Question about 1998 Jeep Cherokee

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Cherokee will not start on the first try, only on the second try.

My Cherokee will only start on the secont attempt, not the first. I have done research into it and have come to the conclusion that there is no pressure during the first attempt and pressure builds then. The second attempt shoots fuel and it starts. Am I right? How do I fix this?

My research finds that the fuel pump and a regulator could be the cause.

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To check:

Turn your key to the "ON" position. Listen carefully. Do you hear a whirring noise? You should. That's your fuel pump priming. It should last about 3 seconds.

Next pop your hood. On the fuel rail (the thing that distributes fuel to each fuel injector), you will see a little cap and under that cap is a schrader valve, kinda like what you see on your tire stem.

Take a screwdriver, knife, stick, whatever, and depress the middle of the valve. If it shoots out gas, then you have fuel pressure.

You can also buy a fuel pressure gauge ($20-$40) and screw it on that schrader valve to get a reading on the fuel pressure.

Another thing you can do is turn the key to the "ON" position, but not start it. Then repeat again. THEN try to start it. If it starts up that time, then that may indicate a weak fuel pump.

There are several tests in detail that you can do if you had a fuel pressure gauge. However you can do free stuff initially like listen for the fuel pump and check that schrader valve for gas ejection.

The fuel pump and regulator can be costly, so it's important to narrow your options down.

Good luck. This should be helpful in at least getting you started in the right direction.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009

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I myself, and every Cherokee owner I know has the exact same issue, it is normal. It causes no stress or added problems to the vehicle. The jeep you have is a beast and will keep running for many many years.

It seems this is just what they do, possibly with re-programming of the ECU this could be fixed. Though it would be a massive amount of work and possibly money for something really simple.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009

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