Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I'm having fuel pump relay problems.

asked by on

Sometimes my jeep won't start. Other times it does but then when I'm driving it shuts off. The rpms go way up and the gas pedal stops working and it just kind of slows down until it dies. Usually I can put it in neutral and start it back up. Sometimes it won't start until I get out and take the fuel pump relay fuse out and put it back in. It looks like it is starting to turn black under it where it plugs into. I've already replaced it twice and it helps temporarily, but today it shut off when I was alone with no service and I really don't want that to happen again. Please tell me how to fix this??

My car has 210000 miles.

A: Hey there, thanks for writing in about your...

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It sounds like you have an intermittent connection issue caused by a loose fuse holding tabs. The black you see is carbon where the voltage is jumping a gap, like a spark plug. The carbon itself is not a good conductor and will interfere with the electrical flow. The RPM increase is caused by the temporary leaning of the air/fuel mixture.

Clean the contacts and the fuse throughly with electrical cleaner, dielectric grease, or petroleum jelly. You may want to use an old toothbrush or small brass brush to lightly scrub the connector.

Sometimes a very small dental style pick can be used to slightly bend the tabs back towards each other, so the furs will fit tightly. Using a bit of dielectric grease on the fuse and holder will help with corrosion and may help keep electrical arcing from causing excess carboning.

If you are unable to bend the tabs, you could try to sandwich old fuse blades between the good fuses blades and the connector to ensure good contact. Sometimes, if you are careful, you can slightly bend the tabs on the good fuse into a V shape to help with keep the electrical connection complete. Other than that, replacement of the fuse panel would be the ideal repair solution. If you need help with this repair, I suggest having a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, correctly diagnose the stalling issue, verify the problem, and complete the repair for you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Hi I have this dtc:P0698 description (failure of wiring and connection. failure of spark plug control module) engin no start

Hi there. Typically this is a failure in the ignition control circuit. Most of the time it is a wiring failure going to the ignition coils such as a bad ground connection. It can also be caused by a failure...

Q: Car running rough and trying to stall

Hi. The idle air control valve needs replacing because it sounds like the idling is rough on your vehicle. Also, if you have a pulley starting to seize up, which include the idler pulley and the tensioner pulley, they may...

Q: How to reset the ECM?

Hi, thanks for writing in. After the computer is scanned and all the codes are documented and diagnosed to find the cause of the problems then the scan tool can be used to clear the codes and ECM monitors. Once...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...