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Old 10-04-2014, 08:46 AM
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Jeep stuttering/hesitating

Greetings Everyone!

I'd like to share my headache with the community in hopes that someone can help. I have a 2002 jeep wrangler TJ, 4-cylinder and lately it has been stuttering/hesitating after the car reaches its' operating temp.
To give more context, I've had a similar issue recently that a local mechanic said resulted from a bad o2 sensor and exhaust leaks. He fixed what he could and replaced the sensor. This fixed the issue, but he did mention there was another leak in the manifold that he couldn't get to? I asked him if it was okay to drive for the time being and he said yes. A couple months have passed and I'm now getting the same issue. I'm wondering if it is a result of the leak and if I've worsened the situation? Currently I'm noticing the same hesitation/stuttering accompanied now by a strong exhaust smell while driving. Also there seems to be a buildup on the engine itself as if there is an oil leak. I'm not 100% everything is related, but I'm willing to bet they have stemmed from the same unresolved issue.

I realize this jeep is 12 years old and that things are bound to happen. Unfortunately, I'm a broke college student and I've already spent quite a bit on other repairs recently. (new radiator, oil pressure sending switch, power steering sensor, leak repair, etc.) I'm at my wits end because this is my daily driver and I don't want to exacerbate the problem! PLEASE HELP FELLOW JEEP OWNERS!!! And thanks in advance for any suggestions

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Old 10-04-2014, 12:37 PM
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I've done a little more searching and it does seem that the exhaust and more specifically the o2 sensors could be the issue. Possibly both (upstream & downstream) were bad but only one was replaced? Before the mechanic likely cleared the codes, I did get P0133, P0455, and P0171.



I've also come across people stating that their catalytic converter was an issue and possible the fuel pump....

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Old 10-06-2014, 04:43 PM   #3
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i had the exact same issue on my 99 tj 2.5l and it ended up being the upstrem o2 sensor, once replaced it ran like a dream, try giving that a shot first because it is most likely an issue with an 02 sensor and i believe the upstream controls the amount of fuel being put into the engine, also after replacing the 02 sensor change your sparkplugs because they are probably worn down due to the excess fuel in the engine, (i used autolite platinums gapped to .035) they seem to run alot smoother than previous bosch platinum plugs, if you have any questions let me know
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by schul365 View Post
i had the exact same issue on my 99 tj 2.5l and it ended up being the upstrem o2 sensor, once replaced it ran like a dream, try giving that a shot first because it is most likely an issue with an 02 sensor and i believe the upstream controls the amount of fuel being put into the engine, also after replacing the 02 sensor change your sparkplugs because they are probably worn down due to the excess fuel in the engine, (i used autolite platinums gapped to .035) they seem to run alot smoother than previous bosch platinum plugs, if you have any questions let me know
Great advice! I'm going to try the upstream o2, and I will certainly change the plugs if that is the case. It's about time for a tune-up anyway. I have a few questions though: 1) Would it be better to use the oem copper plugs? 2) Would changing the o2 sensor also fix the bad exhaust smell or is that unrelated? 3) Out of curiosity, what would it cost to have a mechanic just put a new exhaust manifold in?
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bthomp38 View Post
Great advice! I'm going to try the upstream o2, and I will certainly change the plugs if that is the case. It's about time for a tune-up anyway. I have a few questions though: 1) Would it be better to use the oem copper plugs? 2) Would changing the o2 sensor also fix the bad exhaust smell or is that unrelated? 3) Out of curiosity, what would it cost to have a mechanic just put a new exhaust manifold in?
im not sure if it makes a difference all together but i know on my jepe when i changed to platinum plugs i got a power increase and it seems to be driving more smoothly, and yes it would help get rid of the bad exhaust smell, and it depends on where you bring it and what type/brand of manifold you get
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