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Jeep Cherokee Start Stall Idle Problems



  • Driving my jeep on the back lawn and it just stalled. Towed it to the garage put more gas in it and it cranked and fired but wouldn't stay running. Now it won't fire at all!!!! It's my toy and hasn't been driven much lately. :sick:
  • ukspudukspud Posts: 1
    Hi, whilst driving today the 'check gueage' light came on, I pulled over and checked oil, water, etc and found nothing wrong. Went to restart and car wouldn't start, it was turning over but not 'catching'.
    Called RAC and after checking everything thoroughly couldn't find the problem. His reprt said 'No initial fuel delivery, starts on easy-start. Fuel pump drawing 4a (ok).
    So the car will start with carb cleaner sprayed down hose but will not restart when engine turned off.
    Any ideas anyone???
  • Erratic shifting in my 1990 Laredo was the EGR valve: more specifically, the EGR back-pressure transducer, which I think is only used in 89-90. It's attached to the EGR valve when you buy one, and it won't let a vacuum to the EGR valve unless there is sufficient exhaust back-pressure. The diaphragm in mine was worn out, but not completely shot, causing the EGR valve to flutter rapidly, and somehow causing erratic shifting between 2-3 and 3-4, especially under load. Try disconnecting the little, short, 90 deg tube beneath the EGR transducer, where exhaust backpressure comes from, then drive and see if one or more of your problems gets better.
  • I have a 93 cherokee it only starts if I leave the key on for a few minutes, something clicks then I turn key all the way it starts most of the time . I hav'nt found the problem yet though.
  • I have a 1993 grand cherokee.I get no power to the coil or fuel pump.If I leave the key in the on position for a few minutes something clicks, then I turn the key all the way, it starts. can anyone help? ,please!
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    Easy & free thing to check: Swap your relay under the hood - there are a couple of them that are identical & can be swapped as a quick 'check' for a bad relay. If that "fixes" it... then it's off to the parts store for a replacement of the bad one.
  • 1996 Jeep Cherokee 2WD- the car sometimes doesn't want to start (engine won't even turn). Sometimes you have to take the car out of gear and put back into park to get it to start. We've replaced the starter, but this appears not to be the problem. It is a hit and miss when this occurs, no common items to tie to a specific cause.
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    Here's the top three suspects for ya:

    Neutral safety switch - moving gear selector is a clue for this one. Intermittent reverse light function is another possible (& rather typical) symptom. Switch can be removed and cleaned rather than replaced. Crown Automotive (online jeep parts seller) has them for about $110... which is about 1/2 stealership cost.) You can google for a 'how to' rebuild article or hit my website & look in the On Site or Off Site Tech indexes. Also a zip file download on my downloads page.

    Brake safety interlock - press brake pedal to allow engine to start. This one should have come standard on your XJ but was installed as a recall item on my older XJ. If switch goes bad - may not allow engine to start when brake pedal is depressed.

    Column ignition switch (not the key switch... but the electrical switch located on lower half, upper side of steering column.) Another "how to" download on my site. Switch is about $20 at NAPA auto parts.
  • It looks like a lot of problems are similar to mine, but thought i would throw mine out there too.

    My 99 Cherokee has been off and on. It will usually start on the first try, but when I get on the road it will die on me while I am driving. Most of the time I can put it in neutral and start it back up again while driving. Recently it has not been starting up as easily and I have to pull off to the side of the road for a while. when it starts, it starts like nothing is wrong. I took it to the shop and they couldn't find anything wrong.

    Today, it didn't start back up and I had to have it towed. It sounds like from what i have read is that this could be the computer problem.

    :confuse: I don't know much about cars, but is this something that can be fixed easily myself. If not what kind of shop do you take it to for this kind of work?
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    Standard Cherokee (XJ)?
    What size engine?

    Assuming a 4.0L inline six cylinder in an XJ:

    Suspect #1: Check your engine ground strap at rear of head. It is a braided metal strap that runs from the motor to a ground point on the upper driver side engine firewall. If it's frayed / broken it can cause all kinds of intermittant wierdness (stalling/stumbling/electrical issues). You can replace those with a generic battery cable from your local auto parts store.

    Suspect #2: Try checking the Crankshaft Position Sensor output with a digital volt meter. Crankshaft position sensor is located on bellhousing, just behind head, to driver side and is easily disconnected for testing with the small connector going to it. Removal and replacement is a royal pain in the butt but if you have a good set of tools can readily be done at home.

    Procedure is the same for all year 4.0L engines and can be found on my website's "RENIX Sensor's Diagnostics Page". ( - look in engine category of "On Site Tech") MOST other tests there will not apply to your HO engine as they have different sensors than the older RENIX engines.

    If discussing this with a mechanic, be aware that the ChryCo service procedures refer to this as a CKS (CRANK-shaft Position Sensor). It is also commonly referred to as a CPS but the CPS is actuallythe CAM-shaft Position Sensor which is located inside the "distributor" housing of 'most' 4.0L engines.

    There are other things that can cause similar issues... these are just the top two that come to mind. HTH
  • hello all...i own a 1990 4.0 cherokee bought from original owners...with all the repair paper having some issues and was hoping the pros could help me here goes...

    1.ruff start...takes about 3-5 seconds...cold or hot...

    2.occationally after start it will rev at 2000rpms...sometimes it will last a second or two and drop to the norm...but sometimes it stays at 2000...if i hit the gas it will creep to 2500 and i turn off then problems...

    3.occationally when i come to a stop there seems to be a knock or slight jerk...when it does not occur when i go to accelerate same little knock/jerk...

    im thinking...fuel pump, air/vacum, old hoses...

    other than that i am very happy...would like to know if the problems may be related or if someone may know what the cause is...
    any insite would be a life saver...truthfully...
  • It is a 4.0L inline six cylinder in an XJ I believe.

    This is what has happened so far. It was towed to the shop and they replaced the Idle Air Control which they said was completely blown out. The Jeep worked fine for a day until the battery died. Don't know if these were related, but my battery was pretty old.

    Now its back in the shop and they are saying it is the Engine Computer that is not functioning properly. Anyone else had this problem?

    Any ideas on what these cost? The shop cannot seem to find one for my jeep without sending off to the repair place.
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    XJ = standard Cherokee (NOT Grand Cherokee)

    IAC - usually just needs cleaning - gets carbon / gunk on it & sticks. They do go bad but it's usually just stuck & mucking up the idle speed.

    As for the ECU (computer) those can be picked up at salvage yards, online Jeep forums etc. IF I remember correctly... (BIG IF!) from mid 90's & on up the newer XJ's do have a voltage regulator built into the ECU, (CONFIRM THIS!)... If the regulator is fried... no battery charge.

    You can check to see if the battery is charging free at any AutoZone / Advance / etc that will do a free battery / charging system check.

  • I have a 1997 Jeep Cherokee, with 120000 miles on it, that's experiencing some weird problems. Ocassionally the Jeep will lose acceleration and at the same time, the turn signals will stop working. The engine totally died on one occasion and had to have it towed. Took it to a Firestone Automotive shop and replaced the idle air control, fuel system tune-up and a new battery installation. Jeep worked fine for about two weeks until it experienced the same problems. The Jeep again lost acceleration and the emergency and turn signals did not work. The Jeep did restart again. Engine diagnostic analysis again could not find any problems. Does it sound like an electrical problem such as BCM?
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    Crankshaft Position Sensor is always a suspect when things like this happen so next time it stalls / won't start try the unplug trick. Ya just unplug & reconnect the CPS connector and sometimes that will clear enough oxidation from the connector pins to let a bit of extra voltage signal reach the computer. This is not something ya want to swap out beside the road at 5AM so test the CPS following the general procedure at the bottom of this page and if it's bad - replace it. Easiest to replace if ya drop the transmission cross-member w/ a floor jack about 2".

    (This is the one I suspect in your case.) Check the ground straps especially from the driver side of the head to the driver side of the firewall.
    This page is for an earlier model XJ but AFAIK all the grounds are still run the same in later models. Jeep Cherokee Ground Straps These things cause all kinds of wierdness when they start oxidizing and/or get damaged / disconnected.

    Check the electrical ignition switch - lower half, on top side of steering column. There is a downloadable "how to replace" zip file on my site if that's the problem.

    Does it do this under any repeatable circumstances? (ie - always same distance from home, left turns, etc.... or just random?)
  • Thanks for the awesome info. I forgot to add that another problem that happens with the jeep, alongside the reduced acceleration and non working turn signal, is that the jeep shakes before it konks out. Would a CPS problem cause major electrical problems, ie turn signal or dashboard problems? I'm probably going to take it to a Jeep dealer to have it looked at, but I sure would like to know what the problem is beforehand. By the way, the problem usually happens when the car is on the freeway, travelling a higher speeds.
  • I had similar problems with my 99 Jeep. After I replaced the Idle Air Control, I had to get a new battery and then I had to replace the ECU Computer. After the computer was replaced, the keys would not work so I had to get a new key, a Crank Position Sensor and something else called the R&R ECU. I just got it back from the shop today. After $1500, it runs great now except now my oil pressure is dropping when I stop and the check gauges light is coming on. Any help with this one? I don't want to take it back to the shop and put more money into it. I think this will be the last Jeep I ever buy, but if it can last me a few more years I will take it.
  • I have a 1990 cherokee that will start, but as soon as you let off of the key it will die. There is a new fuel pump and filter on. Put a new ignition switch in today and it still has the same problem. If I bump the start as it dies, sometimes it will stay running. Any help would be greatly appreaciated
  • enzo7enzo7 Posts: 1
    just wondering if any one can help me out. 4L straight 6. car wont idle when cold, once hot no problem. help me
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    #1 suspect w/ just that info: Idle Control Valve / IAS / idle stepper motor. (different names for the same thing).

    Located in throttle body, easily removed and cleaned w/ carb cleaner.

    What year?
  • '00 XJ L6 4.0 auto tranny

    This Jeep has been giving me difficulty cranking for quite a while, however it got worse and worse every day this week. This last time, it took at least 15 minutes to get it to fire up, whereas it would normally crank after a minute of trying.

    The trouble occurs only the first time the Jeep is driven for the day. Once it cranks, it's good to go for the rest of the day, and will fire right up if I just drive it a mile and park it for 30 minutes.

    When I turn the key, the engine will try to crank, but just won't fire up. Usually after several attempts and turning the key off and on, it will finally crank. Sometimes a cloud of gray smoke will blow out the exhaust when the engine finally cranks.

    Often, the engine will start to crank but die and blow off a vacuum hose. Lately, when the engine cranks, it won't stay on unless I press the gas pedal to keep it idling. If I let off the gas within a minute or so, the engine will die. After a minute of manual idling, it's good for the rest of the day with no problems.

    After reading all the previous posts, it sounds like the Throttle Position Sensor could be the culprit. Another factor that could point to the TPS is that the transmission will sometimes come out of overdrive. Would the TPS cause cranking trouble or just idling trouble? I guess I could go ahead and pay $50 for a new sensor to see if there is a difference, and return it if not.
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    If the TPS thinks your engine is already running it will feed the ECU/PCM the incorrect information. You can check it's function with a $5.00 digital volt meter.
  • did you ever get an answer to your problem. cause i'm having the same problem. please let me know. please some one if you know let me know.
  • Ok so i have an 88 cherokee and its having problems starting. absolutely nothing happens when i turn the key over...not even a crank , new battery, new crank position sensor, and engine relay...all new parts. WHAT CAN IT BE???????? i'm kind of frustrated
  • My 99 Jeep would die while driving on the freeway and sometimes not start for a few minutes. It finally didn't start back up and it ended up needing a new Idle Air Control and a new ECU Engine computer and Crank Position Sensor. After 2 weeks in the shop and $1500 it is working fine except the oil pressure randomly goes to zero and the check gauges light comes on when i let off the gas. This only happens randomly though
  • check your ignition switch
  • tuggajbtuggajb Posts: 646
    nutral start syitch in trans?
    try to start in nutral see if starter will turn over
  • JEEP Cherokee 2006 SHUTS DOWN – STALLS While Driving
    MY Jeep SYMPTOMS are : While driving ,anytime, the jeep slowly looses power The EBS light on panel shows up . The lights shut off, radio shuts off, STEERING LOCKS , everything looses power, the engine sound changes as it slowly DIES . The Jeep completely SHUTS OFF.
    It has to be placed into park and Restarted. This has been an on going 6 month long mystery that
    TECHS can not solve
    DOES anyone know what the problem could be??
    Please help
  • lunghdlunghd Posts: 61
    Check the engine ground straps.

    Swing by the local auto parts store for a 'free' alternator / battery check.
  • I put my 1986 jeep in first gear and when i drove it barely went, finally it just stopped, the clutch goes in fine but it just wont move?
    tracy.. calif :cry:
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