetic is 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2018, and 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type requirements because it is less affected by temperature changes, helps improve fuel efficiency, and aids in increasing horsepower. An enormous list of capabilities that you need for safer and better off-roading adventures.
Aptly named, this is an oil meant for vehicles with high mileage, usually between 75,000 and 100,000. It has additives for better extreme temperature, sludge buildup, leak, and wear protection.
Specific Oil Types
Any motor oil comes in different viscosity levels, which will help determine how they can improve your car engine’s performance. To ensure manufacturers are producing similar oil quality, the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) created a standard grading system for both single- and multi-grade oils.
Since the Jeep Grand Cherokee models usually require multi-grade oil, we’ll focus on it. When choosing the right one for your car, here are the factors to keep in mind:
1. Temperature or Weather
Aptly named, multi-grade oil has two grades, which refers to the oil’s viscosity in low- and high-temperature ranges. They are:
- The “W” Grade
The motor oil’s “W” grade is the number you’ll see before the letter “W”, which refers to the product’s cold viscosity. This grade is the oil’s thickness when you cold start your car’s engine or the time before fuel combustion and the ignition warm up the engine block.
For example, the 0W in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type requirement has a lower viscosity than the 5W 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type recommendation. That means the 0W flows better than the 5W during cold weather conditions or in areas with winter seasons, so it clings to the moving parts better, lubricating them more efficiently.
- The Single Grade
The single grade or second number found on multi-grade engine oil refers to its viscosity when it reaches its operating temperature, and when the engine is warm already. At this point, the car engine will require oil with higher viscosity grades for better lubrication. Thus, if you live and drive in areas with usually hot climates, it’s better to choose a 5W-30 oil than a 5W-20.
2. Fuel Economy
The engine oil’s viscosity grade also plays a role in fuel-efficiency. Low-viscous oil helps you save on fuel more since there is less engine friction. The disadvantage you need to consider is that your car’s engine will wear faster and require more frequent maintenance than engines that use high-viscous oil.
3. Age of Engine
High-mileage oil for older and second-hand vehicles are also available in different viscosity levels or grades. Since you’re driving a Grand Cherokee with an “old” engine, you should expect that the block and cylinders are looser and have more space between them than ones found on newer engines. With that in mind, highly viscous engine oil would lubricate the parts better to reduce the occurrence of further wear and tear, increasing the engine’s lifespan.
Table of Oil Recommended for Different Grand Cherokee Models
Now that you have a good understanding of the general and specific kinds of motor oil, let us look into the specific 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type, 1998 to 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type, 2001 to 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type, 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type, and 2018 to 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type recommendations.
(Quarts or Liters)
|Specific Oil Type
|6qts. or 5.7L
|STP 10W-30 High Mileage
|5qts. or 4.7L
|5qts. or 4.7L
|6qts. or 5.7L
|SAE 5W-30 Synthetic
4.7L V8 (Code [J] J)
4.7L V8 (Code [N] N)
|6qts. or 5.7L
|5W30 (Below 100F) or
10W30 (Above 0F)
|5qts. or 4.7L
6qts. or 5.7L
7qts. or 6.2L
|5.5qts. or 5.2L
5.9qts. or 5.58L
|SAE 0W-20 Synthetic
|8.1qts. or 7.66L
5.9qts. or 5.58L
7qts. or 6.2L
Keep in mind that although the data provided are too specific, it is not restrictive, like for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type, which is 0W-20 synthetic, you may switch to one with a slightly higher viscosity, but not too high, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, make sure you don’t shift from one oil type to another without getting the approval of a professional or the manufacturer’s service center.
When Should I Change the Oil in My Jeep Grand Cherokee?
Knowing and using the right type of motor oil isn’t enough to ensure your Grand Cherokee’s engine performs at its best. You must also schedule regular oil changes to keep the engine clean, fuel-efficient, and at low temperature, as well as to protect its parts from corrosion and prevent engine knocking.
Whether you do the oil change yourself or let a professional handle it, especially if it’s still under warranty, you need to check to determine if your car needs an oil change through the following:
1. Mileage Reading
Jeep and any other manufacturers have oil change frequency recommendations based on your car’s mileage. It usually depends on the car model’s oil type requirement like for the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil type, which is conventional, it would require an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles of use. On the other hand, for models needing synthetic oil, the frequency is every 7,500 to 10,000 miles.
2. Oil Change Sticker
It is a common practice of mechanics and auto-shops to place an oil change sticker to remind the car owner of the next oil change schedule: date and/or mileage. Usually, you’ll find the sticker on the windshield, so it is the quickest and easiest source of information in terms of the oil change schedule.
3. Oil Change Reminder Light
Your Grand Cherokee has multiple indicator lights, and newer models usually have an oil change reminder light. When your car reaches a particular mileage, it will light up automatically to remind you that it needs an oil change.
Since the mechanic will manually reset this every oil change, you must distinguish if it is truly time for an oil change or the mechanic just forgot to reset it. You can do so by comparing it with the mileage and/or the oil change sticker.
4. Engine Noise
When the oil is at a low level and/or no longer viscous, there would be friction between the engine parts, causing tapping or knocking sounds. To determine whether it needs an oil change or just an additional oil, you should perform a dipstick oil analysis.
With the engine off, open your Grand Cherokee’s hood and search for the dipstick, and then pull it out from your car engine and wipe away excess oil. Carefully insert it back into the designated tube and push it slowly. Pull it out and check the oil level and quality.
If the oil is too dark, almost black, it signifies that you need an oil change. On that note, whether or not you need an oil change, if the oil level is low, you need to add more, making sure you don’t exceed your 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2018, 2019, or 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee oil capacity.
So how low is too low? The dipstick has markings for full, safe, and low levels. No matter what type of engine your Jeep Grand Cherokee has and the oil it requires, it can still run, especially on flat and smooth terrains, when the oil mark is at the low level or approximately one quart.
However, expect that it would already cause minimal damages to your car engine parts, so it would be best to refill the missing amount. Having a rugged storage box (view on Amazon) where you can place all your car emergency tools and extra engine oil is a good idea, especially if you’re off-roading regularly.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Oil Type: The Takeaways
Much like any other vehicle, your Jeep Grand Cherokee is an investment, so it deserves all the care and maintenance. Engine oil has a vital role in your vehicle’s performance, so you must make sure that you use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer or a different grade approved by a professional. You must also not forget your Grand Cherokee’s oil change schedule and refills.
One last tip: during oil changes, it is also best to change your engine’s oil filter. If you’ve already mastered this maintenance skill and you’re car isn’t on warranty anymore, you can purchase a quality oil change kit and do things on your own.
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.