Question about 1997 Jeep Cherokee

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My 1997 jeep grand Cherokee 4.0 will run fine and then stall it doesn't matter what temp the motor is..and most of the time starts right back up and other times having to wait for it to start..it also recently has been backfiring when it stalls..I have changed the crank sensor but it hasn't changed anything..

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  • distincti965 Dec 29, 2010

    Already has brand new wires and plugs the problem is intermittent only happens some times other times it runs perfect.

  • distincti965 Dec 29, 2010

    i got spark when it wasn't starting also fuel but I was unable to test the fuel pressure..

  • distincti965 Dec 29, 2010

    Also I got diagnostic codes 12 14 11 21 43 45 and 55 when the check engine light was on but its not always on..

  • distincti965 Dec 29, 2010

    If you turn the ignition key on and off three times the check engine light flashes...something similar to the obd 1 systems

  • distincti965 Dec 29, 2010

    The connectors to PCM seem good and I took tfe map sensor off and it mad tfe car idle very shaky .. And gave ne an additional code of 23..I did some research on the vehicles and I don't know but it seemed like a common problem on these vehicles is the PCM shorting out inside..my car backfires so violent that it blew the muffler apart on two different occasions..

  • distincti965 Dec 30, 2010

    Do you think it could be a bad ground to the PCM and if so would you know where it would be located?? Thanks

  • distincti965 Dec 30, 2010

    So I have checked grounds and cleaned my battery terminals all is good... And I also noticed that the PCM is remanufactured already..

  • distincti965 Dec 30, 2010

    It is sealed pretty tight it looks like the circuit board is covers in some sort of foam..tricky to look at it without ruining that and I wouldn't know how to replace it if I was to take that off. It would cost 100 to have it tested or 300 for new programmed to my vin.. So I'm leaning towards spending the Money because other then that I couldn't see what would cause the sporadic behavior it has

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  • Jeep Master
  • 8,175 Answers

Hi, this is a hard and frustrating problem to solve. It's bound to be electrical, but where???
Backfiring is an indicator of timing issue, so crank sensor made good sense to try.
I assume when it doesn't start, it turns over. Also assume your engine light is not on.
However, if the engine light has been on and gone off, I recommend you get a scan for the trouble code history--it's just another mode of the scanner. If any code has been set within the past 50 or so trips of the car, the codes should still be in there and they would be VERY helpful to know.
Now, assuming no trouble codes to work with, what I suggest is to do a little troubleshooting when it fails to start.
First check for spark, then for fuel. The procedures at http://www.fixya.com/cars/r5821173-doesnt_car_start_gasoline_engines will work for your car. If you're able to verify a no-spark or no-fuel condition, we can start narrowing down until we find the bad part. Could be as simple as a relay that is weak. I can access your wiring diagrams, so as you start to narrow it down, i can suggest specific parts to test. Please let me know if you have any questions and thanks for using FixYa.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010

  • 5 more comments 
  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 29, 2010

    thanks for the codes. Let me look those up.

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 29, 2010

    Sorry, but I'm having trouble with those codes. You have an OBD II connector under your dash, right? Is that where you got these codes? Did you use a scanner or some other method?

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 29, 2010

    OK, if I'm reading the right chart, those are all over the map. The ones that are most likely to cause a no-start are the 11 and 14. 11 is cam or crank sensor. The crude code does not distinguish. If you could get an OBD scan, we could narrow this down better.
    You may want to take a look at the PCM connector--is it tight? PCM is behind the coolant reservoir--has 3 connectors on it. Has the reservoir maybe been leaking on it or maybe a spill got in? If you're going to pull the connectors off, make sure to disconnect the battery first.
    If that isn't it, try pulling the connector off the MAP sensor. Might put the computer into limp mode, but sometimes no data is better than bad data. MAP sensor is on top of the throttle body. I can send pictures if you need them.

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 29, 2010

    OK, sounds like MAP is working. PCM IS questionable given the sporadic list of codes. If you know anything about electronics, you could open the PCM and look for leaky capacitors--those are typical failures. Anything that has a burn spot by it is also bad. Make sure you disconnect the battery cable before pulling the PCM, if you decide to accept that challenge.

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 30, 2010

    Hi, yes, it's worth checking the ground before tearing into the PCM. Hopefully the pins are clearly marked, but you will need to take the connectors off to see them. Again, please disconnect the battery before doing that. This will not affect checking the ground, but you will need an ohmmeter to check. Just connect the ohmmeter between chassis ground and the connector terminal at A31 and A32. Alternatively, you could leave the battery connected and just back-probe the PCM connector with a 12 volt test light. Put the test light clip on battery positive and back-probe the black wire with a tan stripe on the "A" connector. The connectors are lettered A, B, and C. The ground pins are A31 and A32. Also note, the coil signal is on pin A7--the gray wire. If you open the PCM, that is the pin I would trace from to find any bad components.




  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 30, 2010

    Sure, remanufactured just means someone turned it in as a core, it went back to China or India and was checked out, bad stuff fixed, and back on the shelf--into your car. They don't put all new stuff in--only replace stuff that's bad. I'm not saying it's bad, but I don't know what else it could be. You already changed the crank sensor, right? Personally, I don't like to change computers, 'cause that can lead to more trouble. I'd rather look inside first to see if there is something obvious I can fix.

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Dec 30, 2010

    dang, they done slimed it. Can you see any of the components at all? Like near the A6 pin?
    Yes, you can get a pre-flashed one and $300 is a pretty good price, but you still have to worry about reprogramming keys if you have anti-theft system, and the PCM will take its calibrations with it too. The new one will usually relearn, but will run poorly until it does.

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  • Expert
  • 4,070 Answers

Hi and welcome to FixYa!

You may have fuel flooding. As a first course of action, please do change the spark plugs and plug wires for better fuel burning.

Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa! Have a good one!

Posted on Dec 29, 2010

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