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Old 02-19-2014, 07:23 PM
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Electrical problems

For the past three weeks on my 97, the gas gage has been acting funny. It would say I would have a full tank after I filled it then after good hour of driving, it would say I had a full tank. then I would turn her off for a few minutes then I would turn her on, it would show that some gas has been used. Now it gets more troubling for me. Filled her up last night to the brim. Drove her home from work (I work at a gas station) which is 20 minutes. Then I drove to my friend's house today for a total of 40 minutes on the highway. It shows that I used a 1/4 of a tank of gas. I know jeeps doesn't have the best gas mileage but this gets better. The needle then went back a little towards the 'full' side.*

Part two of the puzzle: while I was at my friend's house when I pulled in, it showed I had low oil pressure (almost zero) at idle but driving around, I has normal or a little less than normal. My oil is filled up to the right amount.*

The cigar lighter and low beams on it does not work. Not the fuse and the lights are new. I will be bringing her into the mechanic tomorrow to fix those two problems. Could these gauges be part of that electrical problem? Hopefully the gas gauge is broken and I didn't use 1/4 of a tank in two hours. While she is in the shop, should I have the O2 censor looked at to see if it's working? Any other parts that could lead to MPG problems be looked at too?*

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Old 02-19-2014, 07:30 PM   #2
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As far as your gas problem goes that might not be an electrical problem. It may be a faulty fuel regulator. Your oil pressure my be a result of a faulty sending unit.

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Old 02-19-2014, 07:42 PM   #3
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as far as the gas gauge goes it sounds like it could be a failing sending unit, down side is!! it's in the tank, the fuel pressure regulator WILL NOT cause that problem.

Oil pressure sending units are known to go bad on the TJ quite often. When was your last oil change? may be due for an oil change and the pressure being shown is correct. Despite the oil pressure gauge "normal reading" a good rule of thumb is 10 psi per 1,000 RPM.

Cigar lighter and headlight are likely not a connected issue. the high beams not working could be a number of things. The cigar lighter is a fairly simple circuit and IIRC has a second fuse under the hood.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:52 PM
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The high beams work fine but not the low beams actually. Either way, still going to be fixed for sure.

I got an oil change maybe 500ish miles ago.

Would the gas sending unit be the cause of the larger amount of gas being used if that has gauge is actually right? Guessing because it's in the tank, its going to cost a ton to replace.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:58 PM   #5
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at this point i think the MPG is the least of your worries. But if it truly is a concern of yours then the only way to calculate MPG right now in your situation is to reset the trip meter, top off the tank (let it fill till the pump cuts off, don't add extra) drive the jeep, when you fill up again, do just like before (stopping when the pump shuts off). Take the miles driven divide by gallons and that is you MPG. For example 100 miles driven, divided by 7.35 gallons to top off again = 13.6 MPG. Those are just random numbers i threw in ther but you get the idea.

It is also good to use a GPS or smartphone app to make sure that your speedo is accurate. If not then that will effect the mileage shown on the trip meter and will throw the figures off as well
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:07 PM
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So what would be the number one problem from my little list? I also have the P0551 power steering sensor problem.

Also looked up about recalls for the 97 and it says there is a recall on the fuel delivery system. Should I call up my local Jeep dealership before I have my mechanic to look at it? Might get a new free one *crosses fingers*
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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that code is for a switch that goes in the power steering line, you can change that yourself takes about 10 minutes tops. Not going to get much out of the dealership I would think, the Jeep is 17 years old.

I would reccommend getting a friend that knows mechanics a little, maybe find a local Jeep club, guys there are always willing to help. If you run to a mechanic every single time you have small problems like these you will A) always be ther and B) go broke paying his prices. A Used TJ is a labor of love. Get yourself a decent set of tools and start doing stuff on your own. You will learn as you go and this forum has a wealth of knowledge. Not trying to be hard on you but it is what it is!
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:33 PM
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True on the switch. Planning on doing that myself with my auto buddies. Problem is we never really worked on anything like a jeep. Just an BMW, Pontiac, Buick and some ricer. I do try my best to get my car fixed before heading to the mechanic but the five of us can do only so much sadly. Toss in the fact all of us is in school till spring makes it hard to syic up for a long period of time. The biggest thing I have done was a radiator change on my old 90 Buick Riveria.

Does the fuel sending unit effect my MPG at all?

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Old 02-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #9
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Sending unit will not affect MPG.

Driving habits is the number one contributor to MPG in a TJ. Shift early (around 2K RPMs) don't try to rush leaving a red light (you won't be fast than the car next to you anyways [most likely])

and remember it has the aerodynamics of a brick, and low hanging axles that catch air. Jeeps just suck as far as MPG goes. I also have a 98 4 Cyl with 6" lift and 35" tires. I do good to get 16 MPG on the highway
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:32 PM   #10
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Have you done any work around the engine? A loose ground may be causing all the problems.

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