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Unread 08-31-2015, 05:52 PM   #1
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00 cherokee sport starting problems

I have a 2000 cherokee sport 4wd and i am having some intermittent starting problems. It has stalled on me but i was able to restart it right away.

Recently though it gave me problems starting in my driveway, tried four times and on the fifth time it caught and ran and then didnt start after i got done work. 2 days later i went to where i left it and on the second try it fired and ran, stalled once and restarted immediately, and restarted multiple time no hiccups.

I drove it a couple days and it stalled on me once and didnt restart for at least 2 weeks maybe more. For s and giggles i went to where i left it to try and start it and on the second try it started. Does anyone have any ideas what the problem could possibly be, i did have to put coolant in the overfill and put a full gallon in the radiator, coincidence or possible problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated cause i dont know where to start.

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Unread 09-01-2015, 05:18 AM   #2
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 23,400
Originally Posted by dbuff78 View Post
... did have to put coolant in the overfill and put a full gallon in the radiator.
Google Jeep 0331 head.

For the no-start, I would suspect a failed check valve.

When a 1997 to 2001 Cherokee won’t start on the first try day after day, the first thing to suspect is a failed check valve on the fuel pump. The fuel pump check valve is supposed to hold pressure in the fuel line while the engine is off. The check valve is located on the fuel pump and located in the gas tank. A failed check valve allows the fuel to drain back to the tank. This results in one or more of the following symptoms:


• Longer than normal cranking times
• Never starts on first try, almost always starts on the second try
• Rough idle for a few moments of idling
• Rough running for first ˝ block of driving
• Little or no fuel pressure at the fuel rail test valve similar to this -

1- Key in on position; fuel pump primes for 2 seconds then stops. 0 PSI
2- Cranking over the engine. 2-3 PSI
3- Engine starts and idles for 20 seconds. < 5 PSI
4- Engine idles and fuel pressure creeps up to 45-50 PSI.


• Failed check valve on the fuel pump in the gas tank.
• Leaky fuel injector(s) may be the true cause of your problem, but more likely they are simply contributing to the check valve issue.

Testing of the fuel injectors should show if any are faulty and are allowing fuel to drain into the cylinder. Either problem can allow heat soak to vaporize the remaining fuel in the fuel rail, and you may be dealing with a bit of vapor lock as well, especially in warmer weather.

1. Connect the gauge at the fuel rail and start the engine. The gage should read 49 psi plus or minus 5 psi.
2. Turn the engine off and immediately clamp the fuel line just ahead of the fuel tank. Watch the pressure gage and see how long it takes to loose pressure.

If the pressure remains at 49 psi for an extended period of time then the problem is in the tank - probably the check valve. If the pressure falls below 49 psi fairly rapidly then the problem is probably one or more leaky injectors.

There are a few solutions to the problem –

1. Turn the key to ON for 5 seconds and let the fuel pump prime. Turn the key to OFF, turn the key back to ON for 5 seconds, start the engine.
2. Crank the engine for 3-5 seconds, pause, and crank the engine again. It will almost always start on the second try.
3. Replace the fuel pump assembly in the gas tank. The check valve is not a separate part and cannot be serviced. This is both expensive and time consuming because you have to remove any hitches and skid plates and then remove the gas tank from the vehicle.

You can use solutions 1 or 2 for as long as you want to, they do not harm anything and the fuel pump will continue to function for many more years.

If you do replace the fuel pump assembly, purchase a high quality OEM style pump assembly such as Bosch or Carter. Some cheap aftermarket fuel pump assemblies, like Airtex, and Precision don’t hold up and fail completely within 12-18 months.

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Unread 09-01-2015, 08:35 AM   #3
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I'm not sure I'm reading your description right, it sounds like the starting/stumbling issues could be a generally bad fuel pump assembly. Get a parts store to loan you their fuel pressure gauge set. This is one of those things you can't really count on a cheapo harbor freight set for, they tend to be leaky and questionable at best. You can check the pump itself by monitoring the pressure while it runs, you can check the check valve Tim described by starting the car to get the pressure up, then turning it off and checking the gauge several minutes later, to see if it has bled down at all. If it has, that's a bad check valve.

If you're losing coolant and can't spot any leaks in the cooling system, then it could be the 0331. Keep an eye on your coolant for 'gunkyness', signs of more than usual rust contamination or oil. Next time you do an oil change you could also use a clean pan and then have it tested for traces of coolants to see if they are mixing in the engine. Those are both signs of the 0331 crack. As it gets worse it tends to cause cyl 3 and/or 4 misfires.
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