Jeep Wrangler Shuts off While Driving: Troubleshoot and Prevention

One of the most frequent performance issues that Jeep Wrangler owners have faced while driving their cars is the problem of the engine suddenly shutting down. This problem has been reported so many times that Jeep had to recall some of their Wrangler model cars.

Numerous different components can get damaged with time and usage and can cause this issue on a Jeep Wrangler. The most frequent reasons include faulty fuel pumps, damaged crankshaft position sensors, faulty coil packs, faulty MAF, malfunctioning ECU, and so on.

This issue is highly concerning and needs to be solved as soon as it arrives before the driver or the vehicle gets seriously harmed. You can diagnose the problem and fix it permanently by following the troubleshooting methods provided in the following passages.

What Are the Symptoms of Jeep Wrangler Engine Shutting Off?

There can be various reasons behind the issue of the engine suddenly shutting off and by noticing the symptoms carefully, you can diagnose the exact reason behind this problem accurately. There are certain aspects that you need to notice when your Jeep Wrangler engine shuts off which are given below.

  • When exactly does the engine die? Does it die while accelerating, braking, or driving at constant speed?
  • Do any warning lights or error messages show on the dashboard beforehand?
  • Is there any change of the power before the stalling?
  • Does the vehicle make any odd noise?
  • How frequently does this problem arise while driving?
  • How long does it take to restart afterward?
symptoms of jeep wrangler engine shutting off

What Are the Common Causes of Jeep Wrangler Engine Shutting Off? With Solutions

Several factors can be behind the issue of engine stalling in a Jeep Wrangler. The most common issues that cause this malfunction are discussed below in detail with potential solutions.

Faulty Fuel Pump

A faulty fuel pump is one of the most common reasons behind the issue of engine stalling while driving in a Jeep Wrangler. The fuel pump takes power from the battery and creates a vacuum in its chamber to pull gasoline from the fuel tank and supply it to the carburetor. The entire fuel system malfunctions when the fuel pump fails to create the fuel pressure needed in the system.

The fuel pump is to blame if the problem goes away after you turn the ignition off and then on again. A fuel pump makes a low humming noise when the vehicle is first started so listening for this noise can also be useful in diagnosing this problem. The few first times the fuel pump might work when restarting the vehicle but it will eventually fail to start at all if the fuel pump is not fixed. 

Solution: Check the connecting points and the wires on the fuel pump with a multimeter and make sure that all of them are working properly. Replace the fuel pump if it gets beyond repair. A replacement part of a fuel pump will cost you about $60-$120.

Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor

The crankshaft position sensor monitors the position and the rotational speed of the crankshaft and sends this data to the electronic control unit which uses these data to control fuel injection, ignition system timing, and other activities.

A faulty crankshaft position sensor can suddenly stop the car in the middle of the road if it gets overheated and after 2-3 minutes, the driver can restart the engine. This is a sign that the crankshaft position sensors might be causing this issue.

Other symptoms of a bad crankshaft position sensor are check engine light illuminating, hard starting and/or stalling, engine running rough or misfiring, and having an overall poor fuel economy.

The crankshaft position sensor malfunctions because of engine overheating, circuitry problems, and broken timing belts. Use an OBD 2 scanner to be sure about the crankshaft position sensor going bad as error code P0335 shows up on the scanner if the car has this particular issue.

Solution: Replace the damaged crankshaft position sensor with a spare part to solve this issue. It will cost about $20-$30 for a replacement part of a crankshaft position sensor.

Damaged coil packs

A coil pack transforms power from the battery to generate sparks to individually fire each cylinder. Symptoms of a bad coil pack include loss of power, check engine light on, poor fuel economy, backfiring, misfiring, stalling, vibrating, and so on. You can also use an OBD 2 scanner to find out if the coil pack has been damaged as it will show error codes from P0350 to P0362.

Solution: It is considerably difficult to repair a coil pack and you will need to replace it entirely to resolve this issue. A spare coil pack will cost you $60-$300.

Faulty MAF Sensor

A mass Air Flow sensor or an air meter measures the amount of air entering the internal combustion engine. This measurement data is used by the control unit to estimate the amount of fuel needed to maintain the balance between fuel and air.

Malfunctioning MAF sensors can cause various performance issues such as engine stalling, running too rich or too lean, and so on. The fault is in the MAF sensor if the engine stalls and/or shows hesitancy while accelerating. Excessive smoke and unwanted jerking are signs that the MAF sensor has gone bad.

You can also check for errors with an OBD 2 scanner. A faulty MAF sensor will show an error code of P0101.

Solution: Replace the faulty MAF sensor with a new replacement part. It will cost approximately $150-$350 for a spare MAF sensor for the Jeep Wrangler.

Wiring issues 

Engine stalling issues can also arise because of wiring problems. Various electrical wires carry power from the battery to other components so that they can perform as intended. These wires can get damaged, torn, corroded, and cause short circuits.

Malfunctions in the electrical wires can cause loss of power and stalling issues in the engine because the wires affect the spark plug, various sensors, coils, and other vital components in the engine.

Solution: Check all the wires and the connection points with a multimeter to make sure that they are carrying power properly and not causing disruption or short circuits. Repair or replace the wires accordingly to resolve this issue.

Battery Issues

A weak battery can also cause the issue of the engine suddenly losing power or stalling. A weak battery will fail to provide sufficient power to all the components of the vehicle to ensure proper function.

Solution: Charge the battery if it gets weak. Change the battery if it becomes dead.

Spark Plug Issues

Spark plugs provide the necessary flicker to start the combustion process. Spark plug electrodes getting corroded, widened, bent, damaged, dirty, and burnt can result in the engine unexpectedly stalling.

Solution: Take out the spark plug for inspection and make sure that the electrodes are clean of any carbon build-up. Fix the gap between them if it gets too widened or narrow. Replace the spark plug entirely if it gets beyond repair. It will cost about $15-$25 for a spare spark plug.

common causes of jeep wrangler engine shutting off

How to Prevent The Issue of Sudden Engine Stalling on your Jeep Wrangler?

You can prevent the issue of sudden engine stalling by regularly checking all the components and making sure that they are functioning properly. Faulty fuel pump and damaged crankshaft position sensor are the most common reasons behind the issue of engine stalling on a Jeep Wrangler so routinely check for signs of damages on these parts.

When Should You Seek Professional Help for Your Jeep Wrangler Engine Shutting Off?

You should seek professional help if you cannot identify the exact issue that is causing the problem of engine stalling or if you are not familiar with fixing the car by yourself.

Leave a Comment