Question about 1999 Jeep Cherokee

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A little help with trouble shooting a '99 Cherokee Sport

OK....this has been kind of a headache for me, but I think now's the time to be a man and ask for some help. It would be greatly appreciated.

Here's what's going on, I get a call about my Sister's '99 Jeep Cherokee sport (Auto / 2wd / 4.0 / 120k miles) had broken down about a mile away from my home. I go out there to see if I can start it up and bring it back home to check it out and work on it. Well, I couldn't get it running, or stay running. First I noticed that when I tried to start it the battery was completely dead. So then I swapped it with a good battery and tried to start it. It would start but then after a second or two it would die. It would not idle and it seemed as if it wanted to stay running so a gave it a few smashings of the gas pedal and it would die. And there was a backfire sound coming from the intake. Everytime I stepped on the gas pedal it would die. After about an hour and a half of trying to get it running I gave up and called a tow truck. Now at home, I figured that it couldn't be the fuel pump or crank sensor (changed them less than a year ago). I did a lil detective work by asking some questions and found out that the Jeep would occasionally shake erratically before and after it being warmed up. And it would also on occasion not start after being parked for a lil while but would start if it were in neutral and a foot firmly placed on the gas pedal and quickly put in drive or reverse.Then I found out that it had been driven approx. 3-4 days and 100miles without a gas cap. I had a hunch it kinda sounded like no fuel was getting to the engine, I thought it may be the Fuel Pressure Regulator after checking and seeing there was NO fuel pressure (just a lil dribble like fat guy eye-balling cake) even with a full tank of gas. But I can hear the fuel pump operate when turning the key to the on position (that can't be it). So I did a lil routine maintenance (oil, plugs, cap n' rotor, new battery and even tested the alternator) and scanned the car. This is what it said - P0505 Idle Control System Malfunction, P0123 TPS/Pedal Position sensor a circuit high output, P0122 TPS/Pedal Position sensor a circuit low output. HMMMM.... so I changed the Throttle Position censor and still no change. It won't run. I have a Haynes manual and I cant seem to find any mention of the "Idle Control System"( I pretty much read it cover to cover twice!). Where and what is that?! Is it called something else? Could my problem be the Fuel Pressure Regulator? Idle Speed Actuator Motor? Has anyone encountered anything similar to this? Any help would be great! Thanks for any and all help.

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  • silver leyva
    silver leyva Mar 12, 2009

    Thanks carhob. Had to replace pump strainer/screen and fuel pressure regulator and now have some fuel getting to the motor. Will check the IAC. Thanks.

  • silver leyva
    silver leyva Mar 14, 2009

    I replacced the IAC and even the cam sensor (pickup coil) and still nothing! I talked to a buddy of mine (worked for Chrysler, repairing autos and jeeps for years) and told me that it can't be my crank sensor because it is firing. He's even stumped. What now? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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1st you said it yourself in comment,no fuel pressure.......!no fuel no start!even if pump is running doesnt mean its good,check fuel filter may be badly block,and what youre looking for is the idle air control valve aka iac sensor,get fuel going to motor first!

Posted on Mar 07, 2009

  • carhob Mar 15, 2009

    you have spark!u have fuel pressure!and its not starting?isyour spark blue or yellow,is fuel pressure up to spec? it should start ,when cranking is it popping at throttle body,does it backfire,


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