Question about 1990 Jeep Cherokee Limited

1 Answer

1990 Jeep Cherokee Laredo hard to start and won't stay running

My Jeep starts best when cold (most of the time), but idles roughly and dies at operating temp. I usually have to wait for a few hours before it will start again. The only way to keep it running when i have to slow down or stop is to drop it into neutral and give it gas. Even at times this does not always work and it still dies and won't restart. Occasionally, when trying to restart, it makes a small backfire through the throttle body and we get a puff of white smoke from the air filter housing. There's also a problem with the idle surging randomly and then dropping very low.

I have replaced all of the plugs, battery and fuel filter. I can hear the fuel pump working when I turn on the switch and there is good pressure coming from the rail when tested.

Yesterday, after installing the plugs and fuel filter, we had to get it jumped because the battery had drained from trying to start it. After it was started, it idled roughly and began to whistle under the hood on the driver's side, but I could not locate the source. I am not certain if that is related to my problem, but thought it might be worth mentioning just in case.

As of today, it no longer starts at all, but the starter does spin and the motor sputters when I release the key from starting position as if it was trying to engage. The battery is showing a charge and I checked the distributor cap and rotor button; both looked fine with only a small amount of wear.

Posted by on

  • 1 more comment 
  • sekspot May 16, 2009

    Thank you! I will try this tomorrow when the rain stops since I must work outside. Would this be too difficult fix for a DIY with a few friends? I have changed head/valve cover gaskets before, but not an intake.

  • sekspot May 16, 2009

    Head gaskets ****, but valve covers are much easier, at least to me anyway. I have a 4WD, 4.0L, FI, 6 Cyl engine.

  • sekspot May 16, 2009

    You know, you're right. It's been four years since I changed a head gasket and I forgot about the manifolds. That and I am running on two hours of sleep. I will run the test and maybe get someone else to double check for me just to be certain before I start tearing stuff apart.

    Thanks again and I'll let you know how it turns out.



1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Jeep Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Sounds like a leaking intake gasket. If you can start it again, take about a three foot piece of hose and put one end to your ear and "scan" the intake area for the noise. or , spray carb cleaner at the intake parting line while running when the idle changes you have found your leak.
I could determine this easier if I were there, but odds are I'm right.
good luck...need further help just ask.

Posted on May 15, 2009

  • Richard Scordino May 16, 2009

    If you have done those things then it shouldn't be too difficult. You didn't mention which engine you have though.

  • Richard Scordino May 16, 2009

    If you have done a head gasket then you have done an intake manifold. I don't enjoy certain jobs but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
    Make sure you check it first though...don't want to do anything unless it's necessary.



3 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: 100 series toyota landcruiser diesel 1hz, engine

Landcruiser 100 vx, 2003 model with engine number 1HD-FTE is not starting, I've found out that the fuel pump, starter, battery are all functioning well. Where next should I look at.

Posted on Aug 18, 2010

  • 1455 Answers

SOURCE: 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo .Driving along and

Could be your crank sensor has gone bad.

Posted on Feb 09, 2011

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Ok my 2001 Grand Cherokee Laredo wont stay in park

Transmission sticks in reverse- won't go into park. - JeepsUnlimited
Jun 14, 2013 - 12 posts - ‎5 authors 2003 6 cyl 4x4 Grand Cherokee Laredo automatic- Occaionally, when shifting from REVERSE TO PARK, my Jeep will stay in reverse. Typically its ... '2001 WJ'4,0L'42RE'NV 242'380000 km'ECE Compliant' ??????????? ??? ...

2001 jeep grand Cherokee laredo - CarGurus > Questions > Jeep > Grand Cherokee
CarGurusJan 27, 2014 - 2001 jeep grand Cherokee laredo - Just purchased a 2001 Jeep GrandCherokee Laredo and ... It starts in PARK sometimes and sometimes it won't and I have to start it in Neutral. ... Hatch shuts flush, but won't stay shut. help!

Oct 22, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

1999 cherokee starts and runs fine then idles rough and dies

If the start and run fine are on cold starts, I would look for vacuum leaks. The normal start mode for these things is to have a richer condition upon a cold start. When the ECU detects warmth in the engine is drops the extra rich cold start mode then the idle goes rough due to the normal mixture being too lean due to a vacuum leak. Look for cracked, loose or broken vacuum hoses. It could also be due to a EGR valve stuck open.

Jul 05, 2014 | 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2 Answers

2002 jeep grand Cherokee change batt. Now it starts but won't run?

Because you disconnected the battery you lost the long trim value,you will now have to relearn the idle,start the vehicle idle it to 1500 RPM,hold for a minute,idle should stabilize,turn on A/C let it idle,for a minute,now your done,

Aug 19, 2012 | 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

Try to start run for a second if you press the gas it will stay on until you get off the gas

Sounds like a leaky injector, bad idle ,hard to start when warm, bad gas mileage. Or the temp sensor both of them that won't let it run rjght when its cold

Nov 09, 2011 | 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 with the 4.0L. It has approximately 150k miles on it. I started the Jeep with 1/4 tank of fuel in it and it started rough and acted like it was going to die....

long post.
ill reduce it for you.
misfires. (is RPM below 700 then misfire can be normal) for idle speed controls dead.
ISC the isc controls speed, of idle,.
mine stuck like zillion times, in 400k miles. endless.sticking
mine was a tiny gutless stepper motor drive ISC valve.
the cone valve is side gets nasty and sticks (
(PCV gases caused as seen on all engines)
i clean it.
the proof is the easy press of right foot easy raises idle back to 700rpm and engine stops misfiring.
ever get a tuneup this decade or running spark parts 500,0000 miles
for the new world record.?

now the tricky part of ISC, , fully explained in the SM serv. man.
the PCM learns its behaviors.
it learns all hot start settings and cold
so when you key on, it goes to the correct HISTORICAL spot.
if it can move there(sticks) engine car race.
or run too slow,
cold start would be worse, as hot isc is more closed
so if sticks there closed, the next cold start will be horrid
some newer manuals telly you to add 5% throttle if car is hard starting this is so common.

clean it. end story.

Mar 09, 2017 | 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

My 1993 jeep grand cherokee laredo idles rough after warm up. it also idels high around 2000 rpm at start up sometimes and needs to be shut off and restarted to calm idle speed. whats is causing the...

usually rough Idle is not noticable at high ildle. Once it is idles normally try Disconnecting one injector at a time. If the idle stays the same than that cylinder is the culprit. Remove that spark. If it is wet than do a compression test. Should read better than 100lbs of compression.If compression is good take a spark plug and hook it into the end of the plug wire.Lay it across the intake,start the car and watch for spark. If you have spark than you probably have a bad injector. A miss will cause the vehicle to idle high. The computer is trying to keep the car from dieing out. Hope this helps. No spark do a tune up.

Dec 05, 2010 | 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

I have a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 6 Cyl. The vehicle was kind of running rough on idle. Take in consideration that I have replaced the spark plugs, spark plug wires a while ago. So I decided to...


Apr 23, 2010 | 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2 Answers

1996 Jeep Country Wagon. Replaced fuel filter and

does your jeep run rough? idle is real low? and when you are driving and push the gas hard it doesnt want to move? if so it is most likely the mass air flow sensor. i had to replace that 2 or 3 times on my 1999 jeep cherokee

Jun 22, 2009 | 1996 Jeep Cherokee Country

1 Answer

Slight miss, starts a little hard then runs fine rough idle from time to time

It sounds like its out of time move the distriutor a little bit

May 10, 2009 | Jeep Cherokee Cars & Trucks

Not finding what you are looking for?
1990 Jeep Cherokee Limited Logo

449 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Jeep Experts


Level 3 Expert

79865 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22326 Answers

Kevin Daniels

Level 3 Expert

1455 Answers

Are you a Jeep Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides