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On a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I'm seeing the vehicle stall occasionally after I back out of my driveway (~40 feet) and shift into forward. It doesn't exhibit the problem every time, but it seems to have started happening about a month ago.

After stalling, the car is very difficult to start. It cranks and cranks, but never seems to catch. Giving it a little bit of gas via the pedal does eventually (reluctantly, after 3-4s) cause it to catch. I know this is bad for it.

There doesn't seem to be a pattern as to when it decides to do it. At first, I thought it was because it was happening when I turned the steering wheel as I was shifting, and that it had something to do with the extra drop in HP from the steering pump being stressed. I've mostly ruled that out, because we've been careful to not turn the wheel when shifting.

I haven't yet established whether the cold-starting vs. warm-starting affects this.

Fire away with additional questions. I'll edit the question as they come in.

  • 1
    What kind of transmission? – Nate Eldredge Oct 30 '14 at 21:13
  • Automatic trans. – Lynn Crumbling Oct 30 '14 at 21:43
  • 1
    I'd check your car's idle speed control valve. These can sometimes be cleaned. – philcolbourn Nov 6 '14 at 5:54
  • @philcolbourn The inability to start the car after it's recently been turned off has gotten a lot worse. I pulled the IAC last night, and it was pretty dirty. I gave it a good cleaning, and the car is definitely idling higher, plus seems to have a big burst of RPMs at ignition. We'll see how it goes! – Lynn Crumbling Nov 12 '14 at 14:06

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