'97 Jeep Grand Cherokee intermittently "losing power" while driving - no code - help?


Asked by Aug 09, 2013 at 01:34 AM about the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

'97 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Laredo, V6/4.0) has started intermittently "losing power"
while driving. Occasionally it actually dies (twice going uphill, once stressed, once
cold). Usually it just acts like it's about to stall, but engine doesn't fully die. Doesn't
respond to pressing gas pedal. RPMs and speed just drop with no other symptom and
recover within 5-10 seconds. Sometimes does it 3 times in 5 minutes, sometimes can
drive for hours without it happening at all. When it does happen - no constant - all
speeds, multiple elevations, uphill/downhill/flat, different weather, AC on, AC off,
different time of day - will not spit out a code, mechanic cannot find cause. Says there
is about 5lbs back pressure on exhaust but doubts that's it. He gave up. Help???

14 Answers


I know this may sound WAAAAAYYY off but did you check the battery? When I first got my Liberty she was working perfectly and then just nothing...I mean it was basically just a rock in the driveway. When the mechanic looked at it there was corrosion where the battery was connected. I went to Autozone and bought this gel stuff they have at the register for like $3 and put it on and it never happened again.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I appreciate the idea - forgot to add what we've tried. Did have the battery tested, at 2 different places. Cleaned one of the battery contact cables and went to replace the ground cable but it's 2 parts and they only had one part, so they replaced 1 part of it. Just went to order it on Amazon, not there - will look around, but doubt it's battery, not ruling out entirely. Alternator tested fine as well. Fluids fine, replaced air filter. Replaced coil since initially it did spit out a code saying something about something related to the coil (could have been several things), but the losing power/stalling issue wasn't the coil :(


if it looses power and kinda sputters, its probably the fuel pump. If it just cuts out,(like turning off the key) prob. electrical problem. Go drive the vehical and accelerate wide open throttle, like your getting on the interstate. stay in it hard. If it startes to sputter, you need a fuel pump.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

It's been getting worse, got a code reader. Same code - 351. Cleared it, died again - definitely cutting out/electrical - not sputtering (plus the code helps ;) ) - But it's not the coil itself, so now it's a matter of WHAT is producing the problem/code.


try to jump the dark green wire with red tracer at ign. coil to battery voltage(positive side of battery) and see if it runs ok. take a small paperclip, straighten part of it and backprobe this wire at coil by pushing paper clip end between the wire and the soft rubber around the wire in the connector. once you have it pushed in, hook up the battery voltage to it. start eng and see how it runs. dont hook battery to other wire at coil as this my damage the pcm. If this fixes it, contact me again and I will tell you how to wire it into the harness. if this does not fix it odds are you need a pcm. but first you will need to verify that the wire from pcm to coil is good...try this test first, and let me know what happens.......

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

go to jeepforum.com and search dirty dozen. it will give you a lot more info then most of us can. it is also really easy to follow even if you don't have a lot of mechanical knowledge

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

My Jeep is having a similar problem. It will only run when I have my foot on the gas, The minute I let off, it dies. Have replaced battery, cleaned fuel injector. Any suggestions?

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

How do you wire the coil wire into the harness

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

this sounds like a cam-shaft sensor issue


TOT - didnyou ever reaolve this issue? I am experiencing the same problem but no code, engine all but dies and does not respond to throttle input. Few moments later its comes back to life. Since it happens immediately for me and recovers quickly I've ruled out a fuel issue - no sputtering/jerking/etc. I suspect the crank position sensor or its wiring might be the cause for me and perhaps you. On a lot of models the crank position is usesd for reference in controlling the ignition system. If the module loses input it may be preventing the ignition system from firing. So that is what I am going to try.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Its your pcm in other words its your computer I have a 1997 jeep grand Cherokee with the same problems

My dad owns a 96 cherokee and similar symptoms to all of these. Almost gave up on it and sold it but you will not believe the solution. One of the sensors had a bent prong which was shorting out and causing all of the problems. Drove better then it ever has while hes had it. Hope this helps with some issues. Check all the sensor prongs.


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).

When we first bought my gc, my dad drove it for over an hour on the highway with no problems and then when he left his house to surprise me with it, the engine cut out and he had to coast into a parking lot. No check engine light or any codes either. It started several times after, though and it turns out it was the computer. We replaced it and it hasn't had that problem since.

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