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Jeep Cherokee Intermittent Problem

Q. I have an intermittent problem. It happens only when the car has just started and can occur either after a night in the driveway or after sitting five minutes in a parking lot. Once the problem has occurred. The engine runs fine, no hesitations or loss of power.

Jeep Cherokee Intermittent Problem

Here is the problem: When the car has started, it idles fine, after rolling about 100 feet at normal suburb speed (around 2000 RPM), the engine sputters and has problems accelerating: The engine doesn't stop, it just has a hard time providing power. The RPM acts accordingly to the engine perceived rev. If I gently insist on pressing down on the accelerator, the engine complains and doesn't seem to appreciate it.

Gently removing my foot from the accelerator and pressing slowly back (a few times) will eventually solve the problem. An other way that solved the problem is if I step completely on the accelerator. The engine responds with full power and full acceleration (making the first method the preferred way in my quiet suburb).

The engine has always been maintained. Regular checkup and all. I recently had the car in and asked for plug, rotor, cap, wires to be replaced. I explained the issue to the mechanic and he has pulled the code DTC P1282 from the computer.

The code has a wide spectrum and since a fuel pump is costly, he proceeded with a few diagnostics, To make sure that the electrical wires to the fuel pump were good, a electrical spy (a led connected at the end of the wire) told us that the voltage to the pump was okay.

Also when I turn the key to on, I hear the pump humming as it has always done. We are now trying to find out if the fuel pump spits out the proper pressure, it is our next step. I was wondering if you ever saw this before and if you could help.

  • 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4WD
  • 4.0 liter L6 engine
  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,800 kilometers (about 80,000 miles)
  • Fuel Injection
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise control
  • Rack and pinion steering

PS... The fuel filter has never been changed.. It is, as you know, well hidden on the Jeep Cherokee and, as an extra, my fuel tank is protected by a skid plate.

Thanks a million for taking the time.

A. Here is what DTC P1282-Fuel Pump Relay Control Circuit means.

With the ignition on and battery voltage above 10.4 volts.

An open or shorted condition is detected in the fuel pump relay control circuit.


  • Fused ignition switch output circuit
  • Fuel pump relay defective
  • Fuel pump relay control circuit for open
  • Fuel pump relay control circuit for short to ground
  • Fuel pump relay wiring harness observable defect
  • Fuel pump relay wiring harness intermittent defect
  • PCM defective

So you can use this wiring diagram to check the wiring, primarily the connectors, to make sure they are clean and tight. You can also try the wiggle test on the connectors to see if there is any interruption in engine operation. The fact that it is intermittent indicates to be it is a loose connector somewhere.

Jeep Cherokee Intermittent Problem

Checking the fuel pressure after replacing the fuel filter is a good idea also.

Jeep Cherokee Intermittent Problem

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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