When troubleshooting a stalling issue, there are two main areas you want to investigate first, and those are, but not limited to:
- Fuel Supply
- Electrical Components
These are two very wide-ranging categories so we’ll break down the usual suspects in more detail.
Table of Contents
Jeep Wrangler Randomly Dies
Have you ever experienced driving coming to a stop when suddenly your Jeep stalls without any prior warning? This happened to me while I was cruising at a very slow speed and I stalled. Strangely, when driving on the highway, my vehicle appeared to be going perfectly fine.
In my research, I found that most Jeep owners also reported, that once this happened, the engine light appeared, but no error code was kicked out. The vehicle restarts as if nothing happened and appears to be able to function 100% fine again.
This is also completely random and not a phenomenon you can recreate, which always makes troubleshooting a lot more tricky.
Symptoms to look out for when stalling:
- Check engine light flickering
- No other warning symbols appear
- Gauges and instruments remain on
- Fuel Gauge returns to empty
- Cruise control cancels out
We’ve identified the symptoms, let’s look at some of the possible solutions to this weird stalling problem.
Jeep Wrangler Stalling Problems (SOLUTIONS)
If you are mechanically minded or a DIY type of person, then these checks and fixes are relatively easy to perform and can be carried out with no special tools.
So let’s start by looking at the most common reasons why Jeeps stall and work our way down.
Crank Position Sensor
A common cause of sudden fails on Jeeps and many other modern vehicles is the CPS (Crank Position Sensor). If the crank position sensor is bad, it can cause misfiring, poor engine performance, and stalling since the engine is robbed of spark, which it needs to function properly. Get your replacement Crank Position Sensor here.
Bad CPS Symptoms include but are not limited to:
|Erratic engine behavior
|Decrease in engine power
|Increased fuel consumption
|Check Engine Light appears
|Inability to start
Let’s now look at another sneaky component that can cause unexpected stalling.
Ignition Switch Actuator Pin
There is a pin inside your ignition switch that can be responsible for engine stalling without prior warning. One of the parts inside the switch is a metal rod and a link that triggers and sends an electrical signal to your starter motor when cranking. It then retains the key securely and keeps the connection closed within the switch.
- If the ignition switch malfunctions, the connection between the ignition and fuel systems is cut off, which will cause the engine to stall.
- Depending on how bad the switch is, the engine might or might not start.
- Pick up your replacement Ignition Switch Actuator Pin here
Next, let’s investigate the OPDA
OPDA (Oil Pump Drive Assembly)
A problematic OPDA was an issue on the 4.0 engine ranging in years models 1992 to 2006. The factory standard OPDA was designed with two bronze oil bushings, which were separated by an oil seal.
- The upper bushing is cut off from lubrication by that seal, resulting in premature failure.
- Over time, radial movement develops in the shaft.
- Eventually, the complete assembly and camshaft will fail.
You ignore a bad OPDA at your peril since failure to replace this relatively inexpensive component will result in a lack of sufficient lubrication and eventually catastrophic engine failure.
The repair is a DIY repair for any hands-on type of person without the need for any special tools. Get your replacement Oil Pump Drive Assembly here.
Jeep Wrangler Stalls When Stopping
Let’s investigate which other components can cause the same stalling phenomenon when stopping.
Faulty or Weak Battery
A bad battery can cause all sorts of electrical gremlins. When the battery is weak, it has very low cranking power and amps. This can cause incorrect electrical signals, “confusing” the ECU, and causing your Jeep to stall unexpectedly.
- A weak battery also means extra work for your alternator to charge the battery
- The Alternator works harder to keep the engine running.
- The additional load on your engine components can also cause an unexpected stall.
- Pick up a replacement RED TOP Battery here.
These faults are always difficult to troubleshoot. It’s also one of the last things we tend to check, at least I am guilty of that. Electrical harnesses that are constantly exposed to heat are usually the first ones to perish quicker than the rest.
Chaffing and moisture exposure can also cause shorts and electrical gremlins to develop over time.
- Always start inspecting the harnesses closest to your firewall that wrap around the valve cover.
- 2x bolts are sticking up and pressed into the harness creating random shorts and misses.
- No code will appear either.
- Get a replacement Wrangler wiring harness Kit (07-18) here
Signs of a Failing Fuel pump are, but are not limited to:
- Decrease in fuel efficiency
- Weak acceleration and power
- Whining or loud humming sound from the rear near the fuel tank
A weak fuel pump with low-pressure results in your engine not getting the correct fuel-to-air mixture it needs to power the vehicle. Whining in the backseat. Pick up your replacement Fuel Pump here.
If you own a modern 4WD then you need to own an OBDII Scanner. This BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Car Diagnostic Scan Tool is all the rage right now since it allows you to connect your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth to monitor live data, read and clear your car’s trouble codes, and check engine light errors like a professional mechanic.
PLUS, BlueDriver offers 24/7 professional support allowing you to get in touch with highly trained technicians whenever you need them by phone or in-app chat.
- Always take care to replace any electrical components with genuine MOPAR parts for the best results.
- A battery is often overlooked for strange stalling behavior so ensure your battery is still healthy and not more than 3 years old.
- Before replacing electrical components, do a thorough clean and spray all contact points with a good dielectric spray for good connection.
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