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Thread: Engine Cuts Out While Driving

  1. #1

    Default Engine Cuts Out While Driving

    I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee and recently the engine just cuts out and dies while driving. It has happened when the car has driven for awhile and is hotter but also when the engine is not hot at all. My husband replaced the plugs which were very bad but it is still doing it. Any ideas?

  2. #2

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    I think you'll get alot more responses in the Cherokee forum.

    A 2000 Cherokee has alot of electronic stuff that our older CJ's do not have. Good luck.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by rswood62 View Post
    I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee and recently the engine just cuts out and dies while driving. It has happened when the car has driven for awhile and is hotter but also when the engine is not hot at all. My husband replaced the plugs which were very bad but it is still doing it. Any ideas?
    I experienced that with my girlfriend's jeep.

    It happened randomly. I replaced the crank position sensor and the problem went away.

    At first I thought it was a fuel pump issue and perhaps the fuel pump was cutting out or something (she usually leaves very little gas in the tank and gas helps cool the pump)

    If you search for my name you'll find the thread I created.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

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    I'm having the exact same issue. Car will cut out while I'm driving it and of course never in a place that's convenient... as if those places existed.

    One mechanic said "might be the fuel pump but I wouldn't want to do the work and be wrong." Another said, "we got some guys that used to work for Jeep and they say it's always the crank sensor... but we don't want to do the work and be wrong."

    Both of them said I should drive it a while longer to see if it gets worse because of course it won't cut out for them.

    After reading this thread and Underwhere's thread I decided to have the crank sensor replaced and my fingers are crossed.

    Some of the other symptoms are after it cuts off it doesn't always start back up right away.

    Does anyone think I'm in the same boat? Does anyone think I'm going to end up replacing the fuel pump too?

    Also... I'm very thankful for this site, I'm sure every thread will be useful to me sooner or later

  5. #5

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    The easiest way to test the crank sensor is with a multimeter from radio shack.

    I think they're maybe 15 bucks?

    Test the resistance across some of the leads (I forget exactly which ones but I think i documented it in my other thread)

    The sensor is held in with 2 screws which are not the easiest to get to...but with long extensions you can do it.

  6. #6

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    Great thank you - my husband was thinking it was the crank position sensor but wasn't sure and doesn't have the right tools to get to it. I guess he'll have to get some. Thanks again - hope that's it.

  7. #7

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    I would recommend getting the jeep as high as possible so have enough room to work underneath.

    Get a bunch of ratchet extensions and a swivel head for the socket.

    you may need to ratchet from 2-3 feet away from the actual sensor because of the clutter down there.

  8. #8
    Registered Gojeep's Avatar
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    If it is the CPS you will have no spark or fuel.
    See my write up on it and replacing it.
    http://www.go.jeep-xj.info/HowtoCPSchange.htm

    My web site below:
    www.go.jeep-xj.info
    http://facebook.com/marcus.ohms

    Invention is a combination of brains and materials.
    The more brains you use, the less materials you need!

  9. #9

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    I appreciate all the information, I'll let you know how it turns out.

    You were right about mechanic shops... nobody has been able to say for sure "this is the problem."

  10. #10

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    You can't test a CPS with a meter and tell. It could be intermittent.

    It probably is the CPS.

  11. #11
    Stroker Fever Dino Savva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underwhere View Post
    I would recommend getting the jeep as high as possible so have enough room to work underneath.

    Get a bunch of ratchet extensions and a swivel head for the socket.

    you may need to ratchet from 2-3 feet away from the actual sensor because of the clutter down there.
    Having arms like an orangutan also helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by mistyjeep
    You can't test a CPS with a meter and tell. It could be intermittent.
    CPS problems are always are intermittent until the problem becomes terminal, so there's a high probability that you could have a faulty sensor that tests normal unless it's considerate enough to act up for you at exactly the right time.

    1992 XJ 4.6L "Poor Man's" Stroker
    202rwhp @ 4700rpm (248bhp)
    258rwtq @ 3400rpm (311lbft)
    1/4 mile: 14.63 @ 94.4, 3450lb curb
    AX15, NP231, D30/D35
    Jeep Performance, Jeep Tech, Junker to Stroker

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    I had the same problem years ago before I knew anything about Jeeps. The Jeep would cut out and won't start, I'd have it towed to the garage and it would start right up for them. The third time towed there is when it stayed dead.

    The issues that are stated sound exactly like the crank position sensor. This is a fairly common issue with the 4.0. If everything works out where you have the multimeter with you when it cuts out, test it right then and there and that will tell you for sure but I'm going to bet it's the crank sensor.
    1986 Jeep Comanche ~120000 miles
    Long Bed, 5.7L V8, AX15, NP231, Dana 30HP/Chrysler 8.25 27 Spline
    Custom 8" lift (homemade 3-link front, Rusty's 8.5" coils, SOA rear with adjustable IronMan4x4 shackles), 33x12.5R15 MTR's, Roll Bar, Recessed Winch...Much more on the ironing board

    1992 Jeep Comanche 171369 miles
    Short Bed, 4.0L I6 HO, AX15, NP231, Dana 30HP/Dana 35

    ...RIP...
    1990 Jeep Cherokee XJ 207774 miles
    4.0L L6, AW4, NP231. Dana 30HP/Dana 44
    Tom Woods SYE and Drive Shaft, Rusty's 8.0" Long Arm Suspension Lift, 36/13.5R15 Super Swamper IROK's, Dana 30HP Front: 3.55 gears, Dana 30 Diff Guard, 5x4.5" with adapters to 5x5.5", Dana 44 Rear: 4.56 gears, Ox Locker, disc brake conversion, 5x5.5"

  13. #13
    Registered jeepster09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dino Savva View Post
    Having arms like an orangutan also helps.



    CPS problems are always are intermittent until the problem becomes terminal, so there's a high probability that you could have a faulty sensor that tests normal unless it's considerate enough to act up for you at exactly the right time.
    I agree, just go ahead and replace the sensor....they almost fail enough to just carry a spare in glove box.

  14. #14
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    If they are that unreliable why not go after market and put it on the harmonic balancer? Other than initial cost,,,

  15. #15

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    Crankshaft Position Sensor: (CPS/CKP) Failure Symptoms / Testing

    *Both the fuel gauge and or voltage gauge may not work/display

    *It is possible that you may see a No Bus on the odometer (on newer models only)

    *You will have no spark. Fuel pressure may check out okay at the fuel rail, but fuel won’t get to the fuel injectors

    *For 96 + newer, sometimes the OBDII code reader has trouble connecting to /reading codes. Crankshaft position sensor failure may or may not result in a check engine light/fault code.

    *Crankshaft position sensors can be intermittent resulting in an abrupt misfire. “Thermal failure” is common. Thermal fail means that the sensor fails when engine gets hot, but works again when engine cools down. Be aware of this when testing, as if you have a sensor that suffers from thermal failure, it’s possible that it may test GOOD as soon as it cools down.

    *Don’t get tunnel vision and assume the sensor is bad (unless it checks out as bad with a meter) Damaged wiring or a dirty connector can inhibit the signal from making it to the computer. Check/clean/repair as necessary.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CRANKSHAFT SENSOR TESTING PROCEDURE: 1991 – 2001 4.0L H.O. engines

    1. Near the rear of intake manifold, disconnect sensor pigtail harness connector from main wiring harness.

    2. Place an ohmmeter across terminals B and C. The terminals are identified as A-B-C looking into connector from left to right with the “notch” in the middle of the connector on your right. Ohmmeter should be set to 1K-to-10K scale for this test.

    3. The meter reading should be open (infinite resistance). Replace sensor if LOW RESISTANCE

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CRANKSHAFT SENSOR TESTING PROCECURE: 1987 – 1990 4.0 L engines

    Test # 1

    Get a volt/ohm meter and set it to read 0 - 500 ohms. Unplug the sensor and measure across the connector's A & B leads. Your meter should show a resistance of between 125 - 275 ohms. If the reading is out of range, replace sensor.


    Test # 2

    You'll need a helper for this one. Set the volt/ohm meter to read 0 - 5 AC volts or the closest AC Volts scale your meter has to this range. Measure across the CPS leads for voltage generated as your helper cranks the engine. (The engine can't fire up without the CPS connected but watch for moving parts just the same!) The meter should show .5 - .8 VAC when cranking. If it's below
    .5 VAC, replace sensor.
    99 XJ Sport, 4.0, A.T. NP242 "Daily Driver"
    Past Jeeps: 49 Willys, 81 Scrambler, 88 Cherokee

  16. #16
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    Great info lakerXJ, I'll definately have to save this.
    1986 Jeep Comanche ~120000 miles
    Long Bed, 5.7L V8, AX15, NP231, Dana 30HP/Chrysler 8.25 27 Spline
    Custom 8" lift (homemade 3-link front, Rusty's 8.5" coils, SOA rear with adjustable IronMan4x4 shackles), 33x12.5R15 MTR's, Roll Bar, Recessed Winch...Much more on the ironing board

    1992 Jeep Comanche 171369 miles
    Short Bed, 4.0L I6 HO, AX15, NP231, Dana 30HP/Dana 35

    ...RIP...
    1990 Jeep Cherokee XJ 207774 miles
    4.0L L6, AW4, NP231. Dana 30HP/Dana 44
    Tom Woods SYE and Drive Shaft, Rusty's 8.0" Long Arm Suspension Lift, 36/13.5R15 Super Swamper IROK's, Dana 30HP Front: 3.55 gears, Dana 30 Diff Guard, 5x4.5" with adapters to 5x5.5", Dana 44 Rear: 4.56 gears, Ox Locker, disc brake conversion, 5x5.5"

  17. #17
    Stroker Fever Dino Savva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWise1 View Post
    If they are that unreliable why not go after market and put it on the harmonic balancer? Other than initial cost,,,
    They're not unreliable. The CPS will usually last well over 100k miles but it's not invincible, so sooner or later it will go just like any other sensor. Just consider it a service part that you'll need to replace at least once during a Jeep's lifetime.

  18. #18

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    Just came through resolving the same issue for my 2000 xj. While driving, the jeep would just lose ignition. All electrical stayed on, no chugging or sputtering like I would expect with a loss of fuel, no gague fluctation. My engine just died as if I turned the key from ON to ACC. No common driving link - it happened while turning, accelerating, decelerating, morning, afternoon, in town, highway, etc. (yes it took about 4 occurrences and 1 tow before figuring out what needed fixing).

    Interesting thing about my issue is it definitely seemed to be a heat-related failure: I'd lose ignition after the temp came up and couldn't get it to re-start until it had sufficient time to cool down. That part of it turned out to complicate troubleshooting for sure.

    Did a lot of reading online, talked to some other xj owners and almost without exception, everyone and everything pointed to the crankshaft positioning sensor (CKS). I replaced it earlier this week and the problem seems resolved - I've driven it pretty hard since then and I'm convinced based on how often I was losing ignition that if the problem presists, it would've repeated.

    May be an unfair sterotype but if you head down the CKS path your small fingers will be a valuable tool themselves: it comes out easy enough from underneath by using some pretty creative extension combinations but I had a bit@* of a time getting the new one fitted up to the plastic guard that surrounds it on the transmission's bell housing.

    Thanks to Less Than Joe for getting me started on the right track with his "YJ 4.0 Shuts off randomly, won't stay running" thread. Hope this helps and good luck.

  19. #19

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    Just wanted to let everyone know that my husband changed the CPS a couple weeks ago and we haven't had a problem since. Thanks for all your help.

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