Saturday, November 06, 2010

Of Jeeps and the Wisdom of the Internet

Friday night, heading home from work I'm driving along, minding my own business and then I come to a stoplight and my 01 Jeep Cherokee idles and then stalls out and dies when I come to a complete stop.

It starts right back up and I continue to drive until the next red light where, guess what, it stalls and dies again as soon as I get to a complete stop.

This was not happy making.

I get very good at shifting the automatic transmission into neutral and constantly feeding the engine gas at stops in traffic to stop it from stalling out and then shifting into drive while simultaneously manipulating the gas and brake pedals. Shades of when I was driving a stick, many years ago.

So I get home and of course the local Jeep dealer can't see it until Monday and has no clue over the phone, my friend the home garage mechanic that does my regular service is mystified. One of my buddies thinks it is the alternator.

So off to the Internets I go.

I search many a forum and find a few people with the exact same problem.

One of the suggestions is it is the Idle Air Control. So I go to the local O'Reiley's Auto Parts get the part for $80 and take it and the Jeep to my friendly home garage mechanic.

On accessing the air intake, its plainly visible that the intake and throttle plate is filthy with carbon which we comprehensively clean with carb cleaner. My mechanic friend unscrews the IAC, which is also filthy and on running the suggested test of setting the car to on ( but not starting the engine) it actually breaks into its component parts, which is a pretty good indication that it was the cause of my woes.

We replace it with the new part, do an oil change and it runs beautifully, with no more stalling at idle.

So if your Jeep suddenly develops a habit of stalling at idle when you come to a stop, check your IAC and thank the wisdom of the Internets.

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