Car Starts but wont stay running.......


Asked by Oct 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM about the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Love it to death. It has a good new charge on the battery, the Cat is new, the plugs are new, exhaust is new. My husband has done a good job with the upkeep of this car for me. I am asking this question because i know that sometimes men fail to ask for help especially old school car guys like him. He was out there working on putting driving lights and new reverse lights in the car one day and he did so wonderfully. The battery lost its charge from having the doors open so he charged it on the big charger over night no problem. Next day, he goes to start it and it starts but the minute he takes his foot off of the gas the car dies. time after time this happens. There is no check engine light at all. On the screen inside the car, it is not saying anything. Sometimes it will say like if you have a problem - it used to say that we have a coolant sensor bad or things like that. We are very very confused as to why this is happening. We need to get the Jeep ready for the North East winter! Please! Any suggestions would be so appreciated!

19 Answers


Get an OBD scan, most large auto parts houses will scan it free, and we can eliminate a lot of guesswork

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

That would be great but it doesnt stay running long enough to get it there. It starts then dies.

17 out of 17 people think this is helpful.

check for vacuum leaks.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

If it crank,s and then shut,s off,you have fire,but loosing fuel,tell him to check the fuel filter,and fuel pump,other word,to say if he is old school,is tell him to check for a fuel problem,

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

May even be as simple as the fuel relay.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

I have a 1999 Cherokee and am experiencing the same problem. Car will only start with a jump but once I take my foot off the gas it dies. Did you figure out the problem with yours?

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Mickie Puppup

I have the same problem. 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Replaced the cat and fuel pump. Still having the problem. With this, I would venture to guess the problem may NOT be the pump or filter. Any other suggestions would greatly be appreciated. I will be checking the relay next.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Carley Akalis

I'm having the same issue. it started thanksgiving night. I had to keep my foot on the gas and use my left foot to break, it's no fun. If anyone has any in site please help.

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

First it was cutting off on me at stop signs and red lights I had to put my foot on the brake and gas to keep it running then it started running hot.We replaced the clutch fan and then the water pump went out we replaced that now it wont stay running.Now we are replacing the fuel filter crossing my fingers and praying this is it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I mean we changed the thermostat first and so on


So far mine is running

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

There is apparently more than one thing that can make this happen. I realize that the original post was a year ago but for the sake of anyone who may read these - I had the same problem on my 97 and one solution is that if the battery goes dead after having been locked by the key fob which sets the security system, then you open the door with the key, get the battery charged, it will not stay running. You have to use the key fob, I suggest locking the doors with it, then open the doors with it, disarming the security system, and it will run. Worked fine for months. Problem is I since have had other issues, which is why I came here, it will not stay running, key fob makes no difference, and all the gauges are dead but fuses are fine. It may be the computer, don't know yet.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

I had this issue. It's either your crankshaft sensor or mass flow sensor... 3 option could be camshaft sensor. (Least likely ) but all 3 has similar symptoms.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Wayne Steinmacher

Use the gas pedal to help the engine start. Immediately go for a 10 minute drive. For 1996+ Jeeps, the OBD-II engine computer (ECU/PCM) re- boots, and the idle settings are deleted, when you: (1) let the battery run down by leaving the lights or radio on, (2) disconnect the battery for an extended period of time, (3) or when the battery goes bad and needs replacing. Your symptoms are: (1) having difficulties starting the engine without depressing the gas pedal, and (2) the engine will have a low idle and probably stall unless you keep your foot on the gas pedal. The ECU will relearn the idle settings after a short period of driving and the engine will start and idle normally. Loose, corroded, or damaged battery cables or ground wires may also cause or contribute to the problem. Begin with basic trouble shooting of the start and charge systems. Remove, clean, and firmly reconnect all the wires and cables to the battery, starter, and alternator. Look for corroded or damaged cables and replace as needed. Do the same for the grounding wires from the battery and engine to the Cherokee's frame/body. If the symptoms reoccur, you need to have your battery and/or the alternator load tested at a repair shop or auto parts store. This is usually a free service they offer to bring in potential customers. Even with low battery voltage, the engine will start, but the ECU can re-boot multiple times and a new battery may be required.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

try looking into the ignition under the key mine was bad cost me 2k just to finally figure that out all u need 2 do is take it out look and see if corrosion or burn mark on copper connections or contacts it should take a T20 to take apart

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

09/04/16 Mine was the ignition switch once that was replaced it started right up. When we pulled the old switch off it was burned. So for now I'm set


I have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee and I've been having issues it won't idal at all stalls out under 1k rpm I can start it by keeping my foot on the gas and it will run grate above 1k but stalls under that I replaced fuel filter pcv valve idal air control valve replaced crank sensor whole distributor cam sensor tps sensor cleaned whole throttle body also put in a new pcm cuz thought the old one was bad and the jeeps still having issues I can hear the fuel pump kick on too any one got an answer or maybe some ware to look

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Jeepin. Make sure you have 40 psi st the fuel rail. Even though the pump is running, it may be producing low pressure.


i have a 1998 grand Cherokee drove fine last night and today untill i went and picked my girlfriend up from work i went to leave and it turned over then died so i tried to turn over and gave it gas and still died im not a mechanic had to replace the front end and eliminate 4x4 changed all 4 breaks ran fine last night and earlier today but had to have it towed back it would be great if i can get some help the info ive found is it could be the fuel pump fuel filter or the fuel injectors or the carburetor id appreciate the help

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