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Car Neutral Stalls/Steering Wheel Locks

Background info, I bought this 2005 Jeep Wrangler Sahara used a year ago from a dealer, I had an engineer check stuff out, he said it was fine. The CD player does not work. The car has had some water exposure, i.e. very light rain with the top down. If it matters, one of the speakers in the car buzzes. Other than that, the car is in fine shape, I think. Battery was replaced a couple months ago, as it was almost 5 years old.

Here’s the problem:

Randomly when I stop (not necessarily quickly) on hills (not necessarily steep at all) my car goes into neutral but the stick says Drive (it’s an automatic) - if I shift into Park - the car stops, shifting back into drive does nothing, the accelerator does not respond.

While this is happening my acceleration pedal begins to harden, i.e. harder to press and the steering wheel locks up.

The only way I’ve found to solve this is to power down the car completely in Park, and turn it back on.

This sounds like a classic discription of a stalling engine. If the engine stops turning, the auotmatic transmission loses line pressure and it goes into neutral. With the engine not turning, there will be no power steering. With no engine vacuum, the power brake booster will drop vacuum each time the brakes are applied and the pedal will become hard and the effectiveness of the brake will diminish.

Have a mechanic address the stalling problem. It could be as simple as a dirty throttle body or Idle Air Control valve. You don’t mention the mileage on this Wrangler so I assume 80-100K. It might be time for spark plugs, high voltage wires, ignition coil pack, fuel filter, air filter, etc.

Hope this is what the problem is.

I was having trouble interpreting your post, but after reading Researcher’s response I agree with him.

Having the ECU scanned for stored codes might help find the answer too. The codes might just suggest why the engine is stalling.