Jeeps are fantastic, but even the most reliable vehicles can sometimes stall out. So before you panic and call a tow truck, it’s always a good idea to troubleshoot first. Here are a few reasons why your Jeep randomly dies while driving and how to troubleshoot them.
From running out of fuel to dead batteries, a malfunctioning ignition switch to a clogged fuel filter, Jeeps can stall out for a few common reasons. And most of these issues are pretty easy to diagnose and fix. All you need to do is pay attention to the warning signs and address them right away.
Stalling out on the road isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. The key is to stay calm and try to reason out the issue—most of the time, the answer is simple; you need to take a moment and identify what it might be. So let’s look at some of the most common causes for stalling out in jeeps and explore how you can quickly identify and hopefully fix them.
What Causes a Jeep to Stall Out?
A jeep can stall out for several reasons, but the most likely culprits are low fuel, a bad fuel pump, a faulty spark plug, a low battery, or low engine compression.
Other causes of stalling include clogged fuel filters, faulty mass airflow sensors, faulty throttle position sensors, or issues with the electric components.
In short, the problem could be a little two-minute fix or something that can ruin your day at the mechanic. But when you know the signs and symptoms, you can narrow down the issue and troubleshoot it quickly to get your Jeep back on the road.
So let’s look at the top for issues causing Jeeps to stall out and find out how you can pinpoint the exact source of the problem.
Jeep is Low on Fuel
Running out of fuel is number one on the list of possible causes for a stalled Jeep. But unfortunately, sometimes people forget to check the fuel gauge or don’t notice it until their vehicle starts to slow down and eventually stalls out.
However, a broken fuel gauge is a bigger cause of running low on fuel. So if you’ve noticed your fuel gauge has been behaving erratically or is stuck higher than it should be, it may be time to get it checked out before you’re stranded on the side of the road.
Some common signs of low fuel include a sudden decrease in performance, the engine sputtering, and eventually stalling out.
Faulty Fuel Pump
The fuel pump is the heart of the engine as it delivers the fuel from the tank to the engine with an accurate pressure and flow rate. So driving a Jeep with a broken fuel pump is equivalent to driving a Jeep without fuel.
It usually happens due to blocked fuel filters, low fuel pressure, bad wiring, or a faulty relay.
The signs of a faulty pump include engine misfiring, jerking, sounds from the backside near the tank, weak acceleration, and lack of starting power, especially after long stops. If you experience these symptoms, you may have a faulty fuel pump and should immediately get it fixed.
Problems with the Ignition Switch
The ignition switch is the gateway that connects the current supplied by the battery to the engine starter. Any problem with it means a good working engine with a full fuel tank can’t take off.
The common signs of a defective ignition switch are difficulty starting the engine, blinking engine light, slow cranking, or stalling out when the throttle is pressed.
Ignition switches can wear out quickly and should be checked regularly as they are critical in keeping your car running.
Your jeeps battery is the power source that runs all its electrical components, including the ignition system, fuel pump, and starter motor. A weak battery or a battery with loose connections cannot provide enough power to run these components, resulting in a stalled Jeep.
The signs of a weak battery are slow cranking, dim headlights, and difficulty starting the engine. Other indicators include corrosion around the battery terminals and indicator lights on your dashboard.
What are the Signs of a Clogged Fuel Filter??
A fuel filter is responsible for filtering out all the dirt and debris from your fuel before it enters the engine. It’s located inside the fuel line between the fuel tank and the engine. This means when it gets clogged up, the engine will not get the required fuel, resulting in a stalled Jeep.
In many cases, a clogged filter can further deteriorate engine performance and fuel economy. Here are the signs you need to look out for:
- Engine Misfires and Sputtering: When the engine gets a low amount of fuel, it tries to compensate for it by running rough, which results in jerking and engine misfires.
- Stalling Out While Idling: Whenever you slow down at traffic signals or while coming closer to a stop, the engine dies down instead of idling.
- Lack of Acceleration Power: The engine doesn’t respond appropriately when you press the accelerator. Or takes longer than usual to reach its peak RPMs.
- A Strong Odor of Fuel: The excess fuel spilled from the engine due to a clogged filter can cause a strong petrol smell inside the vehicle.
- Complete Stall Out: In worst cases, a clogged filter can cut off the fuel supply completely, causing your Jeep to stall out completely.
What to Do if Your Car Stalls Out While Driving (How to Safely Get Help, etc.)
It’s never a fun experience when your car stalls out while you are driving. But it’s better to sort out the issue than to risk your safety. Here are some tips to help you take the necessary steps to get you back on the road:
1. Keep Calm and Do Some Safety Checks
Check the traffic situation and ensure you and other people on the road are not in danger. Turn on your hazard lights to let other drivers know you are stopped due to some issue.
Look for any warning lights on the dashboard, check the fuel level to see if you have enough gas, and charge your phone if you need help.
Assuming your Jeep has power steering and brakes, you’ll have only limited control of them when the engine is off. But try maneuvering it to the side of the road as best you can.
2. Try to Fix the Problem
If you are confident enough, try to get the engine running again by fixing loose connections or any other basic fault that may be causing the issue.
Dashboard warning lights can help you identify the problem, but if your Jeep seems to have some other issue or you have an older model, here are a few components that you should look at first:
- Do a manual fuel check.
- Reattach the battery terminals.
- Tighten up connections around the fuel system.
- Check if the engine is too hot.
- Clean the air filter.
- Replace the spark plugs/ spark plug wire.
Try to restart the Jeep after each step; if you get successful, congrats, you’ve fixed it yourself. But don’t ignore the problem and visit an auto shop as soon as possible and get your Jeep checked.
3. Call for Help
If your attempts to fix the problem don’t work out, call a roadside assistance service or tow truck to help you get your Jeep to a service center.
However, if you’re somewhere remote, don’t hesitate to ask for help from passersby. Most of the time, motorists are helpful and willing to lend a hand.
To be extra careful, make sure to call a friend or family member to let them know about your current situation and to keep a record of whom you called for help.