Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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Jeep hard to start then wont idle

My 1998 4L sport almost seemed like battery was barely alive, but then turned over. Once started the battery guage read that it was charged fine. It would only stay running if I gave it throttle, and if i let throttle off the rpms would drop and it would stall. When I managed to get it out of the driveway and ran it a while, everything seemed fine. Could this be two problems happening at once, the battery and the choke maybe?

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  • jadamek Dec 01, 2008

    Mine seems like it's a fuel pressue problem. It's hard to start after it sits for awhile, but once it starts and runs, it starts right up after that.



    Is fuel pressure a possibility?

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Batteries are only good for about 5 years, any older and you risk a dead one in the middle of winter. First make sure your battery cables are tight and you do not have any corrosion (white residue) on them. Next, you should run to autozone and have a free check of your battery and alternator. If you are electronically inclined you can do this procedure to check your battery on your own.

Hook multimeter to battery, it should ready >12 VDC--tests battery condition
Crank car, it should read >13.5--tests alternator charging capability

Turn car off, wearing rubber gloves/eye protection undo battery vent caps (should be 2 of them, depending on the battery). Have baking soda and clean water handy if you get acid on you. Just rub with baking soda and rinse with water.

With vent caps off, you will see 6 holes on the top of the battery. Each hole represents a series circuit, much like putting 2 AA batteries in a remote control to make the voltage 3 volts. Each cell is a multiple 2 volts. Place negative lead of multimeter on negative of battery, Next place positive lead inside battery cell until you are touching the acid. Going in sequence, each cell should give you a reading of 2,4,6,8,10,12 volts. If one cell doesn't give you a multiple of 2 volts, it is a "dead" cell and the battery will need to be replaced.

Also be advised that the alternator is not designed to charge a dead battery, only keep a good battery charged. If you keep charging your bad battery, you alternator will be the next to go. This is why they seem to go in pairs.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

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