Jeep Grand Cherokee Oil Type Guide: Everything You Need to Know

jeep grand cherokee oil type guide

Selecting the proper motor oil is crucial to keep your Jeep Grand Cherokee running smoothly for years to come. But with so many oil options on the market, how do you know which oil type is right for your specific Jeep model and engine?

The short answer: Always go with the oil weight, viscosity grade, and quality standards recommended by FCA US LLC in your owner’s manual for optimal performance and engine protection.

In this complete guide, we will cover everything you need to know about selecting the right oil for your Jeep Grand Cherokee, including:

  • Recommended oil types and specifications
  • Understanding oil weights and viscosity grades
  • Appropriate oil change intervals
  • Checking oil levels routinely
  • Step-by-step oil change instructions
  • Oil filter selection and replacement
  • Common Jeep Grand Cherokee oil issues

Plus plenty of tips to keep your Jeep engine humming for years and miles to come!

What Type of Oil Does My Jeep Grand Cherokee Use?

Jeep Grand Cherokees are equipped from the factory with high quality synthetic or synthetic blend motor oils that meet stringent standards set by FCA US LLC (formerly Chrysler Group).

The owner’s manual for your specific Jeep model year is the best resource for determining the factory-recommended oil specification. Most recent Grand Cherokees require 5W-20 oil, while some newer 2018+ models equipped with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 call for 0W-20 oil for maximum fuel economy.

Some of the main oil specifications recommended by FCA US LLC include:

  • Chrysler MS-6395 – synthetic engine oils required for many 2011+ Grand Cherokee models
  • ILSAC GF-6A – newest standard for 2022+ model years
  • American Petroleum Institute (API) SN Plus – current minimum quality benchmark

Using premium full synthetic motor oils that carry certifications like Mopar, Pennzoil, Shell, or Valvoline and meet the above standards will provide the best protection and performance in any Grand Cherokee engine.

Conventional vs Synthetic Oil in Jeep Grand Cherokees

Synthetic oils are highly recommended by FCA US LLC for their superior resistance to viscosity breakdown, extreme temperatures, and sludge buildup. Many newer Jeep GC models even require full synthetic oil to maintain the factory warranty.

While conventional oils are cheaper upfront, synthetic oils have better properties to withstand wear and tear inside the engine. The advanced lubrication and lower friction provided by synthetic oil can pay off in the long run through improved fuel economy and engine longevity.

Understanding Oil Weight and Viscosity Grades

Viscosity refers to an oil’s resistance to flow. The proper viscosity grade ensures the oil can flow quickly to lubricate vital engine components at start-up, while still maintaining an effective cushion between moving parts.

The viscosity grade is indicated by a two-number code on the oil container, such as 5W-20. The first number followed by the “W” represents the cold temperature or “winter” rating, while the second number denotes the viscosity grade at operating temperature.

Lower viscosity oils tend to work best for hot climates, while higher viscosity grades provide extra protection in cold weather driving.

Common viscosity grades for Jeep Grand Cherokee oil include:

  • 0W-20 – flows fastest for improved fuel economy; recommended for newest Jeep GC models
  • 5W-20 – flows fast when cold but thickens properly when hot; suitable for most conditions
  • 5W-30 – provides a bit more cushion for high mileage engines
  • 10W-30 – thicker oil that resists break down in very hot regions

Multi-viscosity oils that cover a range of viscosities, such as 5W-20 or 10W-30, are ideal since they provide ease of flow when cold yet remain viscous when hot.

Always stick closely to the recommended viscosity grade in your Jeep’s owner’s manual for optimal performance and fuel economy.

How Often Should Oil Be Changed in a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

The officially recommended oil change interval from FCA US LLC can range between 6,000-10,000 miles depending on your Jeep Grand Cherokee model year and engine. Most fall in the 7,000-8,000 mile range.

However, your specific driving habits and conditions can also impact the ideal oil change frequency. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Mileage – Change oil more frequently if driving over 15,000 miles per year
  • Towing/Hauling – Towing heavy loads requires more frequent changes
  • Climate – Shorter intervals recommended for very hot or cold regions
  • Driving Conditions – Dusty roads, traffic, short trips call for earlier changes

Many Grand Cherokees also have an oil life monitoring system that uses algorithms to determine oil condition based on engine run time, temperature, RPM and more. This can be a helpful guide for when to change oil.

But you should still physically inspect oil level and condition routinely, and err on the side of more frequent changes when in doubt. Use premium synthetic oils to safely maximize time between oil changes.

Approved Oils That Meet Jeep Grand Cherokee Specs

When selecting oil, always match the recommended weights and standards indicated in your owner’s manual. Stay away from non-detergent or obsolete oils without the proper certifications.

All high quality synthetic and synthetic blend oils from major brands that carry the latest API SN Plus and ILSAC GF-6A certifications should safely exceed minimum requirements for Jeep GC engines, including:

  • Mobil 1 – Official recommended brand of FCA US LLC
  • Pennzoil Platinum – Made from natural gas, not crude oil
  • Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic – Thermally robust MaxLife technology
  • Castrol Edge – Synthetic blend with anti-wear additives
  • Shell Rotella – Trusted synthetic diesel oil meets gasoline specs

Using the oil finder tools on brand websites can help match the right product to your Jeep’s specs. Always confirm any oil meets the weight, viscosity, and quality standards in your manual.

Checking Oil Level – Don’t Neglect It!

Checking the oil level under the hood should be part of any routine maintenance schedule. This simple process can help avoid the serious engine damage that can stem from low oil.

Here are some tips for checking oil level in your Jeep Grand Cherokee:

  • Only check when engine is cool or has been off for 5-10 minutes
  • Wipe the dipstick clean before inserting back into the tube
  • Fully re-insert the dipstick then remove again to read level
  • Oil should come to the “Full” or upper hole/line on dipstick
  • Top off with same type if low – don’t mix brands or weights

Oil level often decreases between changes due to normal burning. But rapid loss of oil could indicate a leak requiring prompt attention. Be proactive by checking monthly to ensure proper levels.

Step-By-Step Oil Change Instructions

Changing your own oil can save money with the right preparation. Here are the complete steps:

Supplies Needed

  • New oil filter (check sizing)
  • Enough new oil to refill crankcase
  • Oil drain pan
  • Socket wrench with oil plug socket
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Rags, gloves, safety glasses

Step 1 – Run Engine to Warm Oil

  • Warm thinner oil will drain quickly and completely
  • Park on level ground and apply parking brake

Step 2 – Locate Drain Plug Under Oil Pan

  • Crawl under middle of Jeep to access drain plug
  • Loosen plug slowly to check for leaks

Step 3 – Drain Oil into Pan

  • Place pan underneath to catch used oil
  • Fully remove drain plug and allow to empty

Step 4 – Change Oil Filter

  • Use filter wrench to remove old filter
  • Wipe surface clean and coat new gasket with oil
  • Screw new filter by hand until gasket touches

Step 5 – Replace Drain Plug

  • Examine plug and replace if damaged
  • Add new sealing washer if needed
  • Tighten firmly with socket wrench

Step 6 – Add New Oil Through Fill Hole

  • Refer to owner’s manual for proper capacity
  • Pour slowly and check dipstick while filling

Step 7 – Run and Inspect for Leaks

  • Start engine and check for leaks at plug and filter
  • Turn off and recheck oil level after 5 minutes

And that’s it – you just successfully completed an oil change on your Jeep! Proper disposal of used oil is important as well.

Oil Filter Selection and Replacement

Replacing your oil filter with each oil change is crucial. Buy the factory Jeep filter or high quality aftermarket brand that matches OEM specs in micron rating and burst strength.

Be sure to prepare the new filter gasket with fresh oil before installation. Never over-tighten when screwing on a new filter – just tighten by hand until the gasket lightly contacts the sealing surface.

If equipped, don’t forget to reset the oil life meter when the job is done. Proper filter selection and installation keeps contaminants out of the engine.

Common Jeep Grand Cherokee Oil Issues

Proactively changing oil on schedule, checking levels routinely, and using the manufacturer recommended weight and quality standards are the best ways to maximize longevity and avoid major issues in your Jeep’s engine.

But here are two common oil-related problems to keep an eye out for:

  • Oil Leaks – The most likely sources are valve cover and oil pan gaskets. Look for oil spots on driveway and burning smells. Have the source of any external leak diagnosed and repaired promptly.
  • Low Oil Pressure Light – This critical warning light indicates dangerously low oil levels that can quickly result in engine damage if ignored. Safely pull over immediately and check oil level. Top off or change oil if needed.

By following all the tips in this oil guide for your Jeep Grand Cherokee, your engine will keep running smoothly for many carefree miles down the road.


Properly maintaining your Jeep Grand Cherokee’s motor oil is one of the most important things you can do to protect your engine investment. While all those oil types and specifications can seem complicated, simply sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual regarding oil viscosity grades, change intervals, and quality standards will keep your Jeep running at peak performance. Checking oil level routinely and addressing any leaks promptly will also go a long way towards vehicular peace of mind.

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