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How to fix a Jeep that keeps stalling out

Updated on March 16, 2011

The stalling problem

Many, many people have complained about their Jeep stalling out for no apparent reason. Usually, this happens in a LOW IDLE situation where your RPMs are low - for example, a red light, or worse yet, during stop and go traffic during rush hour!

I too know your pain. My 2003 Jeep Grande Cherokee (Laredo) also joined the club of stalling vehicles. At first, the stalling is slight, more of a hick-up in the RPMs when sitting at a light, or idling in traffic. Over time, the problem gets worse, the RPMs run lower and as soon as you see the red light in the intersection you fear that, yet again, your jeep will stall out. It doesn't matter if the engine is hot or cold, it stalls! After it stalls, you try to restart it, but it won't turn over - until finally after sitting for a few minutes it starts again.

The biggest problem I faced, was the irregualrity of the stalling issue. I brought my jeep into the dealership a number of times, but of course, it had time to sit in the parking lot for a few minutes and when they fired it up and plugged it into their diagnostics, no problem was ever found.

The Solution:

1. Get under the hood and remove the air intake on top of the engine. Clean the Air Intake manifold with an aerosol cleaner (purchased at any auto store). You will probably see that years of gunk and dirt are built up in there. Squirt some cleaner into the little opening on the side of the air intake wall. This your Idle Air Control, and again, dirt and gunk can be clogging your sensor and motor.

2. Now that things are clean and shiny, see if that solves the problem. For some, it might just be a case of a dirsty sensor not reading right. In my case, it wasn't.

3. The real issue, if stalling continues, is your Throttle Position Sensor. It's a cheap part to fix as it sits right on top of the engine. When this sensor doesn't read right, the engine is not getting enough, or is getting too much air. This is causing you engine to hick-up and stall out. Its tricky to diagnose as most mechanics hook your jeep up to a computer, and when the engine is working fine, nothing appears on their diagnostic software. Only if your jeep stalls out, while hooked up to the diagnostic, will the problem ever be seen. I recommend going to a mechanic as the screws likely need correct torque for the sensor to work correctly. I got mine replaced (with installation) for just under $200.00.

Purchase a Throttle Body Sensor at a Discount Price - Click Here!

The Jeep Now:

Since replacing the Throttle Position Sensor, the jeep has run perfectly!


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    • profile image

      Edward Fillemon 

      6 months ago

      good explanatoin

    • profile image

      misty waters 

      2 years ago

      thank u so much im going to try this

    • profile image

      Dave Clearlake,Ca. 

      5 years ago

      I was having the same problem with the engine stalling or just quit running also . I thought it was a clogged fuel filter , found out there isn't one on this 1997 jeep grand Cherokee. I didn't know where to start , so I looked up, Jeep stalls on the web . Found out a lot of people had the same problem I had . Some people said they replaced the SCM computer , others said they replaced the two cover screws with shorter ones because they shorted out inside the SCM . This sounded far fetched , but worth a try so ...I removed the coolant jug , removed the three elec. connectors from the SCM , removed the two Torx screws and put a small thick flat washer on each screw and put them back in and tightened them down , put the coolant jug back in . IT WORKED ! ,this simple unbelievable fix saved a bunch .

      Runs great again!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have a 98 jeep grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 its sputtering once in a while and stutters almost as if you turned it off then vroom its alive again but didn't stall...its gotten worse yesterday it died and wouldn't start again ...had it towed one mile 100$ wow robbery...i put my computer on it and .c two codes...p1391 p0320 crank circuit .crank position sensor.put one in started right up...but still has the same problem..took the ecm out and opened it and well yes I broke it ...i just ordered one 500$ with a core charge omg hope this fixes it ...lmao I'm sure it will because I put a lil pressure on the three plugs at a time and the one closest to the fender made a difference in the way the motor ran...wish me luck lol..jbone

    • profile image

      All Speed Customs 

      5 years ago

      Well I think I'm going to need to change my crank shaft sensor for the second time in 6 months. Bad idle and stalls. Will try the TPS first. But if you have to change your Crank Shaft Sensor in a Jeep Grand Cherokee be careful it down brake off on you taking it out, it did me the first time and there is a little trick to save less of a head ache when it happens. You have to drop the oil pan which itself is a pain and push it out from the inside.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      05 Laredo and mines doing the exact same. Had the throttle position sensor cleansed and didn't help. Should I still replace the throttle position sensor?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      had stalling issues also, 2003 jeep liberty, had crank and cam sensor replaced.... (to the tune of $293) ... have been driving it for two days now without any stalling so far..... keeping fingers crossed...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      had stalling issue too, cleaned throttle body and all set

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks All for your posts. Mine is going into the shop tomorrow for this very problem. Fingers crossed that the issue is resolved...stalling on the highway in rush hour traffic and then again while crossing a busy intersection...not so much fun.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I had this exact problem with a 2000 jeep grand cherokee limited 4.7 v8 120k. Did everything and kept doing it. I wanted to post this here to help people. The solution ended up being burn and worn out plugs! I think before buying a tps and replacing check and see how bad your plugs are. Mine I believe had never been changed the way they looked. Hope that helps. Replace those before trying other things IMHO.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      $200 to remove the air intake cover and remove two screws (torx) hmmm? ripped off


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