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Questions and Answers

Jeep Cherokee Is Hard Cold Starting

Q. I have 1990 Jeep Cherokee, 4.0 liter, MPFI, 5 speed manual transmission. When it is cold it takes a longer than normal cranking period to start, once the engine is warm, it will start up again as long as its been less than 10 minutes since turn off, after that it sometimes takes 5 to 20 minutes of cranking to start it again. Fuel pressure is good when it does this.

Jeep Cherokee Is Hard Cold Starting

I had the coil checked and that was fine, I've also replaced the distributor cap, rotor, and all plugs and wires and at this point I'm pretty much stumped. If you have any ideas I would be thankful to hear them.

Denver, CO

A. The first thing you need to do is determine what is missing when it won't start, fuel or spark. If you spray carburetor cleaner into the intake while cranking, and it starts and runs as long as you spray the carburetor cleaner into it, then you have a fuel problem. If not, you have an ignition problem and should check for spark.

One possibility is a bad Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS). You can use a scan tool to check it. With a cold engine, the temperature the CTS is reading should be within three or four degrees of the ambient air temperature.

Temperature-to-Resistance Values (Approximate)
°F °C Ohms
212 100 185
160 70 450
100 38 1,600
70 20 3,400
40 4 7,500
20 -7 13,500
0 -18 25,000
-40 -40 100,700

If you do not have access to a scan tool you can test it with an ohmmeter. Disconnect the coolant temperature sensor electrical connector, and check the resistance across its two terminals. The resistance should be less than 1,000 ohms when the engine is at normal operating temperature.

See the following resistance chart to verify that the coolant temperature sensor is within its range.

Jeep Cherokee Is Hard Cold Starting

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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