Q: Electrical power drops out completely while driving.

asked by on November 23, 2016

2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L 305,000+ miles. On startup in the morning, when I put the car in drive and stepped on the gas, electrical power would sometimes drop out completely, then comes back, then does it again sometimes 5 or 6 times (i.e., RPM's go to zero, gas gauge goes to empty, speedometer goes to zero, engine stops running, etc.). Wiggling the key always resolved the problem but sometimes it took several tries (and sometimes a couple of restarts) to find a "sweet spot". After it resolved it ran fine, but once in a great while it skipped a beat again. Throughout the day when I started it the same thing would happen, but not as bad. I have replaced the ignition switch with a new one from Standard Electrical Product. It greatly improved the situation, but sometimes it still happens. Question is, short of having gotten a defective ignition switch off-the-shelf, is there anything else that might cause this? (Bad relay somewhere, etc.) Thanks.

My car has 305000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A faulted automatic shutdown relay or asd relay is a common concern on your vehicle model and can show the same symptoms. I have seen this problem caused by the relay as well as corrosion inside the under hood fuse block so that would be a good place to start looking around. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out and take a closer look at your loss of power or stalling concerns and offer a more personal diagnosis.

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