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Repair guides and support for the first generation Grand Cherokee ZJ, an upscale mid-size SUV built by Chrysler's Jeep division.

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Stalling during cold weather

I have a 1995 jeep grand cherokee (4x4, 150xxx miles). It tends to stall as I shift from P into reverse (automatic) during cold mornings (30-60 F). or if I let the car warm up for a extended period of time (5 or more minutes) with the heater on. After stalling, the car will crank but not turn over until after 5 minutes; however, if I press on the gas while cranking after the stall, the engine will turn over but will eventually stall again once the RPM drops when I let go of the gas pedal. No check engine light. The car will successfully remain “on” if I let the car rest for ~5 minutes. A lot of white smoke comes out of the exhaust, and the concrete is stained temporarily due to whatever is blowing out of the exhaust. I also smell a chemical odor during these situations.

Side note: sometimes after it starts, the RPM will surge on its own without pressing the gas. This sometimes occurs after putting the car into D — the car will accelerate on its own without pressing on the gas pedal.

Also, some unrelated (but could be related issues) worth noting:

-had a slow, slugging crank for a week that seems to have gone away

-heater has progressively weakened in past few months

-I occasionally hear liquid draining nearby the glovebox which seems to come from under the hood

It stalled at a stop light this cold morning which prompted me to seek help. I’ve done a ton a research and I’m seeing recommendations to replace throttle positioning sensor (my suspicion also), ECM, fuel filter, etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations or similar experience?

Much appreciation in advance,

Bryan

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What engine is in your Jeep?

I suspect you have a leaking head gasket. That will not be an easy fix. You will need to take that to a repair shop.

Sorry.

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Thats what i was trying to say

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Sorry, @thefluffyfist, didn't mean to step on ya.

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nah its good man

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If there is white smoke coming out of the exhaust then, the engine is probably burning coolant. you probably have a cracked cylinder head.

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Also, check to see if the coolant has gone down from where it normally is.

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Thanks for the quick reply.

The coolant reservoir seems to be empty frequently. Could this be associated with the car stalling? Unfortunately, I can't provide temperature readings at the moment because the sensor that provides that measure in the dashboard is out (I'm realizing that this could be be relevant to the issue?)

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yes, it could. what happens when you have a cracked cylinder head or broken seal is the coolant gets into the air/fuel mix and doesn't burn well.

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i just reread your problem and i would think that there would be a check engine light if it were burning coolant. I don't 100% know why there wouldn't with all of the sensors cars have now.

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