Wombat 43 introducing himself. Hi to all and thanks in advance!
2005 Grand Cherokee, 5.7 Hemi. 61,000 km . No significant previous problems.
A few weeks ago, after filling up with fuel, next morning engine light came on after first starting up, loss of power, hesitation for two blocks, then fine.Local kechanic guessed water in fuel. Problem recurred weeks later after refuelling (same station) and this happened again some time later. Each time, the station's tanks were being refuelled while we filled up.
Test showed random misfires, not limited to one cylinder. Last time it did was a few days ago when attempting to drive up steep hill at slow speed, tank was near reserve.
Dealer thinks fuel tank contains sludge and recommends r&r including replacing filter etc, injector flush etc. Total estimated costs vary between 3 local dealers and range from $ 350 to just under $ 1,400 (!).
It is not clear/proven if the tank is the problem, son has identical vehicle (lives in USA) and mentioned this to his service manager. The answer was that the crankshaft positioner may be faulty. The engine never actually stalled and I have no hard starting. I am very hesitant going ahead with tank r&r unless I know for sure what the problem is. Anyone with similar experience? Of course, any help/advice would be gratefully received.
I have always been told to NEVER buy gas when the gas truck is offloading the gas into the storage tanks. It disturbs all the debris in the storage tank...moving it around from the settled state at the bottom/top and then mixes it with your gas you are putting in your jeep.
Maybe it's just another pointless "myth" but I always follow that rule.
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…after filling up with fuel, next morning engine light came on after first starting up, loss of power, hesitation for two blocks…
And then –
Originally Posted by Wombat 43
…Problem recurred weeks later after refuelling (same station) and this happened again some time later…
Are we seeing a pattern yet?
Originally Posted by Wombat 43
… Each time, the station's tanks were being refuelled while we filled up…
Old wives’ tale – When the station’s tank is filled the incoming fuel stirs up everything that has settled in the tank and you can get trash pumped into your vehicle’s tank. True or not, I can’t say. But I won’t fill up if I know the station’s tank has just been filled.
Sounds like it could be fuel related to me. I’d stop getting fuel from that station. Talk with others and see if they’ve had a problem with fuel from that station. Put something like Heet in the tank to help get rid of any water. If the problem continues, I think I’d start with the tank and pump/filter. Your filter should have kept any trash out of the lines and injectors. If it’s water, cleaning out the tank and starting with fresh fuel should take care of it.
Welcome to the forum.
Keep in mind that free advice can frequently be worth less than you pay for it.
Thanks for the repliues so far, the dealer quoting the extreme amount for r&r tank is known as exceptionally greedy and I would not have any work performed there. I also don't believe that it would be a filter (correct me since I am not literate in mechanics) because the vehicle performs flwalessly and still kills just about anything at a traffic light. No problem accelerating or high speed running. I would assume that a filter would be under higher demand at a heavy load such as accelerating or high speed travel.
The main dealer dismissed the cost of filter etc, mumbling something like "only a stub" and I would have some justification in holding him to the estimate of under $ 400.
I wonder how reliable and comprehensive the diagnostic system is to provide an acurate diagnosis. I would not want to end up with a squeaky clean tank and still have the same problem.
I booked in with the Jeep dealer as my local mechanic said they have more accurate (Jeep-specific) diagnostic equipment. Last week there were several days where the vehicle behaved badly, bucking, engine light on and flashing usually on start-up and remaining so for a few blocks. On Sunday I drove well over 100 km at varying speeds and the vehicle ran like a dream. On Monday morning I barely made it to my surgery (5 minutes away due to severe loss of power and it even completely stalled (first time) once. Always starts right away by the way.
The service manager advised to have the tank low on fuel on arrival (maybe a mistake) and I drove the 100 km to the dealer while biting my nails. Power was down, engine light on and I had to be light on the throttle (or power downshift to stay up to speed. At last got there. Mechanic had brief look and retrieved code(PO300) which showed what we already knew (from home mechanic) multiple or random misfire. He put cover back on after checking plugs etc and test drove. Normal behaviour~!
Since he had not fixed anything it was decided that the fuel tank could well be the culprit and he took the tank down, cleaned a moderate amount of "debris" from it and replaced the sock-type filter in the tank. No one could/would guarantee me that it was fixed now and I paid the man and went home. No issues so far but that proves little as it had its great days before, as recently as two days ago.
If anyone has any suggestions on where to go from here I would greatly appreciate. It seems to me that I will now drive with the thought in the back of my mind that it will let me down again and thus the vehicle is going to become an unreliable beast until some time from now.
The dealer also re-emphasised that I need to stop vehicle and not drive (have it towed) should the light flash again in the future. Now I have a rather expensive vehicle, have kept it well-maintained and cannot trust it?
Perhaps a Touareg?
Last edited by Wombat 43; 11-24-2009 at 04:30 AM..
Well, here is a further update and I am hoping for some feedback.
After the visit to the dealer the car ran beautifully again from Tuesday to Saturday, that afternoon after a few short trips the CEL came on very briefly but not long enough to notice any loss in power.
No problems the next day and none on Monday at startup but 3 hours later, after going home for lunch it bucked wildly again, I drove to my local service station mechanic who had suggested to come in when the car misbehaved. I turned off engine, located him in the back shop, we came straight out, he started the vehicle and we went for a drive. I love the way this drives he said, needless to say, again the gremlin was hiding.
I contacted the two dealer workshops in BNE again, also rang Hammond's and was told essentially the same by all three.
I am to leave the vehicle with them for whatever time it takes, one, 2, 3 or more likely more weeks during which time they have a mechanic drive the car three different times a day, with diagn. tool attached .
That is "the only way" to get to the bottom of this they say.
I find this totally unacceptable, it is worse than the dark ages could have been, I think the computer overkill has made us into bumbling idiots.
I have very little mechanical knowledge but it seems to me that a random misfire diagnosis would have a number of possible causes, say ten in all. What prevents a mechanic from systematically testing each possibility and thus rule out one cause after the other until the culprit is found? Would that not be the sensible way to proceed? Would it not appear the only way?
If there are huge obstacles to this I would like to know, also it would mean that we have painted ourselves into a corner with all the modern gadgets and sensors etc. All in the name of what? Comfort and convenience for the owner or could it be to create dependency on a system without which we are entirely lost and which is at complete liberty to lead us down the many paths they have established until we have spent enough and are ready to kiss the feet of the saviours who finally succeeded in making us happy?
Needless to say, I see no other outcome to this than to actively pursue the search for a reliable vehicle, one that can be trusted on the basis of the manufacturer's reputation. Still a risk perhaps but a considerably reduced one.
The next step to take, in my case, after recovering somewhat from the financial shock of trading in what has depreciated faster than many other makes and from the total figure of the "change-over" price, an elaborate and detailed article in a major national newspaper would be the (public service) thing to do and it might even lessen the pain .