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Why Does My Jeep Cherokee Shut Off When I Stop Or Idle?

If your Jeep Cherokee is turning off when you stop or idle, this problem needs to be addressed. A few things can cause this, so it's important to find the root cause and troubleshoot the issue. But, first, let's look at the possible culprits causing this problem.

If your Jeep Cherokee is turning off when you stop or idle, then it could be due to the following:

  • Broken Torque Converter Solenoid
  • Low Transmission Fluid
  • Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor
  • Failed Crank Position Sensor
  • Bad Intake Air Temperature Sensor
  • Faulty Ignition Coil
  • Failed/Overheated Fuel Pump
  • Failed EGR Valve
  • Failed Wiring
  • Loose Battery Cable
  • Corroded Battery Terminals
  • Bad Battery
  • Clogged Fuel Filter
  • Clogged Air Filter
  • Failing Alternator

As you can see, there are many reasons why your Jeep Cherokee is dying. In this article, we will look at each of these failing components and how to troubleshoot them. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about the Jeep Cherokee, so read on!

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Jeep Cherokee - Why Does My Jeep Cherokee Shut Off When I Stop Or Idle

Why Does My Jeep Cherokee Shut Off When I Stop Or Idle?

For a Jeep Cherokee or any vehicle to run, it needs the correct ratio of air, fuel, and spark. If one of these essential elements is missing, the engine will shut off or not run properly.

As a result, there are several reasons why your Jeep Cherokee would shut off when you stop or idle. Let's take a look at each of the most common causes:

View of a 2015 Jeep Cherokee

Broken Torque Converter Solenoid

The torque converter solenoid is responsible for sending transmission fluid to the torque converter. When this component fails, it can cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle.

To test whether or not the torque converter solenoid is failing, you'll need to check the transmission fluid level and condition. If the fluid is low, dirty, or leaking, this is likely the cause.

Low Transmission Fluid

Another reason why your Jeep Cherokee could be shutting off when you stop or idle is due to low transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is responsible for cooling and lubricating the transmission, so the Jeep Cherokee can overheat when it's low.

To test if the transmission fluid is low, you'll need to check the level and condition of the fluid. If the transmission fluid is low, top it off and check for leaks. If the fluid is dirty, flush the transmission and replace the fluid.

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor measures the air coming into the engine. If this sensor fails, it can cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle.

To test whether or not the mass airflow sensor is failing, you'll need to scan the engine for codes. If there are any codes related to the mass airflow sensor, it's likely failing and needs to be replaced.

Failed Crank Position Sensor

A failed crank position sensor can cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle. The crank position sensor is responsible for measuring the position and speed of the crankshaft.

To test whether or not the crank position sensor is failing, you'll need to scan the engine for codes as there will be an engine light on if this sensor is failing.

Bad Intake Air Temperature Sensor

The intake air temperature sensor is responsible for measuring the air temperature coming into the engine. If this sensor fails, it can cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle.

To test whether or not the intake air temperature sensor is failing, you'll need to check the engine coolant level and condition. If the engine coolant is low or the engine is overheating, then it's likely that the intake air temperature sensor is bad.

Faulty Ignition Coil

The ignition coil provides the spark that ignites the fuel and air mixture in the engine.

To test whether or not the ignition coil is failing, you'll need to check the spark plugs. If the spark plugs are fouled or damaged, then it's likely that the ignition coil is failing.

Service engine soon light on dashboard

Failed/Overheated Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is responsible for delivering fuel to the engine. If the fuel pump fails or overheats, it can cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle.

To test whether or not the fuel pump is failing, you'll need to check the fuel pressure. If the fuel pressure is low, then it's likely that the fuel pump is failing.

Bad EGR Valve

The EGR valve is responsible for recirculating exhaust gasses back into the engine. If this valve fails, it can cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle.

To test whether or not the EGR valve is failing, you'll need to scan the engine for codes as there will be an engine light on if this valve is failing.

Failed Wiring

If you have any failed wiring in the Jeep Cherokee, it can cause the vehicle to stall when you stop or idle.

To test whether or not the wiring is failing, you'll need to check the fuse box. But, first, check to see if any fuses are burned and need replacing. 

Loose Battery Cable

A loose battery cable may be the reason a Jeep Cherokee is stalling when you stop or idle. Because a loose battery cable won't be able to get a strong electrical current, it causes the vehicle to stall or die.

Corroded Battery Terminals

Like loose battery cables, corroded battery terminals can also cause your Jeep Cherokee to stall when you stop or idle. Corroded battery terminals won't allow for a strong electrical current and can cause problems like stalling.

Bad Battery

It is also possible that you are due for a battery replacement. For example, if your battery is older than three years old and the check engine light isn't on, it may be time to replace it.

You can test your battery by starting your Jeep Cherokee and then measuring the voltage with a voltmeter. If the voltage is 12.6 or less, the battery needs to be replaced.

Close up of auto mechanic jumping battery car.

Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is responsible for refining the fuel before entering the engine. Your engine will misfire if the fuel filter clogs, due to low pressure. You can remove and inspect the fuel filter to see if it needs to be replaced.

Clogged Air Filter

The air filter is responsible for cleaning the air before entering the engine. If the air filter clogs, air won't be able to enter the engine, and your Jeep Cherokee will fail.

Failed Alternator

Last but not least, if your engine is failing and components such as the air conditioning, radio, and headlights aren't working, it's likely that the alternator is failing.

You can test whether or not the alternator is failing by starting your Jeep Cherokee and measuring the voltage at the battery with a voltmeter.

young stressed man having trouble with his broken car looking in frustration at failed engine

If your Jeep Cherokee is throwing a check engine light then an engine code scanner can be a helpful tool. Even if you can't fix the part yourself, using a code scanner can give you an idea of why your vehicle is acting up.

Use the Ancel engine code scanner tool to clear any codes and to pinpoint why the check engine light is showing on the dash. 

Click here to find this engine code scanner on Amazon.

For the more mechanic savvy, the Foxwell professional diagnostic code reader will help read issues in your engine. Use the code reader to locate bad sensors, reset monitor, read live data, and retrieve the VIN on your vehicle. 

Check out this professional diagnostic code reader on Amazon. 

Is the Jeep Cherokee reliable?

When it comes to reliability, the Jeep Cherokee is a mixed bag. Some drivers reported great experiences with their Jeep Cherokees, while others experienced something less than ideal. Nonetheless, the Jeep Cherokee has 4 out of 5 stars regarding reliability, ranking it 9th out of 26 compact SUVs.

For the cost of annual repairs, consumers can expect to pay an average of $520. Keep in mind this isn't better or worse than other compact SUVs. While some repairs are needed because of bad luck, others are avoidable with proper maintenance.

How long does a Jeep Cherokee last?

The Jeep Cherokee lasts around 15 years or 200,000 miles on average. Longevity varies depending on the make and model of the Jeep Cherokee and how well it's been maintained.

The most important things to stay on top of are regular oil changes, tune-ups, and filter replacements when needed. Doing these things will help keep your Jeep Cherokee on the road for as long as possible.

Also, driving habits are something to consider. If you're the person who is easy on their car, you can expect it to last longer than someone who is rough on their vehicle.

Overall, the Jeep Cherokee is a reliable SUV that will last for many years as long as it's properly maintained.

Jeep Cherokee

Final Thoughts

If you are running into problems with your Jeep Cherokee stalling when you stop or idle, check the mechanical parts we mentioned in this article.

However, if this is happening in heavy traffic, it's good to take it to a mechanic to find out the underlying problem. If you don't, you could be putting yourself at risk of being involved in an accident.

Made it to the end? Here are some other related articles:

How To Check Coolant Level Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee Won't Start —What Could Be Wrong?

Can You Flat Tow A Jeep Cherokee [By trim levels]