Dear Car Talk:
Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee shuts off when making right hand, uphill turns. First and foremost, this is dangerous.
The dealer says that when oil doesn't get to the top half of the engine, the engine will stall. They said we weren't changing our oil on time. They did an oil consumption test and said we were losing four quarts every 5,000 miles.
I submitted a complaint to Safercar.gov and the NHTSA about this problem. While I was online, I found that there are other Jeep owners with the same problem.
What's your take on this? -- Rick
My take is that I'm glad I'm not the owner of your 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Rick. It's not only unsafe, it's also going to be difficult to diagnose. Not to mention difficult to sell.
Jeep has had a raft of complaints about stalling Cherokees. And as far as we can tell, they haven't figured it out yet
A bunch of people report that Jeep is blaming low oil level. But you'd have to be very low on oil to cause the engine to stop running. I'd say you'd need to be a minimum of two quarts down.
According to Jeep's own consumption test, you're losing a quart every 1,250 miles. That's not a ton of oil loss. As long as you check it and add a half-quart every 600 miles or so, you'll never get anywhere near low enough to cause your engine to stall.
In fact, if you've been driving the car with your crankcase full and it's still stalling, that tells me the oil level has nothing to do with it. So, we're not buying the oil level explanation.
The 9-speed transmission in this car was also problematic. That's another possible culprit, along with the transmission wiring harness.
You can check all of your wiring harnesses by wiggling them while the engine is running. If you can get the engine to stall, you've found the source of what is an electrical problem.
The other major problem this vehicle has is with something called the Totally Integrated Power Module, or TIPM. It's kind of the electronic brain in this car. Like Hal from "2001: A Space Odyssey." That could also be the cause of the stalling.
If your dealer is willing to work with you, ask him to install a new TIPM on a trial basis and see if that solves your problem. If it does, you can take out the requisite home equity loan and buy the thing. If not, you can give it back, and go back to wiggling wiring harnesses and crossing your fingers on right turns. Especially when they lead across railroad tracks.
We wish you luck, Rick.