Over the past several years, this has happened maybe once a year. However, in the past three months, it has happened three times. Thankfully, the shut down always occurs at low speeds. In each instance, I had taken my foot off the accelerator and was coasting to, say, make a turn into a driveway, or enter a parking deck, or move slowly in traffic. I’ll realize what happens when i notice that the steering wheel is locked. And then that nothing is happening except the car rolling. Every time, the car has started back up, immediately, without incident. (Of course, I have to stop the vehicle and put it into Park before restart. Only once have I had the problem where someone was right behind me.) Several mechanics have been unable to figure out what is causing it because this never leaves a code in the car’s computer. My current mechanic doesn’t want to start randomly checking things out because it will quickly become very expensive for me. Any ideas on what is going on and what he might service to fix this? Thanks.
The problem might be with an Idle Air Control valve that’s malfunctioning.
Anytime you release the accelerator the IAC valve allows air past the closed throttle plate which allows the engine to idle. If the IAC valve fails to go the proper position for the idle condition no air gets past the closed throttle plate and the engine stalls.
Can you tell me if you found a solution I am to having the same problem?
Sounds like an ignition switch problem to me, a lot of keys on the key chain?
My mechanic did try something based on some research he did on the Jeep engines. I’ll have to check my records when I’m home to give you the exact service–but I had that done a couple times not long after my post here and I’ve not had the problem occur in years. (I’m still driving the car.) One of the suggestions for self-maintenance was to take the car out and drive it at highway speeds at least once a week. I’ve done that much more in recent years than I was doing at that time and things have been fine.
Thank you so much, I would appreciate the information we’ve been searching for a few weeks to see what to replace but we’re just not sure what it is…
Sure, no problem. I remember that this was a frustrating and seemingly dangerous issue with the car!
The check engine light was on and the mechanics found that that was being triggered (several times in 2011) by a #5 cylinder misfire. They thought this was being caused by a lot of carbon in the valves. And that was what the mechanic had found info about on the internet…he said it seemed that the Grand Cherokee engines (this is a V8) had problems with lots of carbon build-up. So in Dec. 2011 they “ran heavier carbon cleaner through engine and let soak in head.” When they test drove it afterward it did not restart the misfire code and the car seemed to idle better. (The car seemed to have a pretty rough idle when things were getting bad.) The recommended a valve job if things did not improve because the carbon build up could also cause valve wear and a valve sealing problem.
The carbon cleaner treatment cost me $120.
It looks like I had the same mechanic check some rough idling again in July 2013, but I didn’t have the carbon flush again.
By the timing of these problems, I have to wonder if heat has something to do with it, too. I originally had the car in NC and VA and according to the records, these issues were more prevalent in the summer. I moved to New England at the end of summer 2013 and the car has not stalled out since I’ve been here. But I also drive the car on an interstate to work each day. At the time of the problems, I walked to work and it sat around more during the week.
Hopefully this helps. At least if you could start with the carbon cleaner, it could be a pretty cheap fix (relatively)! Good luck!
Thank you! I’ll have to try that!! We live in MI so it can’t be the heat for us… but I hope this helps otherwise it’s just a wild goose chase to start changing a bunch of parts I feel…
This has also been happening to me. Its happened a few times in the past and it would always restart so I let it go. It just happened to me now as I was pulling into a parking lot and I only noticed because my steering locked up. It does seem to happen either when I’m at a red light or slow speeds and not on the accelerator. There are no warning signs nothing on the dash. I was luckily in an auto zone parking lot just now so I went in and they were suggesting something with throttle position sensor. I told them that recently I’ve noticed when I’m driving (not consistently) that it bogs/bucks a little bit like it’s running rough. Not sure if these have anything to do with each other but I’m just worried it will happen while driving on the highway and I’ll have no warning. Does it have anything to do with my transmission? Or do you guys seem to believe its throttle related?