General discussion

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Stalling Problems

Like many other Jeep GC owners, I have recently been experiencing stalling problems. It all started about 3 months ago and happened only sporadically until the last few weeks. The vehicle will be sitting at idle or going at a very slow speed and will just stall. It cranks back up fine (most of the time-sometimes, it takes about 30 seconds of cranking it)This problem, I find, occurs more in the morning and worse the longer the vehicle has sat undriven (overnight or during a work shift) I have taken it to 2 different mechanics and the following has been done:
-replaced Idle Air Control (old one looked pretty corroded, so I was very hopeful)
-Changed plugs, wires, distributor cap
Neither of these things did ANY good and searching the internet, I found SEVERAL posts on here about the "magic answer" by backing out or replacing the screws with shorter ones on the ECM. At the risk of sounding like an idiot (because I don't know alot about cars,) I took the article to my mechanic and asked him, as a last ditch effort, to try this magical solution. He says he did and the problem persists! I was told to take to Jeep but that I shouldn't get my hopes up on actually getting an answer/fix. I was advised to get rid of it while I could, but I love my Jeep and don't exactly have the means to go out and buy another vehicle in this crappy economy. PLEASE help you have any information or further tips that could help me keep/fix my baby!

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Side Note

Add to the list:
3rd mechanic swapped horn and ASD relay...stalled only once, now hesitates /misfires sporadically during acceleration. Help! 1996JeepGC, do you have ay advice?????/

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Additional Info:

I?ve got a 99 Grand Cherokee that encountered the stalling problem last May. I have a small child that was in the car with me and so it was a very serious problem for me so I thought by taking it into the Jeep dealership and having the ?experts? diagnose the problem it would be worth to spend the extra money.

I never did the search on the web so I did not think this was a widespread epidemic but the service department said pretty much the same thing as most of the other people said who reported this problem. They never would acknowledge the stalling because they could not duplicate it, but they made some recommendations that would result in me spending ~$1700 to replace the computer and a crank sensor. It was bugging me to spend that much money without having known the root cause so, I opted to only replace the crank sensor for ~$550.

I have not found a good website for people to report symptoms and other variables leading up to these mysterious problems, but I will say that it was very hot out when the car stalled and I was probably driving it for ~20 minutes through the city with the AC on. It is colder out these days and I have not had any problems with it. There was also a posting on ( of a gentleman who claims he replaced an oxygen sensor in his 2000 Grand Cherokee and it resolved his stalling problem. That will be my next thing to try.

It is a bit frustrating that Chrysler will not acknowledge the failures and provide a solution. I am more than willing to spend the money for the fix if it is the true fix. It is dangerous to know a car will stall in traffic. There is a sense of liability on Chrysler for having so many complaints and not investigating the root cause.


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Thanks for the reply. Since the posting, I too have had the crank shaft sensor and the cam shaft sensor replaced and the stalling persists. The mechanic was finally able to duplicate the problem because it steadily got worse until it wouldn't stay cranked at all. He pulled out the ECM and found several places that looked like the sodering had broken down, so he deduced that it must be the computer (which was what he thought it was all along but was trying to fix the cheaper and easier things first.) Then began the search for an ECM for that year, make and model. We were unsuccesful in finding one that had the exact same model number as the ECM that's in the truck currently, so we looked into having it rebuilt (about 1/2 the cost of a brand new one). NO ONE will rebuild this particular ECM because of all the problems out of it. SO, as a last ditch effort and to buy a little more time for searching, the mechanic sodered the few places that looked like they needed it and I've only had one stall in 3 weeks. The good news is that he definitely found the problem. The bad news is that we can't find a replacement part to fix the problem so we are back at square one! I'm sooooo frustrated with this crap. I agree with you that the stalling is definitely a hazard (I too have a small child who rides with me 100% of the time.) Jeep/Chrysler would be quick to settle out of court should someone be seriously injured or (god forbid) killed, but yet they won't investigate to avoid that happening. There's NO WAY they could possibly deny the fact that there's is an's all over the internet and any mechanic who's every worked on a Jeep will tell you that it's the main problem. Anyway, thanks for the input and let me know how your story turns out!

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grand cherokee stalling problem

I have a 1996 grand cherokee, 184,000 miles. Last year it frequently stalled at idle, especially if I put a load on the engine such as turning into a parking spot and activating the power steering pump. I did the usual trouble shooting trial and error routines like tune-up and such. Nothing helped. One day the car wouldn't start at all so I had it towed to a garage. The mechanic found that the starter switch housing had a metal tab broken off. He replaced the starter switch and the problem has never repeated. This may not be your problem but it's another thing to consider.

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Grand Cherokee stalling problem (nomenclature correction)

My apologies. I refered to the "starter switch" when refering to the stalling problem. I meant "ignition switch". Sorry, it's been a long day.

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Hopefully my problem is solved! '98 GC.

I had the exact same problem on my '98 Grand Cherokee Laredo 5.2L V8 (ZJ).

I had read about the 2 screws fix. I took out the PCM and discovered that my GC doesn't have those 2 screws. But when I put the PCM back in, it worked, so I attributed it to reseating the connectors.

It worked for a couple of days, then started stalling again. I found that taking the neg terminal off the battery and then reseating the black connector, the far right one, it worked for awhile.

Well, it got worse and worse, and I got tired of constantly having to reseat that connector. I searched the forums again and found a writeup on what someone else did. The second suggestion was to reset the computer (PCM). I figure it's equivalent to rebooting your computer...when in doubt, reboot! To do this, he said to disconnect the positive battery terminal for 1 hour, then said that someone else recommended 4 hours. I took the positive terminal off when I went to bed. The next morning, about 10 hours later, I put it back on. It hasn't stalled, missed, hesitated, or had slow cranking problems in 3 days! It's a simple thing to try and it's free!

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Broken again!

Well, the gremlins are at it again! AS SOON as I reported the fix (resetting the computer) it started stalling again!!

Back to the drawing board!

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Grand Cherokee stall FIXES

It seems like there are several components that can cause this stalling behavior. The symptoms are the same because the PCM is what is sending bad instructions to the engine. It could be the PCM, but it could also be any number of sensors that feeds information to the PCM. In my case, I had replaced my PCM a year before my stalling started, and I was hoping it was not dead again. So I replaced the crank position sensor (no change), the throttle position sensor (no change), the MAP sensor - BINGO! Runs perfectly ever since. I even get better gas mileage now. (it was a 5-minute fix, literally)

Other items could be a bad coil, cam position sensor (in distributor), distributor, O2 sensors (usually get a check engine light), fuel regulator, fuel pump, fuel filter.

Good luck.

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MAP Sensor

I had similar problem for 6 mos. Turned out to be MAP Sensor. After $109 dealer analysis I replaced the $69 sensor myself and problem solved, but it took a few minutes running after replacement of MAP for car to readjust to the new sensor. Runs fine now.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee 98

My Problem my truck just turned off out of the blue. I was using it just fine worry free. I pulled up to a gas station and it just shut of on me without any warning. After that, It wouldn't start up again. It would crank over, but not start. I do my own mechanical work so the first thing i checked was the fuel pressure. Pressure was good. I changed the spark plug cables and distributor cap/rotor because there was no current. No luck. I installed a brand new crank sensor and a pick up coil. no luck I the found t burn out resistors. I replaced them and BINGO!!, for now...? The truck started and ran fine, but 15 - 20 minutes later it started misfiring and getting lazier and stalling more and more until it died on me. Would not turn on after that. 1 hour later, it would turn on with no problems at all. 15 minutes after, same thing would happen. I ordered a new computer after checking the fuel pump and making sure the fuses were the correct amps. Still no luck. Please help. anyone out have any suggestions?

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Warmup issue

Could be the throttle position sensor or the egr valve. The problem has to be related to the car warming up if it starts fine then dies. Check to make sure the cars not overheating because that can cause the car to die.

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98 Jeep GC

Te truck is not overheating, but I'll try those suggestions. Thanks

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OBD2 reader

I just bought a new OBD2 sensor and sofware for the computer lap top and really surprized me what you will see on all the PID's you can read about your car. I'm sure you could find what is not quite right with one of these readers. A lot of times a car has to run through cycles to tell the computer everything is ok, so when you disconnect the battery it recycles the computer and all starts over which then in some cases will work for a while. Get one and you will have a ball all cars after 1998 in the US have OBD2 connectors and you can find what is casuing the problem codes also on line if your program does not tell you what the code means.

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Grand Cherokee Stalling issues

do you still have your GC? Did you ever have any more problems after fixing the MAP sensor?

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Finally fixed.

My problem turned out to be a bad battery. I got the battery replaced over a year ago and have not had a single problem with stalling since.

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Need your help Sfrasher

I have a 99 GC Laredo and had the same exact symptoms. First stalled a couple of times, I cleaned the three computer sockets and it seems that i have no more issues for a week. It could be because of the battery since i had to disconnect the battery for a couple of hours. How did you diagnose the problem at the end? Is there a way to understand whether this is battery problem or other issue like crank position sensor? Thanks for your help in advance. Really appreciated...

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OBD2 readers

buy and read about the OBD2 connection on all cars after 1998 will really help you understand the complex signals to the CPU. But in many cases will tell you your problem. Mine is a software and hard connection to the OBD2 connector and my laptop. Happy hunting.

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Backing of torques head screws out of PCM.

This worked on my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.I had just got a new PCM from the dealership.It still did the same thing.It would crank over with no problem but just no gas.Checked the fuel pump it was fine.New crankshaft position sensor replaced the old one started right up.Just after a while it would stall at anytime without warning.When idiling it seemed worse,so I replaced the idle control valve.Still same problem til I did what this caption suggested.I backed those two torquex screws out a 1/8 of an inch.Then I put RTV black around the screws.Started it up and it has been over two months without a single rough idle or anything.

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Stalling Problems

I have had similar problems, and, knock on wood, I think they were solved with switching out the computer with an aftermarket computer that supposedly coast under $300.00.

For a year and a half my '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee would stall at a read light (usually the same one), but start right back up and run fine. Occasionally the engine would stumble while driving down the road and the check engine light would flash for a second, but wouldn't trip a code. Over the last few months the problem gradually got worse.

About six weeks ago all hell broke loose. I stalled out in the middle of the highway three times with the transmission seeming like it was not engaged then shifting at the wrong time. I finally got it started and limped home after several more stalls, strong gas smell, etc.

After misdiagnosing the problem (I have much more sympathy after reading these posts) and charging me $355.00 for nothing, my mechanic put a new computer in my Jeep. It's been almost a month now, an I haven't had a single stall or stumble.

He sent me another bill for $295, which I haven't paid yet. I planned to dispute it, but it sounds like I may have gotten off pretty lucky with a $650 bill for this fix. Let me know if the bill is worth fighting about.

I do love my Jeep, and I hope to keep it another ten years if I can.

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Hey guys, I'm a GC owner too, 1998 GC Leredo. Mine has the same problem. I've had the crank shaft censor, the ignition coil, electronic pick up (under the distributor cap), and the muffler replaced. The stalling continues. My mechanic told me that he works on GC's all the time with the same issue. So the last time i had it in the shop he told me to start it then he shook the computer, and it started to stall. So the problem is in the computer. If you try and crank it over and over again it just burns out the ignition coil. So one thing leads to another. So the easiest thing to do is to swap out the computer. The down side is that no one will touch it or make a replacement part. So long story short, until you get rid of that Chrysler POS just be sure and stock up on crank shaft censors, ignition coils, and pick ups, cause it's never gonna stop. I told my dad about it and he ended up putting a piece of wood between the firewall and computer. It worked for a while but it's acting up again.

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This may be the one that my mechanic used on my '98 GC. Anyway, it's been at least 10 weeks since the replacement, and I haven't had a single stall. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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That's cool, it sounds like a plan. I'm totally going to try it. Thanks for the input.

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AutoComp Technologies-Houston, TX Auto Electronics Remanufac

I haved used this business ( for a rebuilt ECM and they were very resonable. I even got a "one time" exchange because I don't install the crank sensor properly, I blamed it on a bad ECM from them. They exchanged with no questions.

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1998 Jeep grand cherokee stalling problems

Anyone who needs a PCM or Ecu, Ebay has them, As im a Jeep Gc Limited owner also. Everything you guys have stated,is what I have found also. At first I thought it was the fuel filter,or fuel pump which I havent replaced, then after adding a fuel additive, it eased up a bit, then it does it intermittently usually around town, but works fine on the highway. Now after having it in a repair shop for diagnosis ,at which they stated its was either the PCM and/or crank sensor.the computer gave a code P0351(which is the Ignition coil), But I just replaced that recently. And the fact that other people have found the same thing. I do believe its the computer. And I probably will replace it too. I believe Its part of the built in Obsolence that the car manufactures put into their cars, So you'll buy a car every 3-5 years. They dont plan on other people buying them.

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Alternate off the wall fix
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It worked for me

Hi, I am a local mechanic in the Dallas area and have my small shop. about 2 yrs ago, waaaaaaaay before I knew about all this problems [just learned now it is an epidemic while considering buying a 98 myself] I ran into a GC with exactly the same problems. I trace the problem to the PCM. but after having the customer back in my shop a couple of months later for the same problem [did any of you took your car back to your mechanic? I see most of you stop at replacing the pcm, maybe pushing them a little further would of giving them the hint] I follow up on it and realized that the connectors to the PCM where somehow loose and not making a goog connection; A good way yo try to reproduce this problem is by running the car at idle and moving your PCM connectors up and down, jerk them... [not so hard], wiggle them, pull them, push them, you get the idea; the car should stall, cutt off or make a change if this is your problem. I went to a wrecking yard and cut the connectors from another GC after making sure the wires were a match [dont try this at home, I would leave this to a tech] and but splice them and solder them. the car work for another 5 months without a problem. until it was back.... wait where do those connectors came from? right another GC with problably the same problem. the dealer would sell only the whole harness, not the connectors only, = lots of money. and by now I wouldnt be surprise if is discontinued. up to this day that jeep is working fine. nobody knows, except my customer and I that that jeep has under the hood a set of zip ties pulling on the connectors upwards or sideways [wherever direction the car wont stall] makin a good connectino to that PCM. good luck.

Moreno @ zunmor auto

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stalling and hesitating engine for 98 JGC

Love my jeep. No problems till it turned 170,000 miles. Now the rear end smells like gear oil, grinding noise at 65 mph. It began the stalling poblem mentioned. Replaced both O2 sensors, Coil, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, crank sensor, throttle sensor, ECM, Muffler, and fuel pump. Hoping to get another 50,000. right? Wrong!! Still stalls, still hesitates and back fires. Need another mufler now. Wigle the ECM wires and the connections are loose. Engine will shut off. Placed a thick pieces of styrofoam between wire connectors and windshield washer jug. (wedged in tight) No help. Dont want to spend any more. Checked for codes and machanic says needs new Cranck and Throthle sensor still. Got ECM from Nappa and had dealer install and code it. Got other new parts at Advanced Discount Auto with waranty but dont know if it worth the additional work. I miss my '70 chevy truck.

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the computer connectors are zinc which are notorious for oxidization. if your jeep stalls when you pull on the connectors, you should clean them with electronics cleaner sold at auto part stores or pick up a bottle of deoxy from radio shack for heavy duty cleaning.

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cherokee stalling

Thanks for all your help everybody. I too have been chasing the "Jeep Ghost"... -for 6 months, and have successfully exorcised it from my Cherokee... I did the obvious things first: plugs, wires,rotor, cap. still obvious replaced coil. -still stalled, next to mechanic shop for diagnostics they concluded crank shaft sensor, replace new, -still stalled a block from their shop ! another shop "replace the crank sensor with a mopar sensor" 2 days later -stalled. 3rd shop for diagnostic test and 2 days of drive and testing " uhhh, have no clue...." back to first shop "oxygen sensor" "-ok change it " stalled on way home... desparation with head hanging low....TO CHRYSLER DEALER FOR DIAGNOSTICS !!!! $100 "probably your ecm...? you've replace everything else..." Well, throughout this ordeal i kept jiggling the harness plugs disconnecting reconnecting cleaning and cable tie securing them to the ecm body. stalling kept getting worse and worse. had to tap on ecm to get jeep to restart after "high speed and dangerous" stall outs !!! after 6 months of troubleshooting (and stalling !!!! ) confirmed that tapping on the ecm body with pliers, screwdriver, rocks !!! the jeep would restart. while all the time following this thread and everyone elses pains and successes. after believing I had located where the ghost was hiding ( ECM) I opted to buy a re-furbished one at $158.00 against an $800 one from the Chrysler dealer. I received it in 2 days, installed it
ON ANY VEHICLE, IF A STALLING OR STRANGE SYMPTOM APPEARS, CHANGE THE ECM WITH A RE-FURB FOR $158.00 !!!!!! most of what i did was all following logic. no one in 6 months new enough about this to be able to tell me what I have learned as I have learned it. as someone stated wisely earlier in this thread " a computer board sitting on your firewall in heat and cold for ten years is doomed to fail..."
-I'm surprised they last as long as they do... I bought my re-furbished ECM from a company in Davie Florida. they seem to have a lab where they open and actually re-furb them. and seem to specialize in this. I have been lucky with the one I purchased. Im including their contact here as they successfully helped me to purge the ghost from my jeep. they are: I felt great putting the old one in the return box and taping it up extra securely and knowing I was dropping the ghost into the postal mail box. I got the last laugh-
I hope this helps everyone

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