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Unread 02-24-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: new bedford, ma
Posts: 2
96 cherokee wont stay running

Hey everybody, just signed up to JF but I've used this site many times before to help me solve some issues with my 96 cherokee. I had some issues today so i hope somebody can offer some helpful advise. Its the classic 4.0 with just under 150000 miles. I jumped in today after running into walmart and she wouldnt start. Didnt seem like she had any power so I had someone jump start her but it wouldnt hold the power. She would start after a few minutes of charging but as soon as I let off the gas she dies. Had a tow truck guy charge the battery with one of those jump starters but after taking a quick trip around the parking lot she just died. No power at all. If its the battery that needs replacing then I can handle that myself. But after talking to a few more ezperienced friends they suggested it might be the alternator. I had It towed to my friends house because it was closer and he has a garage. Im taking the day off tommorow to tackle this so if anyone could help me out it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help

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Unread 02-24-2013, 07:27 PM   #2
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 23,538
For 1996+ Jeeps, the OBD-II engine computer (ECU/PCM) re-boots, and the idle settings are deleted, when you: (1) let the battery run down by leaving the lights or radio on, (2) disconnect the battery for an extended period of time, (3) when the battery goes bad and needs replacing, (4) when the alternator is not properly charging the battery, (5) or when poor battery connections result in a voltage drop at the PCM or poor battery charging. Loose, corroded, or damaged battery cables or ground wires may also cause or contribute to the problem.

Your symptoms are: (1) having difficulties starting the engine without depressing the gas pedal, and (2) the engine will have a low idle and probably stall unless you keep your foot on the gas pedal. (3) The ECU will relearn the idle settings after a short period of driving and the engine will start and idle normally.

Begin with basic trouble shooting of the start and charge systems. Remove, clean, and firmly reconnect all the wires and cables to the battery, starter, and alternator. Look for corroded or damaged cables and replace them as needed. Do the same for the grounding wires from the battery and engine to the Cherokee's frame/body.

If the symptoms reoccur, you need to have your battery and/or the alternator load tested at a repair shop or auto parts store. This is usually a free service they offer to bring in potential customers. Even with low battery voltage, the engine will start, but the ECU can re-boot multiple times and a new battery may be required.


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Unread 02-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Location: new bedford, ma
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Turns out it was just the old battery. Had bought both new battery and alternator but after a few starts with the new battery installed she ran fine. Had my local auto parts store test the charging system and that was fine too. If it doesnt start again tommorow I will know what to do. The terminals are very old and need to be replaced. Thanks for the advice. Until next time cuz you know there will be a next time.
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