Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jeep Grand Cherokee will cut out, engine dies

Hello Garage Expert Team

Jeep Grand Cherokee, 1997, six cyl, two wheel drive.
Car will cut out, engine dies, at 65mph on freeway or turning corner on side streets.
Car returned from mechanic yesterday, and today the "check engine" light just came back on.
Mechanic says Its Faulty computer?
Should i replace ECM or its anything else?

Please provide more vehicle details and what else is tried till yet on these jeep.


Its a  1997 year jeep grand Cherokee model

Engine : 6 cyl
Till yet i have visited to 2 mechanics.Bot suggested faulty ignition coil and i replace ignition coil and now after check engine light came ON,one mech says its due to faulty ECM,should i replace it?


I need to know what fault codes you received,due to which mechanic told to replace the computer.
Do you have the codes with you.

The codes are not with me.

OK.Do you have scan tool.

Customer :---
No,i dont have scan tool.


Ok,try these manual procedure to retrieve the Error codes,so we can continue further.

Cycle the key from off to on three times ending with it on and watch for the check engine light to flash codes. Don't crank the starter, just off to on. After the last time you turn the key on the light will come on and then go off. After a pause it will come back and start flashing. It will flash up to 9 times and then pause. Count the flashes between the pauses - this is a code digit. Write down all digits that you see and post them here in order.

I am not able to understand the codes.

tried turning the key on to off three times twice but the check engine light stayed solid the entire time...ended with key on and waited 20 sec Plus


This feature was hit and miss on the 1997 model year so it may not work, but it can be tricky if it does work. Here is a short video I made showing the process that may help. If you were doing it just right but it won't work then we can assume it's not going to work on yours.

These is direct link for the video:---

Please confirm which year model jeep Cherokee you have,

Open the glove box and check the registration

Please note:--- The flash code feature went away with the 1998 model year.
If the code procedure is not working on your vehicle,may be its of year 1998 or its manufactured at near the end of year 1997.

I think may be car if of year 1998 and so these procedure is not working.One thing i would like to share with you experts. When the technician was replacing the ignition coil.

"One of the mechanics I took it to bumped the connection to the computer while installing the coils and the car would consistently stop..
So then he ordered an aftermarket computer and when he went to install it he noticed some of the "prongs" on the connector  were pushed back ...he pulled them forward and seemed like they snapped back in...the bumping of the connector would no longer cause the engine to quit... and the car drove last night and this morning without the check engine light coming on until about 1 hour of driving.But now the check engine light is coming on right.
So can it be issue with loose wiring or problem with PCM or ECM.


Try to locate the PCM in your vehicle and visually view its connectors condition.

Locate the powertrain control module (PCM), which is on the right side of the firewall behind the coolant reservoir, and then wiggle test the connectors with the engine running to see if it will miss or die.

The PCM is the silver rectangular module mounted all the way on the right side of the firewall and it will have three 32-way electrical connectors. What we want to do is start it up and wiggle each one up and down and see if the engine misses or dies. These will let us know either is loose wiring issue oir faulty PCM/ECM itself.

Ok,i got it.
These are my results about the wiggle test.

On the left side of the fire wall there is a flat rectangular approx 10"x8" maybe 1"thick type pan with three connectors into it...
I wiggled the connector wires which were loose and it sputters...I wiggle that one and the one to its left and it stops immediately.
So there is some effect showing by wiggling the connectors.

And one more thing,i asked the first mechanic who inspected my car and he told that error code was P)351.

Garage Expert Team:----

Yes, it sounds like you're in the right spot. You've described the PCM well, but it's actually on the right side of the firewall, which will be on your left side when facing the vehicle from the front.

The problem is internal in the PCM. Without a doubt, the code P0351, which  you mentioned is for the ignition coil primary circuit. The coil receives voltage from the ASD relay and is controlled using a ground driver from the PCM, a single wire leaves the PCM and goes to the coil to produce spark.

I think these all is relkated to each other.
I will give you more explanation about the problem:----

Coil driver failures in the PCM's on these that come and go with moving PCM connectors is fairly common.

There is a confirm poor joint on the circuit board inside the PCM  and that is definitely causing an open circuit on the coil driver in the PCM, that's what is setting the coil code and also causing the engine to die. This is a fairly common problem on these vehicles and is what I figured you had going on. While loose terminals in one of the PCM connectors definitely could have caused the problem and definitely needed to be fixed, the PCM is going to need to be replaced to repair this concern.

The mechanics which you dealt with for these problem,have diagnosed the issue right.

But still before replacing the PCM,i suggest ask the mechanic to look at the loose connector joints of PCM and make be re-soldering these connector joints helps you to take care of the issue without replacing whole PCM,but if that is not helping then replacing the PCMis best possible option to solve these issue.

These details will help.


Thanks Garage expert team.

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