As you have already deduced from my discussion title heading, I own a '98 Jeep Cherokee with a “ghost in the machine” that causes the car to intermittently hesitate and stall on (particularly left hand) turns; however, only when I drive it alone (neither a mechanic nor my stepfather could reproduce my results and I couldn’t reproduce them for their benefit). The problem began with a small hesitation and has only recently exacerbated to include stalling.
The engine hesitates in wide left-hand turns from a dead stop through large intersections more often than smaller, narrower turns from a dead stop through neighborhoods or into parking spaces.
The hesitation threatens to stall the engine and is observable on the tachometer (the needle flutters at about 600 to 800 before recovering to approx. 1600). The “check engine” and “check gauges” indicators do not light; however, the gas gauge behaves erratically (the needle irreconcilably drops and climbs without absolute recovery until I restart the engine) and occasionally fails; however, the failure is only partial. On the occasion of gas gauge failure, the needle will sit dead at empty, the gas light comes on and the gauge beeps to tell me it thinks I’m nearly - or out - of gas. The gauge recovers on the next restart.
In the event of a stall, the engine stalls after a hesitation (after a left-hand turn) and stalls very quickly without warning or choking. The power steering turns off, the dashboard lights up. I stop, shift into Park and start it up again. The Jeep, excepting two remarkably anomalous instances, does not hesitate or stall when making right-hand turns or when I drive in a straight line (the two anomalies both involved the car stalling after going over bumps at very slow speeds: rolling up onto a curb into a driveway - which I unsuccessfully tried to repeat after restarting; and rolling through a pothole in a parking lot). The mechanic, to whom I took the Jeep, scanned the computer and said it was clean - error free.
Before writing, I took the time to read the Car Questions and found discussion topics diagnosing other '90’s era Jeeps with similar symptoms. I’m writing because none of the other drivers reported experiencing these problems on left-hand turns only. That’s the rub that has me flummoxed beyond the point of building a list of “the usual suspects (fuel pump and/or filter, ignition coil, torque converter, auto shutdown relay, etc…)” and throwing new parts at it until the ghost is summarily exorcised.
If you’re willing, I’m all ears. What do you folks think about my haunted Jeep?
Thanks in advance for your help.
poss anti slosh plate in fuel tank is loose,just a hunch.all wireing away from steering componets?
It may be an abraded wire, or poor wire connection. With the engine running, move the wires about under the dash, engine compartment, on the bottom of the car. Use a stick to move wires where you can’t reach, or can’t safely reach. Check the battery for security.
mmsamma and hellokit:
Thanks for your replies! Checked out your suggestions: slosh module and mechanical parts check out fine - the problem is electrical. An intermittent short is blowing a critical fuse. I shared your feedback with the shop I trust to service the Jeep. Replaced two relays as an insurance policy. The shop I took it to says, provided the problem isn’t a one-time anomaly like a faulty fuse blowing under high temperature, there’s no way to run down the intermittent short until it evolves into a dead short and consistently blows the fuse at ignition - then the solution is to disable system components until the fuse no longer blows. If all the components are disconnected and fuse still blows - the likely culprit is a wire harness. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for a shoe to drop that may not exist! Thanks again for your feedback!