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1998 Jeep Wrangler 4.0 Starting Problems

My Jeep takes about 8-10 seconds of cranking, before it will start. It runs fine once it does. However, when it is warmed up the problem gets worse and it can take a couple three rounds of 12 seconds of cranking to get it to start, and it runs rough for a few cycles and straightens out fine. Also when it is warm it leaves a strong fuel odour, I've heard it could be a number of things but i figured i'd ask again.

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  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    Slounds like drainback valve in fuel pump or evap system malfunction you will need to test to diagnose.



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If you are getting a strong odor of fuel, this is indicative of having spark or air problems. To troubleshoot the issue, first open the air box and pull out the air filter. With the airbox open, start the Jeep. If the problem seems to have cleared up, replace the air filter.

If the problem persists, you may be experiencing problems with the distributor, plugs, or wires. Depending on when the last time you replaced the plugs was, I would start there. The proper plugs will be Champion 438 or the equivilent, with .035 gap. New plugs is always a good idea every 35k miles or so, and they are only about $15 for a set. If your old plugs are block, clumpy, or blistered it will definitely cause problems, but usually bad plugs indicates another problem worth getting checked out. Careful on the #1 plug, the boot is hard to get out of there if you have A/C.

Posted on Sep 06, 2009


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Cold engine cranks when bumpping the starter once. After engine is wram you have to bump starter three time to crank. 1997 jeep wrangler 4.0 engine. What is the problem. Thanks

Its a hot start issue.

Can be related to low fuel pressure or problem with crank sensor.

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To troubleshoot and confirm the issue,i suggest you refer few solved help links with similar types of problem like yours:------

Click the link below:------

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I have a 1998 jeep wrangler sport and it is having starting problems. i usually have to crank, release, then crank again to get it to start. it always ends up starting, but it takes a few tries. it occurs...

You can mount a fuel pressure guage to the engine fuel rail at its bicycle valve bleeder, with tof see if it has pressure when you first turn on the key to start. You may be able to hear the fuel pump running by listening at the fuel tank fill cap that you would remove for that moment. By turning on ignition to start, not run, you are energizing the fuel pump to bring up pressure that should happen in several seconds. So, check if it gets to normal fuel starting pressure, maybe 45 to 60 psi. Then turn key all the way to run, to get car engine running and watch the fuel pressure to see if it stays pretty constant at that 45 to 60 psi. Turn engine off, and watch how long it takes for fuel pressure to drop, and it should not happen fast but instead over 15 minutes or more. That might indicate your fuel regulator valve isn;t working right.
Is it possible your starting system is the culprit, say some battery cable loose that may make starting hard or eventually quit until you tighten these cable ends at battery and starter.

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quite possibly it may be taking a little while to build fuel pressure. next time try cycling the key on and off 3 or 4 times with out cranking the vehicle to allow the pump to build pressure the try to star it up if it starts right up then your problem is it's just taking time to build pressure

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I know that a lot of starters will not start quickly and draw a lot of power if the engine is up to temp. Try a higher CCA battery (Cold Cranking Amp) Battery, your bat may be to low of a rating. If it has a remotely mounted solenoid, not on the starter. If it does it may be mounted somewhere that it gets to hot, relocate to a cooler portion of the engine bay.

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