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2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport - Idling Low & Gas Smell from engine

My boyfriend’s jeep just started acting up this morning. When the car is at a stop or accelerating it is idling low (kind of jerky). It’s also hard to start up. When you get out of the car you can smell gas from the engine. Anyone have a clue what might be wrong?

Look to see if black smoke is coming out of the tailpipe. I’d guess the jeep’s running too rich. The reason for this might be a sensor (is the check engine light on?) or a leaky fuel injector.

Yes the check engine light came on (forgot to mention that). Just ran the car. I’m not really that car literate - so here’s my description of the tailpipe. It’s making the put-put-put sputtery noise and the tailpipe is blowing out white smoke in time with the puts. Hope that makes sense.

Locate the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail. This will be a small metal canister with a single vacuum hose attached. Remove the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator, and if gas leaks out of this hose the fuel pressure regulator is leaking and requires replacement.

Also pull the oil dip stick and smell the oil on the dip stick. If it smells of gas change the oil and filter.


If Tester’s suggestion works out that is great.

Otherwise, why would you ignore & dismiss the check engine light? The computer knows there is a problem somewhere and will tell you where to start looking. Auto parts chain stores (e.g. Autozone) will hook up a code reader for free - do that and write down the exact codes that are stored (format: P1234)