Grand Jeep Cherokee Stalling!

My Jeep is my baby and she has been treated well, but recently she stalls out when either just setting off to go somewhere or if in a idle position. She is a Cherokee Grand 1997 model and has done a lot of miles (194,000). It is stalling sporadically, mainly when it is first turned on, but it can happen even after going for dinner and it might have been stationary only a few hours (it is hard to predict). Once the car works, she can drive miles without a problem once it gets going. My battery in fine, everything else works, but the car just suddenly cuts out. I would try and turn the engine on again and usually it starts back no problem, but more and more times now, it has been turning over again and again with no start up at all. I try and add gas to see if that helps, but no luck. Eventually it works, but it is scary (it happened today in the middle of traffic on a major road).

One other thing that has only happened twice but is very concerning is that the steering wheel suddenly doesn’t turn, or move, or anything. It locks. I would have to switch off the engine and start up again then it is fine. This too happens when I am setting off or moving very slowly (thank goodness).

I took it to the shop and they gave me a new crankshaft position sensor, but it clearly wasn’t what it needed because it stalled worse than ever today. It is getting more often and worse each time. What can you suggest?

Are Any “Check Engine” Or “Service Engine Soon” Or Other Lights Illuminated In The Instrument Cluster Or Drivers Information Center Or Have They Been Recently?

One way or another you could try stopping by a “chain auto parts” store, like an Advance Auto Parts or Auto Zone, for example. Many will step outside and check for any “trouble codes” your Jeep has possibly recorded that would help determine what’s going on in there.

Write any codes down that they give you. They should look like PO234 or PO455, etcetera. Post them here and it could help somebody to help you.

While there, why not get a bottle of a high quality fuel system / fuel injector cleaner that can be added to the gas tank. Be sure it’s safe for catalytic converters and follow the directions carefully. Sea-Foam makes product of this nature.

Also, which engine do you have ?
Is regular or premium gasoline specified and which do you use ?
What brand gasoline do ordinarily buy ?

Using gasoline with too high a Driveability Index can cause problems like the ones you describe. If your car calls for regular gas then use 87 octane gasoline, not premium. If it requires premium then use 91 octane gasoline. I’d try a few tank fulls of Shell gasoline if you’re not already.

I’d get that steering lock looked at and repaired before an accident occurs.

Also, when was the last tune-up performed on this Jeep ?

Talk to us.


Very simlar problem with my 2000 Grand Cherokee. I did the tune up, I did the gasoline additives. It never threw any engine codes and I ran across a couple of forums that suggested the “Drive Shaft Sensor” A $35.00 part. I got a mechanic friend of mine to put it in for another $30. I haven’t had the problem since.

The problem sounds much like yours. My engine would turn off in traffic or at 60 mph. Nothing consistent. But it’s wonderful now!