What could be wrong with my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee?

155

Asked by Apr 09, 2012 at 06:39 PM about the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've been having problems with my Jeep. It started like 3 months ago, the engine just cuts off while I'm driving or at a stop light. In other occasions the engine starts skipping, turns off, then will not turn back on. I would have to sit for about 3-5 minutes for it to turn back on. Ever since the first time it happened it has gotten worse and now it won't turn on at all. I have changed many parts that could be the problem and also have taken it to 2 mechanics and they could not figure out what the problem is. I'm thinking about taking it to the Jeep Dealership in my area but before I do I wanted to ask here. Anyone know what it could be?

38 Answers

745

You said many parts, but which ones? Potential things, clogged injectors, poor fuel pressure regulaor, clogged fuel filter, clogged fuel lines (old lines ), poor fuel pump, to improper sealed lines. There is one thing you could try, its not cheap, but a feul system clean may help. Recommend the dealer for that, they would do a good job, and have related experiance with that type of system.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
120

change fuel pump ,fuel filter,fuel relay,cap and rotor,crank sensor,and plugs,catalytic converter,and sensor, ignition coil, and it still wont start

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
155

I did all of those as listed above ^ ^ ^ except maybe ignition coil. Actually, I drove it to the dealership today and turns on perfectly and drives perfect but the only problems I have is when I want to accelerate more for example, getting on to the ramp to get on the freeway, the engine starts shaking or it misfires. It sounds like the engine wants to shut off but just has trouble speeding up.

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
85

I would say ignition coil. Could be as simple as replacing the plugs though.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
235

I have a 95 with the same problem. Have traced it back to the computer activating the auto shutdown relay killing spark to the coil and fuel injectors. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find why it is doing it yet.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
80

I have a 96 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo and I have had many problem with mine. The engine used to shut off as I came to a stop or just as I started to accelerate. My dad is a mechanic and so is my brother, they changed a lot of parts but it came down to the computer. We bought a refurbished one off ebay and my dad installed it and sent my old one back. I don't have anymore problems with my jeep

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
60

Where is relay fuel pump in jeep laredo 2012

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
60

Crank sensor. Staaling on the road but usually starts right back up. Drive a little and does it again. Crank sensor fixed it.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
90

Both my daughter and I own 1996 Grands (4.0/auto, both with about 210k on them). Both have had the mysterious "driving and just shuts off" issue, and have replaced the crank sensor in both. Along with that, both Jeeps were freshened up with new rotors, caps, wires and plugs. That seemed to solve the problem in mine all together, but only solved it in my daughter's for a couple months. Hers has recently began shutting off on her upon slow speed deceleration leading to a stop. Once it shuts off, it takes a good bit of cranking to get it running again, but it has never failed to restart...not yet anyways. Doing some research on the issue, I decided to start with replacing the fuel pump, and installed that last weekend. She drove it for the past 3 days with no issue, but had it shut off on her again today after only driving about 100 yards out of her school parking lot. My dilemma is this; do I take it to my trusted local mechanic who may flog himself for a while to find the cause, or do I take it to the Jeep dealership that should have more experience with this? Anybody have any input as to what to try next on my own (I'm a pretty fair backyard mechanic), or whether I should take it in and have it professionally diagnosed??

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
60

Change the Crank sensor again?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
90

Thanks Dave, but it's my understanding that the CPS issue is directly related to a build up of heat, or only happens once the engine has warmed up. I'm not questioning you, but that's what I've read, and that has been the instance both times the CPS has quit on my Jeep and my daughter's. I'm not saying that couldn't be the problem, as a lot of automotive electronics have a pretty short infant mortality period if they're bad out of the box, but both times before on both Jeeps the failures threw a CEL, and both vehicles were running and up to temp. Now that it happening again to my daughter's Jeep, there's no CEL and today she had started it up and drove 100yds.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
110

Well try this. I know this sounds crazy. But my 96 Grand Cherokee also started the mysterious random shuting off prob. I did all the above and always seemed to fix it for a while but never solved it. Jeep mechanic told me to remove the computer behind the rad. overflow tank and shorten the 3 computer mounting bolts and 2 computer cover bolts 1/4" It was completely down at the time and guess what. Started and has run perfectly since. ???? Try it , don't cost anything to do, takes less then 1 hour. Don't make sence to me but worked. I would have never found it.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
100

I have a 1996 jeep grand cherokee 6 cylinder. Similar problems for about 6 months and it's getting worse. check engine light isn't on but an ignition coil code comes up when we scan it. We replaced the ignition coil. Replaced crank sensor, and distributor and also the idle control sensor. And it's still stalling, back firing, and now it's barely starting. We have spent a lot of money and not sure if it's worth spending more money on trial and error. debating rather or not to spend money on a PCM. 3 different mechanics said it's not fuel related. And that it's losing spark. Any suggestions?

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
110

Mark, Ignor my blog about the ground above ,a week after that post the jeep started it again. Do believe I finally got it now. PMC related but farely easy fix. Go to U-tube and search for: 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee PCM repair (by) bikesawg69. He will fully explain how to fix the problem in the PMC that we both had. This finally worked for me. Also when you reassemble the PMC and plug it in I suggest you add tie wraps to the three plugs and the wireing harness to relieve the strain on the plugs into the box as you bounce down the road.. Been running perfect for me ever since and mine was just like yours. Good luck Ron

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
30

I have 1996 jeep grand cherokee limited that blew a coolant hose wich I replaced after that it started running rough not going over 10mph , I changed the fuel filter , made sure that the fuel pump is working , gave it a pressure test to make sure I had fuel coming threw the lines , but every time I try to crank it it sounds like it wants to start but will not catch .. it sounds like a mix between it's choking and being starved of gas... what steps should I take next to get this beast started ?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
110

Well certainly appears coolant got into something. If this is the a 6 cyl. might have blew into the computer plugs ? Get some contact cleaner and unplug them and clean and blow out connections. then use tie wraps as stated in above blog. Computor is located on firewall behind the antifreeze bottle. May not be the answer but if not doesn't cost anything and will be a prob. in future on these models. good luck Ron

20

Yep.All of the above is right.Stay away from the Dealership.Cost you an arm and a leg and the problem will return.Chrysler should have recalled these jeeps long time ago.Too many jeeps,same ole problems.Crank sensors,cam shaft sensors,pcm/ecu,coils,dirty fuel lines. Use marvel oil next fill up.Add to gas and oil.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
30

Same story here... Replaced crank sensor cam sensor coil cap rotor plugs and wires... Still no fire! Changed the computer and this fixed the problem... For a year and a half! Then it started it again... Just dying going down the road! So I thought ok computer again... Bought a new one ... But this time the problem is still there! An analysis by autozone said crank sensor! I still had the crank sensor that I took out a year and a half ago.. And I thought to myself.. If I replaced the crank sensor... And that didn't fix the problem... Then the sensor was probably still good! So I took a chance and reinstalled the sensor taken out a year and a half ago ... And viola.... The dying has stopped! However.... Now it won't shift from first to second gear! I have to tach it out to 3000... Then let off the gas to get it to shift! But it shifts from first gear to third gear.. Then overdrive! So I've went from stumped to wtf? As I've never had a transmission issue!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
40

Alright boys and girls I have a 96 Grand limited with the 4.0 and have the same problem, been playing with it for many years, watched all the you tube videos had my pcm apart and resoldered the connections(had 6 factory pcm's through it) and the craziest thing is that it has to do with vibration and angle of the pcm when warm. I currently have a rubber bushing wedged betweent the mounting plate and and pcm and it helps. if it dies i give the pcm a good shake and bam fires right back up and off i go for a day or 2. I have recently started talking to a friend that insists he can fix it but wont tell me how because he wants something in return lol. Ill let you know if he can fix it for good. I have been messing with it for about 8 years.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
40

I have done everything you guys have as well, crank went a few months ago and it seems to be worse with the new one

40

for you guys that cant get it to fire, have some one reach grab the bottom of the computer adn shake the shit out of it while you turn it over and see if you will get spark.. thats how i came to the shim souloution even though its not a complete fix

I had a problem similar to this. turned out someone had replaced the electric wire to the gas tank and just in front of the tank behind the filter was a bad splice. The reason i was under there was about 3 months before the fuel filter had stopped up with a lot of what looked like almost slimy black plastic, at first I thought it was the fuel pump. but when it would stall i got in the habit of disconnecting the fuel line at the filter to see if it had stopped up. In the process i found the bad splice.

110

Hello everyone, thank you for all the help, but I feel that my problem is like one step further. I have a 1996 jeep Cherokee as well and it shuts off randomly at times while I'm driving whether I'm on a full tank or what not. But I get warnings with mine. First off my jeep begins to shake really bad, as if you just got side swipped. Then after about 10 seconds of that, the gas pedal begins to be non existent. You can no longer accelerate. Again it shakes very vigorously for about 20 seconds and then completely shuts off whether I'm still in motion or not. I have to sit for about 6 mins before I can crank it and drive again. And then about a mile away it does the same thing again. Usually how I solve it is going and buying gas. If I get 1$ of gas or 20$ of gas it doesn't have these problems again for a few days. More frequently though this happens and even when I just crank the jeep without moving. Also if I try to accelerate with the pedal to the floor, this helps trigger a car shut off. I have no check engine light and I do not know what to do. The only piece I've changed is the idol air control valve which has helped with the problem some. I'm a delivery driver and can't afford to be left stranded. Please someone share me some advice.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
110

This has been happening for about 5 months now. It always recranks no matter what though. But the shaking is scary and I would like to really be able to keep this jeep. Please help. Thank you.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
40

This is real and free to fix and it only takes 15 minutes but I had a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it ran like a beast but then it started doing the random cut off thing and would not fire up so I began to read forums and found out about the 2 screw fix so I was like screw it its free to try so I did it and bam it was fixed all it is is that from the factories the computer located on the fire wall behind the overflow tank when they made the the made the two screws on the front 1/4 of a inch to long and over time after driving for miles and mile and possibly yesrs those two screws will start rubbing and shorting out the computer so then bam you got the random cut off problem So to fix it yoi just remove the coolent overflow tank and the computer is right behind it on the fire wall on the passenger side on the front of the computer is two screws on the front of it back one out put enough washers on so that it will be 1/4 if inch backed out once you did one and got it back in place and tightened do the other screw the same way I bliiiiiiibbbbaaadddy bam problem fully salved for free and yoi will hate your self for spending all that money on new parts for no reason lol but you will be happy that the nightmare is over and be sure to thank god that you jeep is fully fixed and now you have a fully reliable jeep that will go anywhere under any condition and will take from A to B toooo Y to O to U to R toooo W to E to L to C to O to M to E and back to A LoL now go fix your jeep and watch the odometer break 999999 miles 100 times

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
40

Ohh yeah and it only works with the 1998 jeeps and the ones that have the exsct same computer I also have a 1994 one that does it but the computer is different and I havnt salved the problem yet it runs like a champ but then it will just cut off and not start up like its not getting spark it dont backfire or run rough at all it just shuts off while driving and thats it and when I get it started itll run and drive like a beast and then bam its off again idk I know its gotta be something simple like the 1998 jeep I fixed if anyone knows anything to help me please let me know asap od really appreciate it and thanks in advance

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Ok so I just picked up a 1995 Jeep grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 V6 4x4, and wish I hadn't already.. It's starting fine, then runs fine with just the slightest hint of a misfire and like most everyone else, it will run fine till it reaches its average functioning temp and then will begin to start slightly hesitating upon acceleration, and shortly following the RPM gauge will drop flat to 0rpms, BUT it will still have a rough LOW vibration like it's trying to keep going, but ONLY. If I keep my foot on the gas to the floor.. If I let off at all it goes completely flat dead.. Sometimes it will restart but if it does it will only run MAYBE another Mile or so if that... I have already replaced the PCM, Throttle positioning sensor, coolant temperature sensor, fuel filter, got a new ignition coil, new coil wire, new distributor cap and rotor plug, and am replacing the crankshaft position sensor soon as I finish this.... And it's still doing it FYI and getting longer each time to restart after shutdown... I mechanically inclined, but am bout to say enough is enough.... PLEEEEEASE HELP..!! Any suggestion could help A LOT..! I spent almost $800 in the last week..... thanks

20

I have a solution to the GC Dying/Stalling issue! I've been down the above path for years, and out of the blue, 'Randy' a guy on Craigslist stopped by and got me thinking. On this GC there is the ccv in the back of the valve cover, which then runs to the intake manifold for vacuum. The intake runs over to the.... wait for it..... PURGE SOLENOID! . If it is bad, like mine was, it will stop the vacuum to the intake, send codes to the PCM, and you engine will die, stall, and periodically get hard to start. You can read all about this nasty critical part on the web, so I'll not go there. RESULTS! I replaced this 40$ part, and my jeep ran like a champ. That's it in a nut shell. I'm posting this solution in as many groups as I can find, that I have reviewed in the several years working this problem. Please pass this on to others, and if you want, provide my contact info as credit. Just trying to contribute to this HUGE problem our GC's are having. Try it, and let me know. Sincerely, The reaper(now).

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
20

My problem is similar have Don same things iac tps cap button coils sensors now I changed fuel pump was told pressure regarding in it could be problem ...it runs fine till it switc h es into high gear then it acts to be flooding out or jumping time. These gc,s are awesome. Machines when we get the bugs out of em ...any suggestions for my problem let me know please

10

I have a 96 JGC similar problems as many have said. Mine too was dying going down the road. Put a new cat and o2 sensor on it and stopped. Now i have a new problem. Ive put all kinds of new parts distributor plugs wires ect. Idles awesome but when you give it gas it loses power and backfires through the exhaust. Any ideas?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

i believe mine is out of time i top dead centered it on number one on compression and wtf rotary button is almost pointing to 5 .... i pulled timming chain cover and i have lot of slack and my spacer is broken i pulled distributer and dropped it on one and it wouldnt even hit not even once so i pulled it and moved it one tooth , it barely ran like on 4 cylinders then i moved it another tooth back to where it originally was ,almost on 5, and viola it started and ran the same it idled but when put in gear and hit gas it just jerked and quit sooo im in the process of replacing the chain spacer and timing gears i so hope this works. it sounds the same for you try checking your timing sounds to be what it is

10

i have a jeep grand cherokee 1996 4.0 had a stall problem did the pcm fixed it i have changed the crank,idle air control,coolent sensor and plugs ,wires . was running great .then it started to spit and sputter an die at operating temp ran code said pick up coil so changed distributor and coil now it wont stay running .not sending any code but noticed it loses spark and fuel at the same time .did the fuel test i have 50psi what could be happening ,

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

Fox rider, where do I put the washers behind the computer I have spent a lot of money now with tuneups,catalytic converter new muffler,replaced a lot of sensors and still the same problem with the engine shutting off. Also that smell of rotten eggs and gas on my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo inline six cylinder engine. Please someone tell me how to put those screws with the washers on the computer. Thanks everyone it is very frustrating with this issue. I even had to quit my Job because my jeep does this makes it unreliable :( my email is Jimmyone.james@aol.com thanks again my name is Jimmy..

20

between ecm and fire wall to keep it from grounding out some older models have a plastic cover around it and some don't if you can find a cover (if yours don't have one) try that also sometimes they ground out and reset the box ...in that case instead of replacing the box have it flashed (reprogrammed) a lot cheaper than getting a new one sometimes the box just "forgets" what vehicle its for . the washers separate the metal from touching and sometimes the inserts get worn and cause it too. good luck hope it works for you

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
10

Doughboy46 is it the little screws in front of the box? or the screws that hold it in place behind the metal it screws from the back?

10

already tried that didn't work but thank you

10

Okay, I read all of the comments and see there is still no solution. I've got a 1996 jeep grand cherokee with the 4.0 inline 6. It also has a really bad habit of stalling out in the middle of traffic, going down the road, sitting at lights, or just in the yard. I have done a cap, rotor, plugs, distributor, computer, purge valve, ignition coil, fuel pump, muffler (the old one had a ton of holes from backfiring). When the car is running I can got to the computer and jiggle the wires going to it and it will stall out. I can jiggle the wire going to the pickup coil in the distributor. I can run the screws all the way into the computer, and it will die, or I can pull them all the way out, Yes it will run with no screws, however it still stalls. I'm at a loss. I have tried all of the solutions that have been mentioned with no luck. When it stalls, it smells extremely rich so that leads me to believe that it is an electrical issue of some sort. The dash code comes back as failing cat, and failing ignition coil. So anybody tried replacing the wiring harness going to the computer by any chance? If so let me know how it worked.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

I also removed the screws on the pcm computer, it seems to stall the engine less than with the screws on it?? Very strange please anyone let me know if you tried anything different, that makes this annoying problem stop for good. Thanks Jimmy...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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