Question about 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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I've got a 97 grand Cherokee that has a strange problem. It has 91,000 miles and runs perfectly except one thing. Occassionally when I stop to go to a store, when I try to start it, it barely starts and runs on one cylinder and stops. Then when I retry to start it, it starts normally and runs just great. This has happened twice. I suspect something electrical. It has a distributor. Is the spark advance sticking? What is the problem?

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  • uno_1 Jul 16, 2010

    more than likely it needs u tune up... when was the last time it had one?

  • Richard Scordino Jul 16, 2010

    Your spark advance is controlled by the computer. I have a 95 that did the identical thing. We had no codes and all components checked out after testing them individually. (three times). Because the distributor is locked in place and cannot be manually advanced, but it did feel like it was not sufficiently advanced, I cut one ear off the hold down tab on the housing, used a modified Chevy hold down and after install, cranked in a few more degrees of advance. Problem has been gone for two years! What I did should not have worked, but it did. My thought on this is that it is likely that the timing chain is worn and by turning the distributor, it has changed the perceived cam phasing, fooling the computer into "thinking" that everything is as it should be.Reason it's intermittent is that it likely happens only when the chain rides up on the gears. As this is not a standard repair and I haven't had the time to pull it apart and verify what I think, I offer this as a suggestion only if you absolutely can't find another cause.

  • bobann49 Jul 16, 2010

    Thanks for your time and trouble. Sounds reasonable. Thanks.
    Bob

  • bobann49 Jul 16, 2010

    Thanks but it runs perfect except for those very brief (every two weeks) hiccups.
    Bob

  • bobann49 Jul 18, 2010

    I suspect it may be vapor lock! Your thoughts?

  • bobann49 Jul 19, 2010

    I hear you but it has happened twice when the temperature was 94 degrees and not since. Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate discussing it with you. Bob

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  • Jeep Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Unless you are running it in the desert, chances of vapor lock with an electric push type pump are pretty much 0.

Posted on Jul 19, 2010

  • Richard Scordino Jul 19, 2010

    My last post was a comment not a fix. hit the wrong button.,,, Don't rate it.

  • Richard Scordino Jul 19, 2010

    I asked that you NOT rate my reply....
    You are still in the "thinking about it" stage. Get a fuel pressure gauge and read the actual fuel pressure. Get a haynes or chilton manual (if I were to buy one it would be chilton) and start testing components one by one 'till you find something out of range. It won't hurt to have a code scan done...most larger parts stores do that free.
    Don't fall into the "guess and replace trap"...that will cost you more in the end than just giving it to a reliable shop. Your computer compensates for problems and sometimes in doing that, can easily make one fault look like something entirely different than what it actually is. That is why careful testing is the only valid means of finding problems. If you noticed, when I had that problem, I tested everything three times before I even put a wrench on it. Many people stop at testing the electronic controls. There is still an engine under all that. and it needs to be correct in order to work. Weather and temperature play a large part in how the engine runs. Many sensors are essentially magnetic pickups which are heat sensitive. Your MAP sensor is sensitive to barometric pressure. Your manifold air temp and the coolant temp sending units also by nature react to heat.
    As far as the fuel pump goes, the old style mechanical fuel pumps were prone to vapor lock. With an electric pump you would literally have to wrap the fuel line around the exhaust manifold to even begin to possibly cause a problem.
    So, start testing!!!


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