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Unread 12-20-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
michaellindsay
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Stalling before and more frequently after changing radiator

Introduction
Hi, I want to introduce myself before I ask for any help. My name is mike, I've been browsing these forums intermittently since about the middle of January this year while I've been looking for a good deal on a Wrangler but I seem to have grown fond of my ZJ recently after realizing how cold Wranglers are in the winter. I currently have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo(Straight 6) that is continuously on its last leg but I got it for $600 with 150,000 miles on it and no immediate issues so it's hard to complain. I've currently decided to sink some money into and fix it so I can make it last another few years but it seems like ever since I've made my decision to stick with it things have taken a turn for the worse. I work with computers for a living and I'm usually able to fix my automotive problems with nothing more than a few Google searches but I'm having trouble finding out what is wrong with it because I don't know the exact symptoms because there is so many of them.

If there is a solutions to any of the other issues below I’d appreciate help troubleshooting it however the most pressing issue is what I have under current issue below as it’s my main source of transportation to and from work. I had to walk two miles from my apartment this morning which was the last straw for me. I’m moving out of my apartment to my girlfriends on the 31st which is nowhere near walking distance so I need to figure out what’s going on with it before then. If you need any further information please just let me know, I’m trying to provide as much information as I can.

A few of my other issues that I figured I should mention in case they are related
Well, for the past few months my car has been stalling and smoking whenever the air is moist or it rains for a day or two straight but it only seems to stall at low speeds when I'm applying the brakes but the car shakes violently when it happens which causes my exhaust to rattle and it looks like smoke/steam is coming from the middle top of the engine. When I go to start it back up I have to floor it and throw it in drive so I can get it into a parking lot to come back to later when it’s dryer outside. I've also had an issue with my battery dying if I leave my car off for a weekend+ which I assume is an electrical issue because when I turn my headlights off with my car off they come back on and I have to turn them off and off again to get it to work. I've also had a radiator leak which escalated quickly over the past few days to a massive hole which caused me to replace it which leads to my current issues.

Current issue
Two days ago I drove my car to my parents’ house and when I pulled in the driveway all the coolant that I had put in 15 minutes before was almost completely gone and the rest quickly drained out after parking. I went and purchased a new radiator from Advance Auto Parts and installed it yesterday which required me taking the fan out. After about two hours of work I finally installed the radiator successfully and had everything pieced back together. When I went to start it everything seemed like it was running fine for the first minute or so while I let it idle in the driveway to check for leaks. After about a minute I noticed a clicking sound from the EVAP service port. I’ve Googled it and read that it was a common issue with Jeeps and it’s nothing to be concerned about but couldn’t find a fix so I continued to let it idle. After about three or four minutes the car started smoking/steaming and shaking violently as I described above when it’s wet outside. I figured I’d let it sit for another 10 minutes and let the smoke and stuff clear out like it normally does when I leave it and it did but it continued to shake. The shaking stopped for a moment so I drove it up and down the street but now the car idles normal for second then drops off and starts shaking and then goes back to normal about a second later. Whenever I stop at a stoplight it will always shake when I’m breaking below 20 miles an hour and it’s not even wet outside like it needed to be before for it to have that same issue which makes me think it’s related in some way to the radiator or something that I could have touched when installing the new one.
If anyone has any suggestions of things to try please let me know, I’ve seen how knowledgeable most of you are when it comes to troubleshooting. Thank you ahead of time, I’ll be available to respond all day while I’m at work if you guys need anything further.

Edit: I also forgot to mention that when I'm driving above 50 mph and I let off the gas it jerks a bit. I haven't driven it extensively to pinpoint the exact speeds it's happening because I don't want to run it into the ground trying to troubleshoot it.

Edit 2: I also just remembered that my heat was not working either after changing the radiator.

Edit 3: I forgot to also note that the vehicle will shock me sometimes when I get out of it


Last edited by michaellindsay; 12-20-2012 at 08:12 AM..
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Unread 12-20-2012, 06:55 AM   #2
Donnyd21
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Classic signs of a bad PCM
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Unread 12-20-2012, 06:58 AM   #3
michaellindsay
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Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnyd21 View Post
Classic signs of a bad PCM
I was thinking that prior to changing my radiator but why would it instantly get 100 times worse after changing my radiator. It just seems like too much of a coincidence.

I also just remembered that my heat was not working either after changing the radiator.
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Unread 12-20-2012, 08:12 AM   #4
michaellindsay
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Edited a few times for those of you who have read it already
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Unread 12-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
michaellindsay
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Here's an update, I got a ride to my apartment during work to recheck fluids as I read it could be low transmission fluid. I had checked this last night right after changing the radiator and it appeared to be full. I ran it for 15 minutes in neutral and the checked it last night. I read something that says that sometimes after fluid loss that it may have to cycle the stuff in there to get an accurate reading so when I went home I went through the process again and it was completely empty so that may be the culprit. I will report back with results.

I do have a question though I need to drive about 8 miles with no transmission fluid will that wreck my transmission considering i drove 10 miles already without any on the interstate? I will not have anyone to drive me there or I would have them do it for me.
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Unread 12-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
MoparMan1990
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Don't drive it! And I always keep a quart of trans fluid and oil in my jeep.. I don't have any leaks or issues but its always good to have them in case
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Unread 12-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
ratmonkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellindsay View Post
Here's an update, I got a ride to my apartment during work to recheck fluids as I read it could be low transmission fluid. I had checked this last night right after changing the radiator and it appeared to be full. I ran it for 15 minutes in neutral and the checked it last night. I read something that says that sometimes after fluid loss that it may have to cycle the stuff in there to get an accurate reading so when I went home I went through the process again and it was completely empty so that may be the culprit. I will report back with results.

I do have a question though I need to drive about 8 miles with no transmission fluid will that wreck my transmission considering i drove 10 miles already without any on the interstate? I will not have anyone to drive me there or I would have them do it for me.
it will cause damage and already has.

did you burp the cooling system? no heat=air bubbles and no coolant flow.

i've seen a lot of wet stalling and sputtering issues caused by a bad cap and rotor. the one on mine when i bought it did that.
sounds like you have a crap ton of issues you need to sort through and they're overlapping.
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Unread 12-21-2012, 08:35 AM   #8
michaellindsay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
it will cause damage and already has.

did you burp the cooling system? no heat=air bubbles and no coolant flow.

i've seen a lot of wet stalling and sputtering issues caused by a bad cap and rotor. the one on mine when i bought it did that.
sounds like you have a crap ton of issues you need to sort through and they're overlapping.
Last night I added 4 quarts of ATF+4 transmission fluid to my transmission and it's no longer stalling constantly but it did rain last night and the stalling began again this morning. I drove it around on break and it seemed fine after the moisture was out of the air.

I do have something else that's more concerning, When I turn my wheel almost all the way to the left or right I heard a clicking sound so I hopped under my car and had someone move the steering wheel left and right and it looks like a mount that only appears on the drivers side is popping back and fourth. Last night I took an impact gun to it and tightened it up and the sound wasn't as bad but after a few minutes of driving it started again. I'm fairly sure it's the track bar mount/bracket. I've read that if it breaks on the interstate it leads a a slow fiery death off the side of a bridge because of loss of steering. Anyways my question is, is there a way to tell if the track bar is bad of if it's just the mount. I don't want want to take chances driving it after if it could be the track bar.
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Unread 12-21-2012, 08:49 AM   #9
gearheadnick
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If you suspect that the track bar is bad, best bet is to replace it. I've found good deals on track bars on ebay, a lot cheaper than my local parts stores. Also check that the bolt hole for the track bar isn't ovaled out, I've read posts here that have had that happen.
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