Great deals on TJ parts on Amazon!

Looking for parts for your Jeep Wrangler TJ? Checkout the selection of TJ parts Amazon has to offer, many with 2-day Prime shipping!

Click the image below to browse TJ parts on Amazon.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Parts on Amazon

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

2000 TJ ignition problem, now won't start

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
HI everyone. My 2000 TJ, Old Yeller, has been running like a clock since I got it 3 years ago. I went away on a trip, and it sat for 2 months (in the garage). When I came back, I took it out for a drive because I missed my pal. Started up perfectly, drove it about 5 miles, and... it missed... like it coughed for 2 seconds (no power at all), then kept running. Made me nervous, because it's never done this before. Drove a little more, and the coughing got worse and worse, until I had to rev it high just to keep it rolling (embarrassing as hell).

My thought was bad gas or water had gotten into the tank. I had about 1/3 of a tank, so I got it to the local station, and filled it. No change in it's behaviour, running very very rough but not in a 'my timing is off' way. In a "run for 10 seconds, then stop getting spark for 5 seconds, then run for 10 seconds" sort of way.

I limped it home, and started to tinker. My first guess is a fuel pump, but in general those things are hard to have fail, so i started thinking ignition. Today I went to pull it out, and it turned over and started, ran for a few seconds, missed, ran a few seconds, then stalled. Cranking a few times got a kick or two, but not enough to run. Now it won't kick at all. Cranked it (off and on) until I started hearing the telltales of the battery running down, and stopped.

After reading some threads and watching some videos, I'm going to try a few things next. First, starter fluid in the intake, to see if this is a fuel delivery problem.

I'm beginning to seriously suspect a CPS. What do folks think?

Want my baby back up and running :)
 
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
(Update - starter fluid didn't work. So we're back to electrical).
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
68,497
Location
Florence, AZ
Have you scanned it for codes?

If it doesn't have any codes, keep letting it run like crap until it throws a code... because IT WILL throw a code if it's running as bad as you say. I suspect a sensor, but it could be one of a number of sensors, including the CPS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mikespine
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
Have you scanned it for codes?

If it doesn't have any codes, keep letting it run like crap until it throws a code... because IT WILL throw a code if it's running as bad as you say. I suspect a sensor, but it could be one of a number of sensors, including the CPS.

So it threw a code, but it was long after it started stalling. We're fairly sure the code error is a misfire - so I suspect the code is not the problem (Also, before I haul out the OBDII reader, shouldn't the "click the ignition switch on and off 3 times" thing show the code in the ODO? I tried it last night and no dice.

When it was running, i had a check engine light, but like i said, that popped up after it had stalled a few times.

My number one suspect right now is CPS, but it's butt-assed cold here up in Massachusetts, and I don't have a garage (just a car port), so this may be AAA and my local shop (who i like a lot).
 

Boinked

TJ Expert
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
3,093
Location
Mesa,az
You might have a "pending code" the light will not be on.... nor will cycling the key show it. But a reader will show it.
This happened to me when my coil went out.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
68,497
Location
Florence, AZ
You might have a "pending code" the light will not be on.... nor will cycling the key show it. But a reader will show it.
This happened to me when my coil went out.

X2 to this. It's helpful to have a scanner, because often times it will be a pending code. Happened to me on more than a few occasions.
 
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
Nuts. I jacked into the port, and all I had installed was DashCommand, which is'n't the complete product. Before I go and buy new software, what's the best ODBII Bluetooth client for Android? I'm guessing it's Torque Pro, but last time i tinkered with that, i felt like I was using some college student's thesis project, not actual useable software (ie, technically complete, but really bad implementation) - I like DashCommand a lot, but if it's not as capable, I'll switch.

Here's what I got out of Dashcommand:

1545597434083.png
 

Boinked

TJ Expert
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
3,093
Location
Mesa,az
Torque lite works just fine for 99.99% of the people. It will read codes and allow you to veiw sensor data.
 
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
Well golly gee willikers. This is pretty much a smoking gun, huh?

1545617183482.png
Now the problem is I have no garage of my own, and it's 25 degrees out, so I'll have to get AAA to tow Yeller to my local guys, and say "CPS. No, really. Here's the part. It'll take you 20 minutes."

During christmas week.

Ah life.

(Also getting a P1391 - which is basically "yes, you really do have a CPS failure" as far as I can tell)
 
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
Speaking of OBD2 scanners I bought on from Amazon for 35 bucks and it has more features than some of the 100 dollar ones at the parts houses.

The one I'm using a bluetooth enabled one I got off amazon - $22 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NLQAHS/?tag=wranglerorg-20

When linked with (as noted above) Torque Lite, it just pops the codes right off, and all is well. I also like using it with DashCommand to have a 'live' display on my phone of all the stats. I've used it on my Chevy Volt, my wife's Subaru, and on old yeller, and it's worked great. Other BT OBDII readers are hit or miss but this one has been great.
 

Boinked

TJ Expert
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
3,093
Location
Mesa,az
Well golly gee willikers. This is pretty much a smoking gun, huh?

View attachment 69007
Now the problem is I have no garage of my own, and it's 25 degrees out, so I'll have to get AAA to tow Yeller to my local guys, and say "CPS. No, really. Here's the part. It'll take you 20 minutes."

During christmas week.

Ah life.

(Also getting a P1391 - which is basically "yes, you really do have a CPS failure" as far as I can tell)
Damn that does suck. Its not fun to do in the cold.

Im not sure if the cam position sensor is one that requires to be OEM mopar part.
On my 97 an aftermarket distributor and sensor works fine. Maybe someone who has changed their sensor will chime in. @Chris @Jerry Bransford
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
68,497
Location
Florence, AZ
Damn that does suck. Its not fun to do in the cold.

Im not sure if the cam position sensor is one that requires to be OEM mopar part.
On my 97 an aftermarket distributor and sensor works fine. Maybe someone who has changed their sensor will chime in. @Chris @Jerry Bransford

The cam position sensor on a later model with the coil packs instead of distributor requires an OE Mopar sensor. The Crown sensor didn’t work for me, as well as pretty much every one else. Maybe there’s another sensor that works, but Mopar is the only one I can attest to.

Again, this is on non-distributor models.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boinked
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
Okay. Shop talked to, told them to go OEM or go home, I'll have AAA move it in the next day or so (durned holidays). "Do you want ${owner} to double-check before starting work?" - hell yeah, I've been known to be wrong. Seems pretty cut and dried, but throw it on the OBD reader and check it out!

@Chris thanks for the nudge on the OEM part - we have a Jeep dealer a few miles away so they'll be able to get it no problem.

Will update when things progress!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chris and Boinked

KCsTJ

TJ student
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
2,909
Location
Farmersville, TX, United States
@penk you might watch a couple u tube vids and decide you can replace the cam sensor quickly yourself.
Will save you $$$ and you have fun learning. You might surprise yourself.
Put the money toward important stuff like cool mods. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: gatertamer
OP
penk

penk

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
157
Okay, here's an update.

Took ole yeller to my shop with all the recommendations i got from you guys (make sure it's an OEM replacement, etc). They got to it on Thursday, and... couldn't reproduce the problem! Started fine, no codes (dead battery due to tow folks leaving the key on :-/). Took it for drives, warmed it up, cooled it down, couldn't make it happen again.

We talked on the phone and I said let me drive it and get it to the fail point and get hte code from what happens. Said no problem, I'll pick it up today.

Got a quick call last night "Hey, we went to move it and... it wouldn't start! You're riht, it's the CPS, but it may not be the sensor itself. We could cause problems and make the injectors tickle by wiggling the CPS harness cable. Just touching it would cause things to behave differently.

They unplugged the sensor cmopletely, and the behaviour stopped, so pretty sure it was downstream of the harness.

Replaced the sensor (and obviouslyl the connector), and picked it up an hour or two ago. It's behaving just fine, we'll drive it a bunch more later).

Also @KCsTJ as I mentiond above, I would very much like to do the work msyelf, and could, but a) it's snowing here, and b) I don't have a garage. So doing that sort of work on my back in a cold parking lot is not something I really wanted to do.
 

Boinked

TJ Expert
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
3,093
Location
Mesa,az
Hopefully that is all the problem was.

Might have been a little corrosion in the wires near the connector. Or the wires breaking loose from the pins. But in the end you are driving and thats the important part.

P.S. thank you for the update.
 
  • Like
Reactions: penk