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2006 2.4 TJ acts like it's running out of fuel after long drives

ziemer

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Been fighting what seems like minor problems on our 2006 Jeep, and it's extremely frustrating. It's in great shape and really clean. Jeep only has about 70k miles on it, but it sat for several years prior to us buying it.

Since we've owned it, it seems like after an hour plus drive, it runs out of fuel. Around town, and up to that hour driving, it runs great. It happened yesterday. I could get it to start, but any attempt to accelerate was unsuccessful. I left to grab my scanner and went back to get it about 2 hours later. When I got there, it started and ran fine. I did notice there was some pressure in the tank when I removed the gas cap.

We've had (2) EVAP codes since we've had it, and both are "circuit" issue codes. P0443 and P0499. I've tested resistance and from what I can tell the wiring is all intact. I've also pulled the purge valve and manually actuated it with an outside 12v source. It opened as it should. The P0443 will clear with a cheap scanner, but the P0499 will not. My thought was to maybe drop the fuel tank and pull the EVAP canister to make sure all of the lines were in good shape.

PCM was replaced a couple months ago too. I really hope it's not the PCM as they are hard to find and no one really seems to have good reviews. I had a local shop replace it.

I did check fuel pressure and it's dead nuts at 58 psi which is exactly what the manual calls for... I let it run with the AC on this evening for a good 20-30 minutes and no fluctuation.
 

Chris

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When is the last time you did some basic maintenance on it? I'm talking about O2 sensors, spark plugs, etc.?

Evap codes shouldn't cause running issues, so I doubt that would have anything to do with it.

FS1 sells replacement PCMs and many on here have bought replacement units through them.
 
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ziemer

ziemer

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When is the last time you did some basic maintenance on it? I'm talking about O2 sensors, spark plugs, etc.?

Evap codes shouldn't cause running issues, so I doubt that would have anything to do with it.

FS1 sells replacement PCMs and many on here have bought replacement units through them.
O2's aren't new, but most everything else is. (plugs, coil, timing belt, tensioners, etc) I just put a brand new cylinder head on it because of a burnt valve, but the problem was there before the work too. The motor sounds great, and runs perfect outside of the couple CEL codes and the long drive issue. It acts like it's a fuel problem, but don't want to randomly throw parts at it either.
 

Chris

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O2s should be replaced every 80k miles, when was the last time you replaced them?

I understand not wanting to throw parts at it, but O2 sensors can cause drivability issues like this believe it or not.

Generally a fuel pump that is acting up will be acting up all of the time, not just after an hour of driving it.

I'm out of ideas other than the O2 sensors. Hopefully someone else can be of more help.
 
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ziemer

ziemer

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We've only had it since March. Been working on it for basically the entire time. It had 68k miles on it when we bought it, and it just turned 70k over the weekend. It's my daughters, so it needs to be reliable. And now it's left her stranded a couple times, I really want to get it right. I know at least one of them is working, as it was picking up the low idle miss from the one cylinder that had low compression due to a bad exhaust valve.

Thanks!
 

MrMark52

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I've mentioned this before on a couple of other threads - a guy has a YouTube video showing the wire bundle going against the firewall on a 4.0l that has vibrated on a stub in the head and worn a hole in the harness - shorting one of the wires to ground and killing the engine. He was going through much the same issues as you have gone through, although the timing of when the engine would die was not as predictable as you seem to have.

Thermal expansion/contraction could still be at play here though, and I would look for that video to see what he found. Intermittent issues like this are always hard to find, and how he found what he did to me demonstrated a sort of thinking out of the box approach to problem solving.
 
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ziemer

ziemer

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I think I may have found my problem. All of this plus a little more plastic all came out of the tank. Guessing this would be enough to starve it of fuel when the tank was low.

FB_IMG_1565745642518.jpg
 
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MrMark52

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Interesting! What is all that stuff?

It doesn't look like anything from the vehicle that I've ever seen (except for maybe the green thing that looks to be a fuel pump to tank gasket).

Knowing whether it came from the vehicle or sabotage would/could help others. :)
 

MrMark52

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And to add - after an '03 Jeep GC 4.0l (may it rest in piece), and my current '03 TJ 4.0l - one thing I've found as a common issue is EVAP codes and bad vacuum lines.

Go over every vacuum line in the engine bay with a fine toothed comb. The ones that have been most problimatic for me on the TJ - There are 3 rubber elbows off the intake manifold that are notorious for splitting. Sometimes the "Help" section at the auto store helps, but I've found that do to assembly mis-alignments that the elbows are unduly stressed and quickly fail. And whats worse, the design of all of these hoses calls for one size on one end, and another size on the other end (crazy! - what I did on one of them is made a hose loop to relieve the stress, and bought a size changer coupling to handle the different ID's, transitioning the different ID's within the loop).
 
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ziemer

ziemer

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It's really weird. Almost like someone took the old gasket and threw it in a baggie along with some paper and possibly black tape. And either thrown in there either on purpose or just forgotten when the fuel pump was changed. What's more weird is the Jeep only has 70k on it so why would the fuel pump already need to be replaced. (Propr to me)

There was also a good amount of debris at the fuel pickup too. I'm sure this was my issue. Now I just need to figure out the last few codes on the PCM. Thankfully, none of them are currently affecting drivability.

Interesting! What is all that stuff?

It doesn't look like anything from the vehicle that I've ever seen (except for maybe the green thing that looks to be a fuel pump to tank gasket).

Knowing whether it came from the vehicle or sabotage would/could help others. :)
 

MrMark52

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Jul 24, 2019
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Location
North Texas
Interesting - almost sounds like the contents of a fuel pump parts bag, assuming there was one (or someone might have for some reason made one, and put in the tank. For sure they don't use parts bags at the factory).

As for fuel pump reliability - we bought a brand new Tahoe back in 2001. We have a 2 year initial inspection window in Texas, and I had taken the Tahoe to get it inspected. On the way home, it died deader than a door nail. Probably less than 30k miles. Looked in fuse block, blown fuel pump fuse. Replaced fuse, started car up, ran 10 seconds, died. $500 later (no alternative sources for FP but dealership, and I wasn't about to let them do the work).

Moral to story, anything can fail at any time, especially when it comes to vehicles. :)

Good find!
 
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