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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had an incident when my Commander only had about 200 miles on it. I was driving downhill on the Interstate when my engine quit and the speedometer and tach went to zero. I wish I had taken a moment to check out the instruments and exactly what was going on (mainly the ignition key). More about that later.

However, since I was rolling on the highway at 65 MPH, without thinking, I immediately reached down and turned the ignition key to start. The engine immediately restarted and the speedometer and tach came back up to normal readings. As to whether the key was in the "on" position, "off" or somewhere in between I haven't a clue. At that moment, I just wanted to get it running ASAP. I was more than a little shaken the rest of the way home waiting for it to happen again.

Back to the ignition key. I have several keys (probably too many) on my Jeep key ring. I suspect that perhaps they were over weighted to one side, putting pressure or at least a basis toward the "off" position. Now, stepping into total guess land, I'm wondering if the ignition key was not totally in the "on" position and my knee pressure might have been enough to move the ignition key to the off position.

Not taking the time to check where the ignition key was when the engine quit is the key to this problem. The reason I suspect it was in the off position is because the speedometer read zero at 65 MPH. Even if the engine had quit, if the ignition key was in the on position, I would think the speedometer would still read the actual speed instead of zero.

This is the only time this has happened to me. I now check to see if the ignition key is fully on after starting. Since this one incident, this has never again happened to me while driving my Commander.

I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had a similar problem with the ignition key cylinder in their Commander or any other Jeep? Would it be possible for the engine to run if the ignition key was not fully in the on detent?

Sorry about the lengthy report, but I wanted to describe the incident as clearly as I remember it.
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

I haven't had that happen, but I could see how it easily could - I initially had my key on my big key ring with my 5lbs or so of other keys, but they were hitting my knee while I drove, so now I just keep the Jeep key seperate. I also hit the key with my knee and killed the engine once while shuffling around in my seat - luckily I was idling in my driveway.
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

That has happened twice to me. Both times I realized that I hit the key with my knee. It shook me up the first time and the second time I just turned the key back on. I hope this isn't super bad for the engine.

I lowered the position of my seat which helps some. I am usually very conscious of it now. I will probably take the other keys off of that one just to be safe. I can't really see anything else that I could do or the dealer could do. I have read about this happening to one other person.
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

Wow! I would imagine the steering wheel would lock up if the key turned too far. That could definitely be a big problem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

Fortunately I was going straight ahead when it happened. What surprised me the most was the speedometer and the tach instantly going to zero. My first thought "oh, oh!!!"

The engine was only off for a couple of seconds. However, I didn't feel any increase in the steering feel. So, even though the tach was at zero, I assume the engine was turning over enough to keep the power steering going.

This has got to be some kind of defect in the ignition cylinder that would allow it to get out of the "on" detent enough to stop the engine.

Although I didn't mention it when I started this thread, I do believe my knee hit the key also. Kinda crappy that a knee bumb could kill the engine. At the wrong time, this could be VERY serious, especially if someone didn't think to GO for the key immediately.

As to engaging the steering column lock, I think the transmission has to be in Park along with the key in the off position to engage the lock.
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

OMG!! thats ALMOST enough to stop me from buying a commander! if the key happened to turn off while I was slamming the gas down to MOVE into traffic and I had to think about what happened, and then try to start it again, and then realize it has to be in park, and push on the brake, and put it in park, and turn the key... thats enough time for someone to side swipe me, or for me to cause a SERIOUS pile up!

START SENDING SOME LETTERS TO DCX!!
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

It doesn't have to be in park to restart. I just turned the key back to the full on position and everything resumed. Not that that makes it much better. It is still dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

ladeefrickenda said:
It doesn't have to be in park to restart. I just turned the key back to the full on position and everything resumed. Not that that makes it much better. It is still dangerous.
Interest point! Normally, the vehicle (almost any) has to be in either "Park" or "neutral" to start the engine. When this incident happened to me, everything went so fast that I don't remember exactly what I did. All I definitely remember was that I turned the key and the engine immediately roared back to life. I KNOW the engine will NOT start if the transmission selector is in "drive" when the vehicle is parked. As to whether it will start in drive when in motion, I'm not sure. I suspect I MUST have shifted to neutral before my restart. Does anyone know if the starter will engage while if in "drive" if the vehicle is in motion? This doesn't seem like something I want to try to just get the answer.

If this ever happens to any one, I think the best response is to (1) shift to neutral, (2) turn the key to "start", and (3) thank your lucky stars you didn't bend any metal during the procedure.

To answer 06commander4_me, while I don't think this problem is that big of deal, it's something that Jeep should consider fixing. In the present situation, it's best NOT to have a big bunch of keys hanging on the same ring that your Jeep ignition key is on and just make sure you have the ignition key fully in the "on" detent when driving.
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

I do not know if the starter would work in the drive position. I know I didn't shift in to nuetral, which may be better for the engine. I think that by keeping it in drive and turning the key back to on it must be similar to push starting a car with a manual trasmission, and you don't need to use the starter at all. Either way I hope it doesn't happen again. I definately agree with not having a lot of keys. I am only going to have one.

I believe that both times it happened to me I had the cruise control on and was shifting positions. I really can't see it happening while accelerating. Anyway people should definately be aware.
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

We bought our Jeep Commander last month... Had a new 05 Dodge Grand Caravan and it was a lemon so Daimler Chrysler replaced it. We chose the Jeep Commander. I am beginning to feel that too was a mistake. Yesturday on the way taking my little girl to school, I stopped at a stop sign ( going up hill ) and my engine just died. I don't know if I put it in neutral or in park, but I turned the ignition and it restarted immediately. This was somewhat unnerving because I started rolling down the hill, with cars behind me before I realized the ignition turned off. I have been doing some research and see that is a common problem that consumers are having. I do have several keys on my keychain and will be taking some off today.

I have some problems with noises as well and was wondering if anyone else has had the same type noise... When I let my foot off the the accelerator, there is a whining noise that seems to be coming from the rear of the vehicle... almost sounds like the rear end is going out... One time there was a weird noise that seemed like it was coming from right under the dash....I haven't heard it since. The Jeep also seems like it doesn't shift gears and the engine seems strained at times... I have a 4.7 V-8. This makes me a little nervous giving our past problems with our Grand Caravan. Has anyone experienced these problems or are we just cursed when it comes to vehicles?!?:(
 

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Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

YES! Several weeks ago my JC started acting funny, hesitating around corners, no pick-up. After I noticed this, a few days later it just stopped running in the middle of the road. Luckily I was on a back road, not a highway. Had to have it towed to the dealer. The dealer said that the engine blew and put a new engine in it, only 4000 miles on it. I had it back now for about 10 days and the same types of things started happening again! I took it back to the dealer and they can't find anything wrong with it. Should it happen again, I'm demanding a new car!:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Anyone have their engine quit on the road?

AF001 said:
YES! Several weeks ago my JC started acting funny, hesitating around corners, no pick-up. After I noticed this, a few days later it just stopped running in the middle of the road.
The issue is different in this thread. Yes, it's about the engine quitting. However, in this case, the cause is "bumping" the extra keys hanging down from the ignition key and in doing so, turning the key slightly out of the "on" detent or maybe even to "off". This problem, while potentially serious, is quickly fixed by shifting to neutral and restarting the engine. Apparently, some who had this problem were able to restart by leaving their transmission in "drive" and just insuring that the ignition key is in the on detent position.

Your problem is a lot more serious and I hope it is corrected soon. If I had your kind of trouble, I would be thinking of taking a depreciation bath and getting different model of SUV. If I can't depend on a vehicle getting me safely to where I want to go and even more so, getting me back home WHEN I want to return, I don't want the vehicle parked in MY driveway.
 

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Engine stalled in traffic

Driving home from work as the wife stopped at a Stop sign the Commander went dead, while shifting to Park noticed a grinding sound. Restarted without any problem. In those famous words of the service dept., "I couldn't get it to happen while test driving". There are only about 5000 miles on clock and she says this is the 2nd time this has happened. Has anyone else experienced this problem.
 

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Re: Engine stalled in traffic

Went dead? If she heard a grind sound it doesn't seem like it was dead to me.
 

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Re: Engine stalled in traffic

Yes has happened twice to my wife both time while sitting in traffic. Going to shop Friday.
 

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Re: Engine stalled in traffic

Say it aint so!!! We just got our commander last week after our liberty, which we got in 7/05.......DIED IN TRAFFIC!! :confused: It was usually the first stop of the day (out of the driveway, first light, etc.) So the dealer basically lemoned it for us and gave us a great deal on the commander!
Are your commanders automatic or stick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Engine stalled in traffic

Commanders are only automatic. I believe there are 3 versions of the transmission.
 

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Re: Engine stalled in traffic

Yeah my Fiance reminded me of that last night after he read my post and told me I was a dork! :p
 
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