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madster 04-05-2010 10:18 PM

please please please HELP.
Iím totally at a loss. I purchased my 97 Jeep TJ Sahara about 11 years and 100,000 miles ago. This December, I started having problems with it for the first time...other than the a/c. I got to see the check engine light turn on for the first time. My jeep started stalling after I drove it for a few miles. It would just drop the RPM's so low that it would stall out no matter how fast I was driving. When I would try to restart it would but as soon as I tap the gas pedal the car stalls out. It starts right up again but stalls immediately when I press the gas. If I leave it off and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes it starts right up and drives perfect for a few miles. It happens again and again and I let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes each time to get it going. A mechanic told me that it was probably my catalytic converter so I replaced it with a magnaflow one and new muffler. I reused the o2 sensors and took it for a drive on the freeway. Once again at like 70mph it sputtered and stalled out again. Again if I let it sit it starts right up again and stalls out after driving for a while again. I checked for codes by turning the ignition on and off a few times and got the code 24 (TPS). I went to the parts store and got a new TPS, installed it and the check engine light turned off. I figured PROBLEM solved so I drove it confidently. AGAIN after a few miles the check engine light turned on and it stalled exactly like before I replaced the TPS. This time when I checked for codes, I get code 31 instead of code 24. I have the exact same symptom so I guess the TPS was not the solution even though the code 24 (TPS) went away. When my jeep runs it runs awesome. I just want my jeep to be reliable again. I am sure someone out there has had this problem and solved it so please help. :banghead:

CityBoy 04-05-2010 10:23 PM

I'm gunna let others chime in, but it sound like an O2 sensor to me..

01bud 04-05-2010 10:39 PM

code 24 is tps circuit as you know.code 31 is evap system.i dont think an evap problem will cause your problem.sounds like a fuel dilvery problem.

jtalar 04-05-2010 10:42 PM

When is the last time you changed your plugs?

Fweaky 04-05-2010 10:43 PM

I think code 31 has to do with the evaporator purge canister. Start by checking the connections and vacuum lines and solonoid. Also check your gas cap.

01bud 04-05-2010 11:03 PM

if you get the "p" code you can find out what part of the evap has failed.

madster 04-06-2010 12:48 AM

Thanks for the replies. I changed my plugs 6000 miles ago. I have replaced my fuel cap but haven't checked anything else. I am planing to try and tak it to a auto parts place to have it scanned. I hope their scanner will be more specific than just saying code 31. Any idea on how I can know if its a fuel delivery problem and would that be a problem that causes it to run fine for a few miles then need a rest to start working again?

Tigerfan 04-06-2010 08:47 AM

I had a similar problem with my 87 cherokee with the 6 in it. It turned out to be a bad distriburtor. Maybe look into that.:confused:

NVRDLMO 04-06-2010 08:54 AM

^ My wife's Xterra had similar issue's and it turnedd out to be the distributor. $700 for that POS !:banghead:

YAHAHA 04-06-2010 09:00 AM

Auto parts stores are full of hacks & wannabes. I know, I work at one. If you can't figure it out, take the Jeep to a certified mechanic. Stop nickel & diming yourself to death fixing things that aren't wrong.

I like to work on my own vehicles but I hate throwing money around on things that may not be the problem.

Good luck!

mrcarcrazy 04-06-2010 09:01 AM

90 Attachment(s)
Definitely run it by autozone to get all the codes pulled. this will be a helpful place to start. Don't take any of their advice. You shouldn't need a "certified mechanic".

Important note

Just because a code says something doesn't mean that's the exact part that failed. lots of times the codes will point out a circuit like the Camshaft position sensor circuit bank 1. This doesn't always mean the sensor itself is bad. sometimes its a wiring issue, sometimes its some other oddball thing. So don't just buy whatever part the code says. get the codes, post them up, and let the discussion begin - it will save you money and frustration.

cherokee980 04-06-2010 12:17 PM

sounds like a TPS problem to me

YAHAHA 04-06-2010 12:23 PM

As soon as I find my red stapler, I'll run the TPS report & post it for review.

madster 04-06-2010 01:37 PM

Thanks guys. I'm going to run it to the autozone ASAP then I will post the results. I haven't gone to the certified mechanic because they will say "fixed it" and I will drive away and it will stall out on me again. I probably need to take a mechanic for a drive with me so he can be there when it shuts down on the freeway.

Dadwithajeep 04-06-2010 01:55 PM

Madster Check Fuel filter

I'm brand new to this forum, but I've experienced problems very similiar on other vehicles. One was in a VW, it would run like a champ, then sputter and stall. Let is it set, and I'd go great for a few miles and same thing. I found (and I know I'll get lambasted to for this), but debris had gotten past my fuel filter and was clogging the in line to my fuel pump, as soon as it stalled it would settle back into the line and allow it to start, then it would move slowly back up the line and clog it again. I'm sure you've done it, but I'd check my fuel filter and drain the lines just to make sure no debris is causing this.


mrcarcrazy 04-06-2010 02:08 PM

90 Attachment(s)
only bad part is Jeep's fuel filter is attached to the pump...if you replace one, you replace both.

In theory fuel starvation theory...cause a lean fuel mix code.

rrich 04-06-2010 02:14 PM

You really haven't given us much to go on, just the fact it dies and restarts later.

While it won't start:
Check for spark - pull a plug wire, slip a Phillips screwdriver with an insulated handle in the end of the wire, hold it close to ground while someone cranks it.

No spark? Pull the center wire out of the distributor cap, put the screwdriver in the wire - from the coil and try it again. Still no spark? Replace coil.

Good spark? There should be what looks like a tire valve on the fuel line by the engine. When it won't start, quickly depress the needle inside it - if you get good spray of fuel it eliminates the fuel pump, lines, cap, etc.

From your symptoms I suspect you have the common problem of an intermittant coil -- they overheat and quit. When they cool down they work again for a few minutes, then quit again.

But do the tests first instead of just throwing parts at it.

Let us know what you find - post it here.

madster 04-07-2010 02:40 PM

I drove it to the parts store and it turned off on me again so I checked the valve on the fuel line and it has plenty of fuel to spray at me. I had a friend with me and he checked the spark at the coil, it had spark. I waited a bit and drove it to his house to look at the jeep closer. I noticed that the coil had some cracks on the plastic body so I bought a new one and replaced it and drove to the Advance Autoparts store. It stoped on me a few more times before making it there but I finally made it and got it scanned.

The scanner displayeed P0441 EVAP EMMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM PURGE FLOW FAULT. He recommended I clean the EGR. I had my jeep towed home and have not tried anything else. Now I have a new TPS and new coil.

rrich 04-07-2010 05:37 PM

Do did the new coil work?

P0441 code - it's not related to your symptom - look under the power brake unit, farther down, look for a vacuum hose that slips off. It again is typical - factory ran the hose in such a way there's tension on it - it eventually slips off and sets that code.
Reroute the hose better and slip it back on. If that was it, the light should go off withing a couple of starts, and eventually the stored code will go away.

Should have said before - look at the coil wire - if there is any whitish burned marks on it - replace it. Those marks are where the spark's been jumping through the insulation. Same with the coil - the whitish marks.

madster 04-07-2010 11:14 PM

rrich, the new coil didn't fix my problem. How would I know if my distributor is the problem? Now it drives fine for about one mile then the RPM drop and my jeep stalls. If I immediately try to re start it, it will idle for 30 seconds or so then the rpm’s will drop so low that it dies. After a few minutes it starts up and I can drive it a few more feet before it dies again.

rrich 04-08-2010 02:10 AM

It has fuel, and it had spark at the coil.

Next step would be to see if it has spark at the plugs.
Do it when it won't start, else it's meaningless.
It should be a thin crispy blue spark, not red or yellow.

No good spark there?
Look closely inside the cap - condensaton?
Carbon or white tracks on the rotor or between the terminals in the cap.

Have you changed plugs recently with something other than what the underhood sticker calls for?

madster 04-11-2010 08:54 PM

I checked for spark when my TJ stalled and I got no spark from the plug. I replaced the car and rotor but have not had time to test drive it long enough to get it to stall out. I hope to drive it tomorrow. Thanks for all the help.

akswinehart 04-11-2010 10:01 PM

I hope that fixed your problem, but if it didn't, next time it stalles open your gas cap and try to drive it, I know you checked the fuel on the fuel rail, but that didn't indicate volume, just a little spray at you (enough to idle for a few sec) it sounds a lot like a fuel vent problem, basically the jeep uses enough fuel (the 1st mile you drive) until it creates negative pressure in the tank not allowing proper fuel flow.

let us know how it turns out

Tiburon 04-11-2010 10:37 PM

I just dealt with exactly what you are talking about for 3 months. I went thru 3 new TPS sensors from a parts store. I finnally figured it was something more to it but was wrong. I guess the parts store TPS was sub par. Go to the dealer and get one throw it in and watch your troubles go away.

salewis 04-12-2010 03:50 AM

Same thing happened to my 04, but it never completely died, just sputtered really bad at highway speeds. Got the codes ran and came back as a bad TPS. Had it replaced but the problem didnt go away. Like Tiburon said, it ended up that the TPS unit from autozone wasnt good enough. Got one from the Chrysler dealership and now it runs great.

madster 04-13-2010 01:50 PM

Thats a big 10-4, I will check the gas cap if it stalls on me again. I haven't had time to drive it due to heavy rain. I might just have to try another TPS as well if the problem continues. I also checked and I have autolite platinum plugs. I have had them for a few thousand miles and they look good so I don't think thats the problem. Thanks for all the help guys. I really want to get my TJ back to being my "reliable" vehicle. Beach time is coming also.

04tjrubicon 04-13-2010 01:55 PM

can u just clean the sensor?
with spray electrical cleaner

Tiburon 04-14-2010 09:30 PM


Originally Posted by 04tjrubicon (Post 597385)
can u just clean the sensor?
with spray electrical cleaner

Negative. its a potentiometer and its on a spring return not a matter of being 'dirty' wish it was would have been a cheaper fix

madster 04-26-2010 05:37 PM

I finally got to drive my Jeep on Sunday and all seemed perfect, no check engine light and I thought replacing the dist. cap and rotor was my fix. Just as I thought that to myself, my jeep shut down on me again. All of a sudden the idle gets so low that if I even try to tap on the gas, it dies. Again it starts right up and idles for a few seconds then dies out. I still have not remembered to remove the cap when the jeep is stalling. Now my check engine light is back on and flashes code 23. This is the first time I get this code and I don't know if this has anything to do with my problem. It seems every time I replace something, a new code shows up. So far I have replaced the TPS, coil, dist. cap and rotor. I pulled out a spark plug, #6, and the plug looked clean. I have been using Autolite AP985 for the past year or so. I'm kinda thinking I have to break down and take my jeep to the dealer for the first time since 1999.

chrisb0108 04-26-2010 06:28 PM

Why don't you try a TPS sensor from Chrysler since some other here keep mentioning the ones from autozone don't seem to be good ones?...instead of getting bent over by the dealer, cuz you know you'll get charged an arm and both legs when you go there. :D

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