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Jeep Wrangler Maintenance and Repair Questions (1997 - 2006)



  • Thanks for the input, Mac. You really seem like you know what you are talking about. I did make another appointment for the Jeep and they are going to look at it on Thursday. When I drove it to work and home for lunch today, it was fine. My dad suggested that I should start it and let it run for a few minutes before I go anywhere so I started it a few minutes before I was ready to go back to work.

    Now, get this.

    I go back into the house and I can hear the Jeep outside. It sounds liks someone is sitting in the Jeep, revving the engine HARD. It goes from that extreme to choking out and almost sounding like it's going to shut off, but it doesn't shut off. It just sputters and keeps going. This is all happening while it's sitting in idle with the parking break on.

    I go outside and turn the Jeep back off. The air outside reeks of gasoline.

    So there it sits in my driveway. I had to take a different vehicle to get back to work.

    I wanted to relay this information to you to see if this gives you any more of a clue about what is going on with the Jeep. As I said, I'm taking it in on Thursday (provided we can get it there), but would like to know your thoughts before I go see yet another mechanic.

    Thanks so much,
  • Kelly,
    Let me know what you find out. My 98 is doing the identical same thing, down to the exhaust leak on the manifold. I've changed a lot of things. The one thing that may have helped,(time will tell) is that I changed the Crank Position Sensor last night. This problem started a couple of months ago and has been gradually getting worse.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I really can't diagnose any further from this distance, but the strong gasoline smell indicates that the mixture is too rich. The fact that it happens intermittantly would tend to show that there isn't a constant factor involved, like a blocked air filter or a dead sensor.

    It could still be the exhaust manifold crack which would take a while to really open up as it gets hot, or it could be a sensor that reads out of range as the heat gets to it.

    Good luck.
  • I have read that the crank sensor could be a problem in situations like ours. Let me know how it goes with yours. I will tell you what they say at the garage tomorrow.
  • Thanks for all your help. I wish I could find a mechanic that pays attention as much as you do! I will post to let you know what they say about it tomorrow.
  • I was looking at a 2003 sport. It had a high pitch noise when test drove in 4 lo . Is this normal for a Wrangler?? The noise sounded almost like the squeching belt noise. There was no noise in 4 hi.

    Also, what is the power train warranties for 2003s?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    You're welcome. :shades:

    It could be one or more of several sensors, which is why it's important to first check for codes. Not only the Crankshaft Position Sensor, but the other CPS (Camshaft Position Sensor), the TPS, the IAT sensor, the MAP sensor, and of course the primary O² sensor, can all play a role.

    It's also important to interpret any diagnostic codes properly. For instance, a code might have been retained that shows the O² sensor reading out of range. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the sensor is faulty and needs changing, though this is often what is done on the customers dime. It could be reading incorrectly because of a cracked exhaust manifold, or maybe the relay for the sensor's heater has failed.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Is this normal for a Wrangler?

    No. However, when in low range the engine is turning at higher rpm for any given road speed than in high range, so it could have been the belt squealing as engine revved harder.
  • Well... the crank position sensor was NOT the culprit. It is still acting up. It got so bad yesterday, it actually set a trouble code. I drove it to the garage and had 6 codes. Each one a misfire for each cylinder. They believe that the fuel pump is starting to fail but.... who knows?
    Any luck with yours?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    They believe that the fuel pump is starting to fail......

    Many reasons for misfires, did they say why they suspect the fuel pump, or was it just a guess?
  • Hi, Steve.

    Well, I finally heard back from the mechanic. He says it's the CAM sensor and something to do with the TAC dropping. He can't get the new CAM sensor until Tuesday, so I'm hoping to get it back then and see how it runs. I will let you know.

    This mechanic drove the Jeep until he was able to narrow it down to the point that he could actually MAKE the Jeep lunge. His first suspicion was there was something with the fuel, but eventually he ruled that out and noticed the "TAC dropping" when it was running in low RPMs. (I believe he said 1700, but I'm not sure. I know nothing about cars, so I don't know if that makes sense, but I know it was low RPMs.)

    Anyway, I guess the point is, it sounds like it really could be anything. I know it's hard to find a good mechanic, but it seems like it's the type of issue they really need to narrow down and diagnose properly before they have you throwing all kinds of money at it.

    He didn't think the crack in the manifold was causing any problems. I know you said you had a crack in the manifold as well, so I wanted to pass that along.

    (If any of this doesn't make sense, let me know, I'm sure my husband could explain it better!)

    Best of luck, I know how hard they are to drive when they throw fits like that. Please keep me posted on how things go with yours.
  • Hi, Mac.

    Well, you were right about everything. Learned that it could have been one of so many things causing the problem. Turned out to be the CPS you reference above. I think I got a really good mechanic this time and really believe he did the job well. I'm really expecting it to run better when I get it back this time.

    The Jeep dealerships around here are a pain in the butt. Their parts shops don't have the sensor, so Tuesday is the earliest I will get it back.

    Thanks again for your help!
  • I don't think the Cam Position Sensor would be the problem on mine. I have a 98. According to the Haynes Manual, they did not use the Cam sensor until the 2000 model year to replace the distributor. Let me know how yours turns out.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    .....they did not use the Cam sensor until the 2000 model.....

    The CPS (Cam Position Sensor) on the '97-'99 is located inside the distributor. Injector timing (among other things) is referenced by this CPS.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Glad to hear you've found a tech that's taking the trouble to look at it seriously. Too many places just want to spend lots of the customers money on parts to throw at the problem and see what sticks.

    Make sure to post if the CPS fixes it.
  • If thats the case, then I'm guessing that that's still not my problem. When my problem first started, I changed plugs, wires, rotor, cap..... when I went to change the cap, I found one of the bolts for the cap was broke off in the distributor. In an effort to extract the broken bolt, the ear on the distributor was broke. Distributor was replace. The problem gradually was getting worse. At the suggestion of a local mechanic, I replaced the distributor with a third one. The condition is still getting worse. I'm still open to suggestions/
  • This started out with no headlights, but after checking
    signal switch, headlights are working. So need to replace that. Now I have no brake lights or turning signals and when I replace the fuse in turn signals and turn them on it blows the fuse. I have had the brake light switch checked and it is working. All other lights are working.
  • 2 different Jeep dealerships said my 7yr/70mile warranty wont cover the rear axle seal leaks because the 33" tires i put on caused the leak. Is this possible? And Does anyone have any clue how to fix the issue?
  • 2 different Jeep dealerships said my 7yr/70mile warranty wont cover the rear axle seal leaks because the 33" tires i put on caused the leak. Is this possible? Or are the dealerships full of it? And Does anyone have any clue how to fix the issue? Or how to change axle Seals? Thanks
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Possible, yes......probable, no.

    Unless the seal is faulty it's probably leaking because the bearing has worn. The bearing might have worn prematurely if you've been offroad and got water in the axle, or because you're using a wheel with inappropriate offset/backspacing. Bearing and seal should be changed together. The procedure differs slightly depending on whether you have a D35 or D44 axle, which is why it's always a good idea to give full details of your vehicle (year, model, mileage, etc.) if you want a complete answer.
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