Last post on Mar 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM
You are in the Jeep Wrangler
What is this discussion about?
Jeep Wrangler, Scheduled Maintenance, Steering, Suspension, Tires, SUV
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#1550 of 1886 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE
Jun 23, 2009 (8:08 pm)
I drive a 2003 Wrangler SE (standard trans) with about 40,000 miles on it. Since I bought the car, I noticed it doesn't really like the AC running. When you activate the AC, you can see and feel the RPMs fall. If you're at speed, you can feel the car start pulling power to run the AC. It's much more pronounced than any other car I've ever owned. Sure, it's a 4 cylinder, but is this normal?
Aside from that, today I got stuck in traffic both to and from work (really fun with a manual transmission...). On the way home, I was idling along and the car was really struggling. RPMs would drop below 600 every so often and I thought she was going to die on me. Also, shifting between first and second would sometimes cause a major hesitation.
So I turned off the AC/fan and she ran rough the rest of the way home, once nearly dying while I waited at a stoplight.
Any ideas? I just had a full tune up complete with a fuel system flush. Fuel filter is out of the question as it's under the gas tank. So what else could it be? This is my third summer with it and it's always kind of rode rough with the AC on, just not this bad...
#1551 of 1886 Re: 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE [captjax]
Jun 24, 2009 (4:40 am)
The 4cyl 2.4, although better than the earlier 2.5, really doesn't have much power to spare at the best of times and the a/c imposes a significant load when engaged. As with most vehicles, the idle speed is supposed to increase when the a/c is turned on in order to cope with that load.
However your problem isn't the a/c, it's the engine, as indicated by the fact it was running rough after the a/c was turned off.
You say "Fuel filter is out of the question as it's under the gas tank" (actually it's in the gas tank), but I'm not sure what you mean. The filter is part of the pump and either could be the problem.
You may also have one of the many sensors on the engine starting to fail.
Start by seeing if there are any codes being held (no check light doesn't necessarily mean no codes), and you could also look at fuel pressure and volume.
#1552 of 1886 Re: 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE [mac24]
Jun 24, 2009 (7:19 am)
Symptoms sound like my TPS issue I had a while back...
But the SE's never had power. A/C sucks when it blows. Sucks any power you may have had as it blows the cold air...
#1553 of 1886 Re: 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE [erickpl]
Jun 24, 2009 (11:40 am)
The lack of power is amazing. I was lured by the mileage on an 03 (17,000 when I bought in late 06).
That said, getting someone to check the codes -- can that be done at any auto store or do I have to take it in to a mechanic. I usually do most work myself but I've never had to have codes checked.
#1554 of 1886 1997 Jeep Wrangler Alternator/Starter Trouble!
Jun 24, 2009 (6:52 pm)
I have a 1997 Jeep Wrangler 2.5 four cylinder. I just put a motor in it. But when I unhooked the starter and alternator wires, I didnt mark where they go. If somebody can explain what wires go on the starter and alternator, it would really help. Thats the last thing I need to hookup before its ready.
#1555 of 1886 Re: 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE [captjax]
Jun 25, 2009 (4:43 am)
The lack of power is amazing......................That said, getting someone to check the codes -- can that be done at any auto store or do I have to take it in to a mechanic
The only way it could be worse is if it was an auto. Auto + a/c + 4cyl = the ultimate on-road slug.
You can get it checked for codes at AutoZone for free.
#1556 of 1886 Re: 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE [mac24]
Jun 25, 2009 (6:13 am)
Yeah, what he said.
I have different gearing in my differentials. I'm running 33's and 4.88 gears. I drove from Cullman, AL to Huntsville, AL with my wife, son, after a day of wheeling. I had my offroad gear, 2 coolers, and the top up.
Up and down rolling hills, we ran the A/C. I was able to maintain 65-75 without too much trouble.
If your TJ is running any tires larger than the stock 29's, you may want to consider regearing. 31's or 32's I'd recommend 4.56 gears. 33's will want 4.88's.
And the benefits offroad of regearing are even better!
One thing I also did was some cooling system work. You may ask how this helps... well, my 97 was running the stock pump and I wasn't getting good flow to operate my climate controls very well. I replaced the thermostat, flushed the system, and found I had a water pump that was darn near impossible to turn even by hand. When I restarted the TJ, coolant POURED out.
$35.00 later I installed the new pump and found a LOT less restriction on the belt and the engine seemed to not feel AS bogged down. It made a significant difference. Even my wife noticed.
My A/C still sucks on the system pretty good, but it isn't anywhere NEAR what it was before I did the cooling work. May be worth a look to see when the last time stuff like that was done to your TJ.
#1557 of 1886 Re: AC working fine but AC Fan Not working [ajolson1964]
Jun 29, 2009 (2:15 pm)
There is an inherent problem with older (late 1990 Wranglers) where the actuators that would direct heat and ac flow through the ducts would break off and no longer work. This would show up in the fact that air would not be directed where your settings indicate. There is heating and cooling, but just not distributed where it should be. This may be your problem. You need to check the air distribution/routing box between the firewall and the dash. It's hard to get to and expensive to fix, since it usually requires total replacement, since the individual damper closers that may be broken (cheap plastic) are not individually replacable. I've not heard of a vacuum hose issue, but check the actuators for the damper closers to see if this may be causing your problem.
#1558 of 1886 Re: 2005 jeep wrangler right hand drive automatic (vibration) [rtrunr]
Jun 29, 2009 (2:18 pm)
Also check your driveshaft. Sometimes these get bent when lifted improperly to change tires.
#1559 of 1886 1997 Jeep Wrangler
Jul 01, 2009 (10:27 am)
At various times while driving in on the highway my jeep will start to buck , run rough and backfire. I pull over to the side of the road and let it idle or turn the engine off for a ew minutes then start it up and it runs fine for a while.
The only time this happens is when I am on the highway, in 5th gear and not shifting.
If I am driving, shifting and changing speeds it does not happen.
Any ideas as to why this happens.