Engine has sluggish acceleration and low power?

Tiny
DARKCRISPY
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 JEEP CHEROKEE
I recently purchased a jeep from a friend. It had transmission problems but I had it replaced. It worked fine for a few days then gradually began to drive more sluggish. I get hardly any acceleration at all and when I do its uneven. The gears seem to switch smoothly.

Also to keep in mind
- it had sat for almost a year
- it has a bad catalytic converter

the engine was rebuilt about a year and a half to two years ago.
I have tried fuel additives and hi octane fuel to try n clean out the fuel injection but no luck on the first try.
suggestions?
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Saturday, February 10th, 2007 AT 11:25 PM

31 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Hello,

It sounds like you have a map sensor that is not working right or a plugged catalytic converter here are tow guides and diagrams below to help us get the problem fixed.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-has-low-power-output

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-a-catalytic-converter

Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what happens.
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Monday, February 12th, 2007 AT 5:11 AM
Tiny
OIDAVEY
  • MEMBER
Thanks for this post I had the same problem and had to get a new MAP sensor cost me $56.00 I love this site.
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Friday, January 18th, 2019 AT 6:50 PM
Tiny
JEEPINIT23
  • MEMBER
At a point of needed some help. I have a 1993 grand cherokee 4.0 automatic. So it all started driving down and it shut off on me. So I thought it's probably same sensors that always go bad. Replaced TPS, IAC, nothing. Checked fuel pressure, it was a little low changed fuel filter, and fuel pressure regulator. Still nothing. Pulled distributer seen the culprit gears were grinded down completely. Replaced that and finally got it started to get it home off the road. Still had a hard time starting would only start when the engine was cool. So inspected plugs and wires found some wires melted together separated and fixed those. Still had hard time starting. Tested some wires from pcm some were good readings some were bad so replaced that. Now starts up how it's supposed to, but when accelerating from a stop it is very sluggish even with pedal floored. It feels like a timing issue but from what I can find the computer on this model and year fixed the timing with all the sensors. So I don't want to keep replacing every sensor on the jeep. Where should I go from here. It drives and runs just slow acceleration.
Parts replaced already are ;
TPS, IAC, CPS, distributor, spark plugs, fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, PCM, looked over engine for corroded wires, replaced asd relay, fuel pump relay, changed oil, checked trans fluid.
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Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 AT 7:53 PM
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Hello,

It sounds like you could have a clogged catalytic converter. To be sure here is a guide to help test it:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-a-catalytic-converter

Please run down this guide and report back.
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Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 AT 9:18 AM
Tiny
JEEPINIT23
  • MEMBER
An update on the problem. I changed the catalytic converter just because it was original it did not fix the problem. Some other info to help is when in park and I rev it it works fine until 3,000 rpm's then it'll pop or misfire if I slam the pedal. If I slowly rev it at about 3,000 it'll shake a little and not really rev much higher. When driving if I slowly press the gas pedal it'll drive but just takes forever to get to speed. Once up to speed it drives fine unless I slam the pedal then it just revs up and doesn't go any faster. If press it about half way it'll pick up how it's supposed as long as I'm already moving. This leads me to believe it's a timing issue but I followed the directions in the Haynes for setting the distributor. But everything I find on timing is the computer is supposed to set it on its own. Any other thoughts from anyone.
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Saturday, February 1st, 2020 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Yes, the fuel pressure sounds like it is low. you will need a gauge the auto parts store will lend you one. here are two guides to help us:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-fuel-system-pressure-and-regulator

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-has-low-power-output

Please run down these guides and report back.

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Monday, February 3rd, 2020 AT 10:30 AM
Tiny
JEEPINIT23
  • MEMBER
That was one of the first things I thought of. I checked fuel pressure and I get the correct readings. I changed the fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator just because they were old. Replaced the MAP sensor still same problem. I put Sea Foam in gas tank to help clean injectors out as well. What is weird it was running perfect before I found the distributor gears were ground down on one side. Would the cable to the transmission from the throttle body not working correctly somehow? I can't imagine the timing chain jumped either.
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Monday, February 3rd, 2020 AT 3:39 PM
Tiny
JEEPINIT23
  • MEMBER
Going to try the compression test next.
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Monday, February 3rd, 2020 AT 3:39 PM
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Okay, let me know.
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Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 AT 2:14 PM
Tiny
JEEPINIT23
  • MEMBER
Finally got a chance to work on it. After talking with other jeep owners I know and mechanics everything kept coming back to timing. Only problem is, is on the zj toy can't turn the distributor to change the timing. Shop after thinking about it and reading up on things I figured it out. The way to adjust timing on the zj is you have to pull the distributor out and turn the crank pulley and put the distributor back in. Pretty stupid on jeeps part for designing it that way. But jeep is running great after messing with the timing that way. Especially since I replaced about every darn sensor on the engine. I appreciate the help and sticking with me through it. Now it's on to fixing other issues. Jeep-Just Empty Every Pocket.
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Thursday, February 6th, 2020 AT 4:31 PM
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
LOL. That's a good one. Glad you could get it fixed, that kind of problem can be tough. Please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.
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Sunday, February 9th, 2020 AT 11:39 AM
Tiny
MREISHUS
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 JEEP CHEROKEE
I have an intermittent problem where I will get no power to start the engine. Once started, it stills run great with 170,000 miles. I have tried replacing the battery and battery cables, but still have the problem. In the past I have always been able to get it to start by wiggling and messing with the cable connections at the battery, and I am still able to do this even after replacing the battery cables. But this is annoying to always have to get under the hood to get it started. Happens about every 5th time I start it.
Any other ideas as to what it could be?

Thanks
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Check those little wires at the positive battery cable that leads to the power distribution box your problem could be here with a loose wire


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_muah1_2.gif

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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
GRICHARDS
  • MEMBER
Agree with rasmataz, wiggling wires to re-establish the power connection means loose connection. Track wires from battery to all other terminations, ensure everything is solid. Regarding the wires to the power distribution box, were these replaced, too, or are they original? Wire may have internal break, bad connection at termination to box. Have you put an OHM meter on the cables (power disconnected) to make sure there is Little or virtually no resistance in the wire? Put meter probe on each end, wiggle wire to ensure resistance value does not change - if it does, wire may have internal break.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MREISHUS
  • MEMBER
The problem is more consistent now. I couldn't get it to start all weekend. I checked again that it's not loose wires. I'm not getting any power to the battery and can't even get it to start with a jump.
Could it be the ignition coil, or something related?
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MREISHUS
  • MEMBER
When I turn the key on, I am sometimes hearing the relays click under the passenger side dash.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SICKLLPUP
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 JEEP CHEROKEE
Engine Performance problem
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4 cyl Four Wheel Drive Manual 140K miles

my 1996 cherokee 2.5td doesnt keep any power on up hill gradients unless I can get a good run up, it will only rev to 3000 rpm in 1st or 2nd then the power drops off. Any suggestions?
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Inspect and test the ignition switch.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Inspect and test all the following listed below:

Oxygen sensor
Catalytic converter
Dirty fuel injectors (cleaning the injectors often fixes this).
Bad MAP (manifold absolute pressure) sensor
Bad TPS (throttle position) sensor
Bad or dirty MAF (mass airflow) sensor
Low fuel pressure (leaky fuel pressure regulator or weak fuel pump)
Vacuum leaks (intake manifold, vacuum hoses, throttle body, EGR valve)
Bad gasoline (fuel contaminated with water or too much alcohol)
Dirty or worn spark plugs
Bad plug wires
Weak ignition coil
Cap and rotor

Note:If it doesn't apply disregard.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MIKEOGILVIE89
  • MEMBER
Mine doing same thing-told positive battery cable sytem(?) Part costs $300
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Thursday, June 18th, 2020 AT 10:38 AM (Merged)

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