Oil pressure drop and engine dies 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon


Asked by Nov 19, 2015 at 11:43 AM about the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just got my Jeep back after a year in Divorce court. Supposedly it was not
driven in that time. It was running good a year ago. Regular matinence.  Upon
shipping my ex said it needed a new battery which he replaced. Upon delivery it
starts but while driving the oil pressure drops and the engine stalls. I replaced
the filter and changed the oil but it's still happening It also seems to run hot. for
just ideling. Could it be the oil pump? Or the screen in the oil pan?  Any help
would be appreciated. Thanks. Sharon.

6 Answers


It starts but wont idle? Or starts, idles a few seconds, and dies? That could be called Start / run / die. The pressure can drop because the engine slows and stops. Rather than the engine stops because the pressure drops. Engines will continue to run but light a light, or show "gauge" indicator "reading" to prompt the driver to shut it off. They would have to have added cut off switch for loss of pressure to cause dying. That's special added changes often used for fleets or RV's with multiple drivres who can pay no attention. If you experience start / run / die, you are not alone. These beauties are becomming famous. But there are several possible issues. some are hard to test or get them to exhibit. When this thing doest the S/R/D, can you count to like, 3 ? and spraying carb spray at the throttle body does not make it continue to run? That can mean the computer is for Anti Theft. Is the vehicle supposed to be Anti Theft? Is the original computer in it? You have to use a scan tool, or determine why it does not want to continue injector pulse, perhaps. Some have bad brains, some have CKP crank shaft position sensor issues. CAM sensor issues. fuel pump issues, and etc etc. even connector fit issues. This vehicle needs competent help, like the Jeep dealer. Guesses add up fast. dont recommend guessing. Aged sensors, harness issues, injector issues, ASD relay issues. You need a tech who can go through the no start tests, eliminate each step and that part, getting to the cause. I have heard many ideas and read many websites. The magic fix ? Three days or two weeks later the guy comes back on saying, its doing it again new this, new that. spent hundreds, still doing it. well? It is a Jeep. Let Jeep fix it. there is no one answer but it sounds like AntiTheft lockout, One lady wrote in saying her passenger doorlock would unlock it ? Dont know, your car should be able to give codes in the message center and blink a security or antitheft light. Seek real professional tech hands on repair, and make them say if their ideas are going to be effective and last. Dont authorize repairs without complete assurance backing up the validity. Having an extended warranty may still be possible? I dont know. But getting service manual to download online for purchase can speed up and simplify diag without money to pay to get it done by the jeep dealer. I would tow it there, leave it there, and not expect much. if you were pleasantly surprised? I would be surprised. Yours is a few years newer than the ones I thought I had forgotten. I fixed em, took some doin, and paying the bill was not a real priority for those I helped, dont be like them.


Theirs were an XJ and a ZJ they are not the same, service bulletins apply, different computers in different ones, Research can mean everything. You have absolutely no clue about the plethora of diverse uses of parts and systems jeep used, till you start trying to start one, and have to answer the info for look up and find the right info pertaining to the right parts on the right year, make, model, options. Then use only CROWN automotive parts to keep from causing other new problems, because of tolerances and changes updating them. Very important. The ones I worked on were straight 6 and each had several recalls and bulletins left undone and no maintenance, and the two went to the same synogogue, I think. The mistakes Jeep left in the manuals have to be corrected with manual updates too. Then high miles, exponentially adds additional no start, hard start, and start rub die causes.


These people had loose wires, and bad connections, damaged harnesses, wrong parts, filters plugged solid, worn out timing chains, Bad grounds, never was a ground problems, you name it. Non communicative brain dead computers, cracked coils, coolant corroded connections, shorted sensor harnesses, the list grew each day and numerous trips to gather service manual info, then find its a mistake, then find the update. One took over 30 days of being on crutches and in severe pain, just to get it goin and off the landlords property, using my own money. Then they refused to pay and I told them drag it away before I part it out. Yeah, let your dealer give you your testing and diag. the 2003 can be much simpler since the company transition had calmed down and the mistakes wont plague the manuals so badly.


Make sure of the oil pressure issue. Have it checked and if it is really low then the issue has to be addressed before driving it anymore. If you had a nasty divorce I would be concerned about sabotage so have a pro take a look at it before driving it anymore.


For a S/R/D situation, no tests can be run yet. The oil pressure tests at idle and 2K RPM would be after it stays running. they cannot drive it currently. i would consider a look at the pressure when it would run, after Anti Theft lockout, or Bootstrap issue with the computer was resolved. there were service bulletins all around the issues. You need a tech with experience after the research for a TJ.


Complete also, any safety recalls, the automatics had safety issue with cable. The fuel systems had safety issues and there may or may not still be any outstanding recalls on it. The dealer completes those before repairs or diagnosis. You can read about their fuel tank issues on NHTSA. Make sure your brake lights work.! The switch had the issue there, for the ones I worked on. It works, then stops working, when you check it, it starts working again. Recalled. The crash speed was an issue, they changed the rule instead of recalling that. How does that pertain to this YMM ? You can read up and decide on any course of your own.

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