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Old 03-24-2012, 10:59 AM   #1
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Unhappy Can't find the source of the problem with my 2001 wrangler sport!

I SERIOUSLY NEED SOME HELP!

Okay, let me give you a little bit of background information on all that has happened to my poor little Jeep. The first thing that went out was my radiator, I replaced it. Then I was told I had a bad battery, replaced that as well. Then when my battery wouldn't charge, I had to replace the alternator. Come to find out, after I replaced the battery and alternator, it was neither of that, it was my computer. So I replaced the computer and got it remapped. But this is not my main problem.

Immediately after my radiator cracked I started having problems with the acceleration. Whenever I place my foot on the gas it SLOOOOOWLY accelerates, and it sputters when it's shifting gears, and sometimes even makes a clanking sound. Also, when its idling it rumbles a lot. For a while it only did it every few days whenever my tank was getting low on gas, but now it has gotten more frequent. My father initially thought that the engine was misfiring so he replaced the spark plugs. Well, they have new spark plugs and I'm still having problems. I've also been told that a couple of my cylinders are misfiring??? I've had a diagnostic scan run on it, and it came out with NINE different codes!!! Cylinders 2 and 6 are misfiring, and also something wrong with fuel injector 5 and 6. (As well as other things like a pinched hose, and EVAP leaks??) Well I was told that if I put some Lucas fuel injector cleaner that that could solve it. It didn't.... of course, as usual. I've been told that I may need my wires replaced and new rotar caps?? I'm new to all these engine terms so correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, I'm at a loss, I've been told SO many different things, I just don't know what to do anymore. If someone has any idea of what it is and how much it could cost me to fix, that'd be awesome! I've put over 600$ in my Jeep in the past year trying to get it back to running good, I'm ready for it to be all over with!!

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Old 03-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Thing that come to mind is a failing fuel pump. It would make sense because as gas gets lower, its harder for the pump to pump it to the engine... I think they are pretty cheap, but you have to drop the tank. Sparkplugs were my first thought, but since you replaced them I would think its the fuel pump. Did you also replace the spark plug wires? Best of luck
Don't quote me on these, just some ideas

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Old 03-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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wow..... I feel your pain and sorry for all your troubles. I am not local to you, but I can try to help rule out a few things as others will.

Some of what I will say will come from my years of troubleshooting/diagnostics on other vehicles and may not be Jeep specific (can't give you EXACT info for the Jeep)... just so you know.

I agree with the previous post, first off...fuel pump and filter should be checked- you said when you were low on fuel, it would act up. I had a bad fuel pump and dirty strainer in one of my vehicles (Internal in the tank) that reacted the same way yours is when below half... even went into to limp mode and die on me. When I filled it up, cleared the codes, I had no problems at all until I got below half a tank. Not saying this is the ONLY problem, but it matches the description. Does it act up on a full tank?

Misfires can be contributed to many things and I can't place a finger on the one that causes this for you... but the starvation of fuel can be a factor.

When your radiator cracked, did you overheat? Have you checked for oil in the water or water in the oil? Overheating the engine and cause the head gasket to fail on many vehicles. Have you done a compression check to ensure all cylinders are within 5-10% of each other? This alone can tell you if you have engine trouble.

If you have the list of codes, please post them up with or without a detailed description. MANY folks here have years of experience under their belts and collectively can help you more than you know....

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Old 03-24-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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I'd rule out compression issues and do a compression test first. If you did overheat the heads when the radiator broke, then that's not good. If you lifted a HG you could have pressurized the radiator and caused it to burst. I'd also check the oil and test the radiator fluid for compression gasses. Another thing to check would be your gas tank pressure. If the evap line is pinched, the tank wont vent. If you hear a hiss when you open the cap, then that is the cause of your other misfire issues. I wrote this for my mustang customers.
A single misfire can be caused by low compression due to bad ring seals or valve issues, a bad COP (coil on plug), a bad fuel injector, or a bad spark plug. The first thing to do is to check that all the plugs are tight on the injectors and COPs. Sometimes they can get knocked off when cleaning the motor. If they are on tight it would be a good idea to swap the COP to a different cylinder and clear the DTC code. If the code follows the COP, then you have a bad COP, if it stays at the same cylinder you should swap the fuel injector to a different cylinder. While you swap the COP it is a great idea to pull the spark plug to look for issues such as a black tip, white tip, oily tip, broken electrode, etc. If the plug looks fine, move on to the injector swap. If the injector swap does not change where the code is then you should have the compression checked.

Spark Blow out and Random Misfire codes

These issues are generally caused by an improper air fuel ratio. If the mixture is too rich or too lean you may get the random misfire code. It is possible that an electrical issue can cause this code as well, but this is more rare. It would be a good idea to look for vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks, and put in new spark plugs if they are old. A bad o2 sensor can also cause issues like this. If you are getting spark blow out at high rpm and wide open throttle this can be caused by too much boost, too big of a spark plug gap, too lean or rich of an AFR, or low compression. Many times an aftermarket ignition can clear up the spark blow out by increasing the voltage for a more powerful spark. If not, tighten the gap up.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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A problem with the fuel pump has been in the back of my mind, but the cylinder misfires are throwing me off a bit... I just didn't know if a problem like that would affect the cylinders??? I'm totally new to car repairs, so it's like a foreign language for me! And no the spark plug wires were not replaced, I've actually been told that's ANOTHER possibility as well. Thanks for the help though, any insight on what is wrong is appreciated!
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Get it to a mechanic with an ounce of intelligence as he should be able to diagnose it fairly easily. Don't ask buddies, don't ask Dad, get it to someone that can put 2 and 2 together and won't make you throw away money needlessly. You have a 2001 so your engine uses coil packs and not a distributor so you're apparently getting piss poor advice if someone recommends replacing a cap & rotor and any kind of engine additive will NEVER "cure" a problem. If I had to guess I would say one of the problems you may have is a bad coil pack--but again that's something a mechanic can figure out very easily.

And I'm sorry if I sound like the old guy yelling at the kids to stay off the lawn. I'm guessing you're a relatively young guy and as a parent to a 23 year old daughter I am quite experienced in dealing with the fallout from her taking the advice of her genius friends. This is a girl that bought a $3000 car with her boyfriend without test driving it first only to have it blow a headgasket 10 miles down the road (the engine looked "clean" so they bought it).
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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Okay, lots of new information being thrown at me, but it all seems to revolve around the same thing so maybe I can finally get to the root of this. I have the codes that I can post:

P1281
P0205
P1486
P0206
P0300
P0302
P0306
P0442
P0455

And yes, when my radiator cracked it DID overheat. And no, when the tank is completely full I have not had any problems, and no compression check has been done either.

Thanks for the replies so far, I've been so overwhelmed the past few months!!
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Blackpony04 View Post
Get it to a mechanic with an ounce of intelligence as he should be able to diagnose it fairly easily. Don't ask buddies, don't ask Dad, get it to someone that can put 2 and 2 together and won't make you throw away money needlessly. You have a 2001 so your engine uses coil packs and not a distributor so you're apparently getting piss poor advice if someone recommends replacing a cap & rotor and any kind of engine additive will NEVER "cure" a problem. If I had to guess I would say one of the problems you may have is a bad coil pack--but again that's something a mechanic can figure out very easily.

And I'm sorry if I sound like the old guy yelling at the kids to stay off the lawn. I'm guessing you're a relatively young guy and as a parent to a 23 year old daughter I am quite experienced in dealing with the fallout from her taking the advice of her genius friends. This is a girl that bought a $3000 car with her boyfriend without test driving it first only to have it blow a headgasket 10 miles down the road (the engine looked "clean" so they bought it).

Yeah, I agree I DO need to take it to a mechanic, but I work a minimum wage job and can't seem to find the money to pay someone to look at it. Most of the "advice" I've gotten from where I live are from actual mechanics. Maybe they're all idiots (Not you guys!), but I haven't found a solution yet but I'm not giving up! And the part about a relatively young guy, I'm actually a 20 year old woman who's ready to pull her hair out because all the men in her life DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!! And I apologize for your daughter, even I wouldn't buy a car for $3000 without test driving or looking at the engine good.

Anyway, I've got about $3500 coming in from a student loan I took out and this is the first thing on my list to take car of. So I may just have to pay someone to look at it. I was just hoping that this was something easy to solve once I knew EXACTLY what it was.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cnjohnson View Post
Yeah, I agree I DO need to take it to a mechanic, but I work a minimum wage job and can't seem to find the money to pay someone to look at it. Most of the "advice" I've gotten from where I live are from actual mechanics. Maybe they're all idiots (Not you guys!), but I haven't found a solution yet but I'm not giving up! And the part about a relatively young guy, I'm actually a 20 year old woman who's ready to pull her hair out because all the men in her life DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!! And I apologize for your daughter, even I wouldn't buy a car for $3000 without test driving or looking at the engine good.

Anyway, I've got about $3500 coming in from a student loan I took out and this is the first thing on my list to take car of. So I may just have to pay someone to look at it. I was just hoping that this was something easy to solve once I knew EXACTLY what it was.
It's worth the coin to have it diagnosed by a professional and I completely understand your money situation and desire to do-it-yourself to save money. While the mechanic may not be able to diagnose everything you should have a really solid place to start so you'll have an idea what you're looking at repair wise. And welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:23 PM   #10
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And yes, when my radiator cracked it DID overheat. And no, when the tank is completely full I have not had any problems, and no compression check has been done either.

Thanks for the replies so far, I've been so overwhelmed the past few months!!
OK... Now we can assume that you have a possible fuel pump/delivery problem since you have no signs of problems with a full tank. Best to empty the tank the best way you can and pull the pump unit. I haven't personally done this to my Jeep, but I have on other rides. I have found metal shavings/debris in the tanks with clogged sock filters as well.

SOMEONE ELSE MAY HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THE JEEP FUEL PUMPS... ( hint, hint)

Most important... get the compression check done to rule out HG , head or ring failure. ALSO... check your oil for water( milky looking substance in the coolant) and water in the oil ( same milky substance stuck to dipstick)
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
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yep, a mechanic sometimes is the way to go, but some knowledge from on here will help you with understanding if they are jerking you around. If they start throwing out the thoughts you hear of on here then you are on the right track..if they also say you need new u-joints...there looking in the wrong spot! or selling you something your not interested in at the moment.

Diagnostics can run 90.00 an hour, so with out telling them there business i try to tell them what exactly to look for. telling them all the symptoms and info that leads up to it helps, write it all down. tell them you are concerned about compression and the head gasket, you are concerned about the coil pack, and concerned about the fuel pomp and pressure.

you wont be able to out shop talk them, but you will show them that looking at your transfer case is NOT the reason you are there.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #12
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If you haves decent set if tools you can figure this out. A harbor freight compression tester will cost less than half of any diagnosis. Chances are people of this forum are smatter than your mechanic.if you need it fixed right away you might have to pay for a mechanic.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:04 AM   #13
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i am all about tackling a project to diagnose something. BUT, and I am not saying anything about age or gender, do you have a garage to work in? floor jack? tools across the whole spectrum (8mm to 18mm, shallow to deep well sockets etc.) ways to remedy a broken bolt?

I only say this because if you dive into it and can't get out, you are in worse shape than where you started at. Many a day I went out to check something and turned it into a nightmare due something simple as moving a wire and it was dry rotted and needed replacing, go to loosen a bolt and have it snap off with little or no torque on it. go to tighten something and have it strip the threads. just be aware of what you are getting into if you diagnose and fix yourself
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:06 AM   #14
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Most important... get the compression check done to rule out HG , head or ring failure. ALSO... check your oil for water( milky looking substance in the coolant) and water in the oil ( same milky substance stuck to dipstick)
this to me is the easiest and most important thing you can do at the moment

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