pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
160,550 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (10 reports)
  2. replace pcm wire harness connectors seating (2 reports)
  3. replaced computer (2 reports)
  4. bought a new computer-pcm/ecm with lifetime warrenty (1 reports)
  5. install new cpu (1 reports)
  6. modified instructions for solution # 6 (1 reports)
1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Owner Comments

problem #17

Mar 172021

Grand Cherokee Lorado 4.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles


I......am not sure what to do at this point. My Jeep just started having this problem a few weeks ago I've replaced IAC, cap, rotor, coil, plugs and wires. I've done compression test, fuel pressure test, spark tests, I checked the resistance on all the new and old parts. I did see one thing. I'm gonna try today with the PCM, but if anyone has any ideas let me know.

Symptom: intermittent stalling/ bogging down/stuttering while driving or idle. It will happen while hot and cold.

- Chase E., Edgartown, MA, US

problem #16

Nov 192016

Grand Cherokee Tsi Laredo 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,000 miles

My Jeep wants to shut down when you let off the gas, hit the brakes, and make a right turn. Strange as it may sound every time it has stalled it was in this exact same scenario. When it does this the fuse to the auto shutdown relay blows. I get out, put a new fuse in and start it back up and go on.I have replaced the TPS, IACV, VSS and the auto shutdown relay. The auto shutdown relay was the last thing I replaced and drove it several hundred miles, thought I had it fixed and all of the sudden I was driving it the other day, went to make a right hand turn and guess what, it quits.Coincidence or whatever it is strange that it only does it on a right hand turn. Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated. It is still a good old Jeep, the old 4.0L runs like a champ but this makes you want to take it to the bone yard.

- fenderman56, Dyersburg, US

problem #15

Nov 032016

Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

same as others. i have replaced plugs, cap, rotor, oxygen sensors, plugs and wires, coil, crank sensor, checked and cleaned throttle body, replaced idle air control valve, runs great then stalls. no codes except a misfire code. sometimes runs fine for a week, then can stall few times in one day. starts back up after few seconds. really annoying.

- Gary S., Reno, NV, US

problem #14

Sep 012014

Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles


click to see larger images

engine stalls/shuts off while driving

Now I referred you all to the comments made by the very smart JHARTGC Item #6 below, man his really figured this out !!!! I'm tell all of you to follow his instructions, and mine as I found that his were not specific or is a different set up.

I would recommend that you find out how many mounting screws hold the computer to the firewall. Mine had 3 and the screws went through the mounts (hollow tube with an anchor sleeve to the side) You will see when you look at yours, it may or may not have it I don't know. I had to modify as the picture shows, I added lock washers, both back and front, the 3/8 inch hole is not exact it is just a bit larger so I used the side of the bit to enlarge until it fit over the hollow tube, ( oh I forgot to tell you, it is the TOP LEFT one on the back side , but you knew that LOL) OK as you can see in my crudely drawn picture the back left side has that funny point at 3 o'clock that is to allow the support sleeve (if you have on) to slide into, I used a jigsaw and eyeballed it. Now mind you I don't have a workshop or anything kike that, any one can do this. I used my porch rail and a clamp. I got all the supplies at tractor supply. Just happened to see them there.

Now I had just put on a new catalytic converter and muffler not two months ago and last Saturday, March 7th 2015 at 60 mph it stalled backed fired and blew a hole or something loose in something. That did it two hours later I was done farting around, no more zip ties, no more money to mechanics for parts I DON'T NEED. One week and it runs great, just a bit louder (LOL) Thank goodness I already had it inspected!

I would like to know if this helps anyone out with your problem. and again BIG THANKS TO JHARTGC

Update from Mar 15, 2015: I forgot to mention that I used electric contact fast drying spray on both the connectors (in the holes to clean them out and on the pins of the computer board) I also did an extra step, I used dielectric gel put it in an old syringe from the plunger end and pushed it to the end then placed it over each pin wiggled it to cover the pin being careful that I ONLY got it on 1 pin at a time and not smear it to the next pin. because I don't know if it would short something out...I did not monkey around with any screws (shorten) on the cover don't think you need to. Again a BIG THANKS to JHARTGC with out his help this problem would not be fixable.... PLEASE look at his pictures and click on them, and I just took another look you will see how my drawing and his pictures will come together

- dogwood326, Wilmington, NC, US

problem #13

Nov 092014

Grand Cherokee

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee, vin 1j4gz58s1vc548872, shuts down randomly in two sec. Give it a few minutes, it starts.

- rickmasterva, S-chesterfield, VA, US

problem #12

Jan 212015

Grand Cherokee Lorado 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 260,000 miles

Well lets start with I have owned two 97 Jeep Grand Cherokees. They both have about 260,000 miles. I changed one motor wrist pin. My girl friend over heated it twice, then froze it once. It still ran great for three or four more years, then new motor came in to play. Now I'm driving my 97 original motor n trans, she just cuts off. I put it in neutral, start it back up and keep going. It does this more and more often now. Off to Advanced to have them check the codes. I hope its the crank sensor 37 bucks at NAPA. If anyone has better idea of my problem let me know. Thank you.

- mpolak, Staunton, VA, US

problem #11

Jan 162013

Grand Cherokee 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


I can be driving and all the sudden, the Jeep starts to stall by shaking so I need to pull over before the car stalls and no power to the steering wheel... it usually takes about 3 tries to turn over the engine to make it go... I went to the Jeep dealers and paid $125.. for the diagnose that it is the CPU that's cutting the engine off immediately from day to weeks without any problems, but someday, the Jeep just stalls no matter how far I travel.. I just want everyone to know that knowing the problem and getting into an accident..this is my third CPU I have installed in my Jeep ...I even have my own Car MD to check the CPU and also took the Jeep to the mechanics put their computer does not show no codes//SO BE AWARE OF THIS

- Mike G., Whittier, CA, US

problem #10

Jul 012014

Grand Cherokee

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

The same as every other Jeep owner with this problem, same scenarios, but maybe not quite so severe as some of the other stories ... After a good 20 minute run, would stall to a stop in the middle of the road, but this only happened several times ... while on the freeway, would jerk alarmingly and threaten to cut out but then it would seem to get going again, this was the most oft-repeated event.

Last year I think, the PCM was replaced with a reconditioned unit. Prior to that, it was definitely stalling to a stop much more frequently but not the jerkiness and threatening to stall that occurred later on.

Anyway, several weeks ago I installed the connector bracket as proposed by JHartGC of Ohio down below in March 2011, and I am the happiest man around. Where before I would definitely experience the symptoms every trip, or every other trip, and often more than once during the trip, I now have 30-40 trips completed with not a single recurrence. The bracket seems to have done the job, ensured the PCM pins are tight in their holes and not bouncing out. I understand this is a similar issue with other connectors with pins like computer hardware (before USBs came around, remember how you had to screw the printer connector in? This is the same kind of principle) but of course there isn't the constant vibration of a vehicle.

Several things to add to John's repair below: shortening the screws doesn't appear to achieve anything. The long screws do not hit the back when fully screwed in, there is at least a quarter inch gap before the screw would touch the car so there is nothing to compromise the screws from being screwed in as hard as you possibly can, so shortening them isn't going to connect the thing any more securely. And John mentions shorting the battery cables together, as I don't know how to do that, I didn't. Finally, I'm not any kind of mechanic at all, I don't know a damn thing about this stuff, so it did take me several hours to do, including dropping screws and trying to find them in the dark. Some of the screws are hard to get to and I had to stand on the wheel to get to them. But if a schmuck like me can do it, anybody can.

Thanks again carcomplaints.com and John H., fantastic solution!

- andrewy, Santa Rosa, CA, US

problem #9

Jul 012014

Grand Cherokee Laredo 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

So i bought this care a little under 2 years ago. ran like a friggin champ for a year. then the elusive stalling started. its a 97 jeep gc laredo v6. when the problem started it had around 170000 miles on it. Ive tried every DIY fix i could find to no avail. some days it'll run and run strong for weeks on end. then all of a sudden . death. it stalls. back fires./ bucks. loses all power. sometimes cranks right back up. others. takes it over night to crank. if i had the money i would sue the living hell out of jeep for not fixing this issue and then id buy a new car. but im broke. im a single father trying my damndest to make it. and well with a car that wont run its hard to figure out how im going to get back and forth to work every day. ive put more money into trying to fix the problem then what i paid for the damned thing. ive called jeep about it. there reply. dont know what to tell ya.. there are guesstimated over 150000 complaints on over 200 forums and websites about this same exact issue.

- semipro_85, Ivanhoe, NC, US

problem #8

Apr 012013

Grand Cherokee Inline 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Dangerous to drive...dies when driving in traffic randomly. I have had it checked out by many different machenics...each think its something different causing it...the only thing that helped for a while was to sucure the broken clips on the connectors that connect to the computer! But doesnt totally fix the problem! I love my jeep..cant afford to trade it in..want to fix the problem without putting much money into it...other than this problem it runs great. Please any suggestions?

- Janis S., Hutchinson, KS, US

problem #7

Oct 312013

Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles


My Jeep will run fine for a week or two, then starts acting up, will not run right, skips and cuts off. It will start back but it takes about 15 to 20 minutes of cranking and waiting before it will start. I have replaced the computer 2 times. I'm just wondering if computers could be the problem again !!!!!!!!!!!

- mfrady, Stanley, NC, US

problem #6

Mar 012011

Grand Cherokee Limited 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

click to see larger images

engine stalls/shuts off while driving engine stalls/shuts off while driving engine stalls/shuts off while driving engine stalls/shuts off while driving

About a year ago, my 97 GC started with the stalling problem. I have replaced everything that everyone talks about ...It is a complete shutdown of ignition....Most times, the Code readers say that it is the ignition coil, or ignition coil signal. It is also very random....and not necessarily heat related. Sometimes, the vehicle won't start after sitting all night....sometimes it will stall when backing out of the driveway....sometimes after 10 minutes of driving....sometimes not at all for a trip to the store, but then stall several times coming home from the store. One thing is for sure….It gets worse and worse as time goes on. Sometimes, it helps to disconnect the battery....sometimes, it doesn't. There are times when it refuses to restart, and then unplugging and replugging various sensors helps. Sometimes, it helps to reset the PCM connectors....and then sometimes it doesn't. Well....I've been through all the replacement stuff...I've traversed the awful sensation of the car stopping suddenly while I'm in the center lane during rush hour....I've experienced the horror of stalling in the middle of an intersection, and the frustration of not getting to work on time. Oh baby...I know this problem...and I am a long-time veteran of electronic circuitry. I am a component-level troubleshooter, and I was not about to allow this problem to win the day.

Unfortunately...this problem is allusive in it's randomness....and also by the pesky disappearance when you replace a sensor....then it rears its ugly head a few days later. So......after $500-$1000 worth of component changing...you are left with the same problem and a box of used parts that probably were never bad to begin with.

So....On to the solution. Now, one person on another forum suggests shortening the length of the PCM cover screws a bit. I’m not convinced that this does anything…but it seemed to work for him.

Nevertheless....I was willing to shorten up those screws, simply because it doesn't hurt to give it a try. But my final analysis concludes that there's no doubt that the problem rests in the PCM Connector configuration. Whether it is dirt, corrosion, or poor intimate contact in the connector or the PCM....the problem is right there....and most likely caused by many years of vibration, the weight of the cable harness, and the 90 degree angle of the connectors.

I've noticed that several people have claim success using zip ties on the connectors, and while this may work, I am uncomfortable with the use of zip ties because they put stress on connectors in weird directions....the problem may return over time.

I was convinced that the solution rests in ensuring a zero-vibration environment at the connector. But the connectors needed to be seated firmly and perfectly perpendicular to the surface of the PCM.

The screws? well, they might play a part in all this, but I could see nothing down in the screw holes that would suggest a short circuit with a circuit board component....it is just an empty hole. The screws could be corroded, and not making good contact...but if you remove the screws completely, the symptoms don't change. Sooooo I'm skeptical about the whole screw thing.

So, I ran into a forum post elsewhere that describes this same problem, and the creation of a connector bracket. This sounded perfect. So I made one. It cost me $6.43 for the materials...it took 15 minutes to make the bracket....and 45 minutes to install.....and now my stalling problem is gone.

Very simple. Go to Home Depot....buy the following junk: 1 - 36" Steel Bar 1" wide X 1/8" thick 2 Bolts 4" long X 1/4 2 Wingnuts (1/4")">

From the steel bar, using a hacksaw, cut off 2 lengths of bar 9" long each. Drill holes large enough for the bolts on both ends of the bars One bar goes behind the PCM One bar goes on top of the connectors Use the wingnuts to tighten the connectors firmly into place.

Details: Remove your battery cables and short them together (use a wrench or screwdriver) Remove the coolant overflow tank hose...set aside (1 minute) Remove three coolant overflow tank mounting screws (5 minutes) Remove coolant overflow tank (1 minute) Remove PCM Connectors from PCM (1 minute) Remove 3 PCM Mounting bolts (5 minutes) Remove PCM (30 seconds) Remove screws from front plate of PCM and grind them shorter or replace them with shorter screws (just in case)(5 minutes) Place one bar on backside of PCM...Place other bar on front...then wingnut them in place from the front(this is just to get the bracket in place because you can't put the bolts on while the PCM is still mounted on the firewall) (2 minutes) Now Mount the PCM back onto the firewall (5 minutes) Loosen the wingnuts out to the end of the bolts....Install the connectors....tighten down the wingnuts with great zeal, but not so much as to distort the bar very much. (there will be some bow in the bar...but don't sweat it)(5 minutes) Now reinstall your Overflow coolant tank (5 minutes) Reconnect your battery (2 minutes) Start Car and Drive away. Ooops..wait Stop Car..get out....close hood...Now drive away

- jhartgc, Middlefield, OH, US

problem #5

Oct 012011

Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L I6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

So Jeep started stalling intermittently in all types of dangerous situations...on the highway at 70 mph, in the driveway, just about anywhere, any time. I replaced the fuel pump system yesterday with no improvement. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions - will look at some of these suggestions but think new car is a good option (not a Jeep!)

- James D., Clovis, CA, US

problem #4

Mar 132010

Grand Cherokee laredo 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

engine stalls while driving? replace air intake valve was stuck open, replace camshaft sensor, replace distribitor cap, rotor, and sensor, replace ignition coil, a full tune up with injection cleaning. still have the problem stalls out while driving, this is dangerous for a disabled person, i read about 35 different complaints with no solutions to exactly the problem is from fuel pumps to computer problems..... I'm disabled

Update from Jan 29, 2012: went to the dealership they Power control module / ecm computer- now its working great with no stalling

Update from Oct 1, 2014: I replaced the PCM/ECM no stalling for two years, Sept.30 2014 again the Jeep start stalling again at 175,550 and order another PCM. my third PCM No recall from Jeep.. mechanics plug in computer "no code" only O2 sensors... now the battery gauge not working to start car, and the engine cranks but no start..

- gunthner, Whittier, CA, US

problem #3

May 142008

Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

For the past couple of years, my jeep will simply stall without warning. Engine warm, engine cold, hot weather, cold weather, full moon, no moon, democrats in office, republicans in office, there is no pattern. I could drive 1000 miles without incident, or I might stall every 10 feet just getting out of the parking lot. Fuel pressure is good before and after stalling, and vacuum is consistently good and steady.

I replaced the spark plugs, wires, rotor, cap, distributor, and coil. It runs like a watch...when it runs. I noticed that wiggling the connections to the PCM affected the idle, so I removed plugs, cleaned with electrical contact cleaner and applied dielectric grease and reinstalled, using zip ties (2 on each connector) to hold plugs in place. This worked well for several months.

Then, It came back. As months go by, it has increased with greater frequency. Replaced coil again, seemed to help for a couple of weeks. However, recently, connections to PCM have become much more sensitive to the point that the vehicle will start and move, but is unsafe to drive. Any wiggling of the wires or harnesses will immediately kill the engine. No codes on computer (seems to forget data after restart as well, scan tool shows computer re running emissions self tests).

This is a very, very common problem with all ZJ model Grand Cherokees. Just type "jeep stalls" into google, and you will find a hundred complaints on message boards exactly like mine.

Apparently, this has been a well known problem for several years. Chrysler should have issued a recall a long time ago since this is a safety issue. I hope someone starts a class action lawsuit against Chrysler, as not only have they refused to deal with the problem, but they refuse to admit that the problem even exists.

I wonder if the people who issue safety recalls for Chrysler had anything to do with the Ford Pinto...

- malcolmoffire, Houston, TX, US

problem #2

Apr 012007

Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L I6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Car would stall randomly. I could be going 70 on the interstate, 30 in town, in reverse in my driveway, or sitting at a light. Hot, cold didn't matter. Took it to 2 different "factory authorized" dealers, 2 times each. Each trip of course is a pain in the ass, but makes you feel even more raped when they don't fix the problem, and say they wont refund your money because work was done and there is no warranty on electrical parts. New car or not, take your car to a reputable repair shop instead of the dealer. After research and my own troubleshooting I replaced the drivetrain computer (NAPA $300.00) It ran good for just over a year but the problem is starting again. I suspect a design problem with the wire connection points in the computer because you can recreate the symptoms by wiggling the wires going into the computer as the vehicle is idling. Make sure to secure the wires and install the protective covers if you remove them.

Update from May 2, 2010: I found Auto Computer Exchange on ebay and ordered a 2nd replacement. This one was $185.00, and so far I have been 100% stall free for about 6 months. I dealt with a guy named Louis- 954-983-4948. He will want the usual info plus original part # and VIN. They were quick to ship, and very helpful. (since mine was already a replacement, I called a dealer, who gave me a chrysler # to call, who looked up my VIN to get the original part #). I just turned 200,000, went on a trip and averaged 24.6 MPG. Love the 4.0.

- jeeprod, Tampa, FL, US

problem #1

Jan 012008

Grand Cherokee Laredo V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My car just stalls/stops at any speeding when running. It started in January of this year (2008). We have brought it to two mechanics. They changed some parts but then the

problem comes back. It is now at the Chrysler dealer and they can't figure out what is wrong with it.

- rebe783019, San Francisco, CA, US

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