1999 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 Fuel Problem

Old 07-30-02, 09:11 AM
Steven Swaim
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1999 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 Fuel Problem

I bought a 1999 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L with 70,000 miles a couple weeks ago. For a week I drove it around town and everything was perfect so we decided to go for a road trip from Austin, Tx to Hot Springs, Arkansas and then to Kansas City, Mo to visit my sister.

Just the east side of Dallas, Tx after 231 miles the Jeep stumbled and would only move forward as long as the accelerator was constant and the rpm were at 1,000. This was about 30 mph on the highway. Several miles and about 30 minutes later we pulled into a gas station. I still had 3/8 of a tank of gas but it was running like it was empty. I filled up and the car ran great. I’m thinking the gas gauge was not functioning properly.

It was 340 miles to Hot Springs and the Jeep ran perfectly. I never let it get below ½ tank so I was sure this was the problem. We spent three days in Hot Springs, it was on of those 3 days 2 nights free if you listen to a 90 minute sales pitch (http://www.hotsprings.org/lodging/packages/freefun.html) and drove a couple hundred miles around the area without fail.

So we’re off to Kansas City and make it 340 miles and I have ¾ tank of gas when the same symptoms recur. We limp to a gas station. Along the way, it was much farther this time, it would die and not run at all. I would let it sit 5-10 minutes and then it would go again. This happened 3 times on the way to a service station. I filled it up and had no problems the remaining 100 miles to Kansas City, Mo. So now I am thinking fuel filter.

Over the next couple days I took it to two repair places where the friendliest mechanics took time to explain that the fuel filter is in the gas tank. That it could be the fuel pump but it would cost me about $700 to have it changed and they could not guarantee that was the problem. One even hooked up the tool to get the codes and did not charge me. There were no codes. The same guy said it could be a fuel filter but since its inside the gas tank it is neither easy nor cheap to replace. He said its just like a paper filter that is cheap to purchase. I decided to try to make the almost 800 miles back to Austin. We stayed over a few days and did not drive the Jeep.

We left Kansas City early and fell in behind a truck going 85. This seems like a perfect highway speed for the Jeep. It ran perfectly. The computer said we were getting about 23 miles per gallon at this speed, so I was happy……..for 413 miles. Across Kansas, through Oklahoma, into Texas. As we passed the Texas Speedway in Ft. Worth, Tx it failed again. I pulled over to the side with the intention of letting it set for 15 minutes before we tried to go forward. I left it running, opened the gas tank, and it started running perfect again. I realized that each time I have opened the gas tank it did not release pressure, no whish sound. So now I’m thinking maybe its just a gas cap…….Wild Guess.

We are almost home 200 miles later and it starts again. I pull over, remove the gas cap and get back on the highway. This has NOT solved the problem but I can get to about 2000 rpm and 60 mph as long as I don’t accelerate. I had to keep constant throttle. Whenever I had to slow down it took a long time to get back up to speed. It would stall….like the fuel filter, again. This was major fun through rush hour traffic on IH35 in Austin.

Now I am home, not sure what to do next. I started and drove the Jeep this morning and it was flawless.

Please help me figure out what I should do next.

Old 07-30-02, 10:05 AM
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Have the fuel pressure checked with a reliable hand held gauge and compare it to the spec in the service manual. Start there.

Also check www.alldata.com for known bulletins/problems that match these symptoms.

Yes, some Chryslers do not have serviceable fuel filters. My friend's Stratus he just got from his mother has a filter where you have to remove the fuel tank and set it aside to the get to the filter. Dumb, dumb, dumb design.
Old 07-30-02, 01:51 PM
Steven Swaim
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thanks. I will do that tomorrow. It has run great around town today.

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