1998 Cherokee stalls when idle

My husband’s 1998 Cherokee will turn over when starting but won’t stay running unless the accelerator pedal is held down (to keep the RPMs up). It also stalls when stopping.

The problem has been getting progressively worse for over a month and now the accelerator has to be down whenever the car is on. I’m a novice so, if you have a suggestion, please explain in layman’s terms. Thanks!

There’s a component on the throttle body called an Idle Air Control/Idle Air By-Pass motor. The function of this component is to allow air past the closed throttle plate anytime the accelerator is released so that the engine can idle. If this component fails to do this, the engine will stall anytime the accelerator is released. The fact that you’re able to prevent the engine from stalling by slightly stepping on the accelerator points to a problem with this component.


Is the check engine light on? If it is, have the codes read somewhere or do the “turn ignition on-off-on-off-on trick” (do not start the car when doing this) to read the codes, then post them here.

I looked up some videos about this and it seems pretty simple. Do you have an idea of how much it would cost to get this checked out?

The check engine light has not come on…

There could be some gunk built up on the throttle plate and in the throttle bore. You can remove the gunk with Throttle Body Cleaner, and clean the air passage to the idle air control valve, at the same time.
A repair manual is a very nice thing to have.
Here are words (of instructions) and a picture, of the idle air control valve. Register at the site to view the information: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?partName=Idle+Air+Control++IAC++Valve&pageId=0900c152800a9b27&partId=0900c152800a9b27