Here's a story from a reader about a Jeep that just died for no apparent reason.

89 Jeep Cherokee Laredo - Inline 6 cylinder: For no apparent reason, it wouldn't start. It would turnover fine, but either no spark or no fuel was getting to the chamber. After diagnosing the fuel line was working, I tackled the firing source.

The distributor cap did appear to have a crack or two in it. Bingo! Right? Wrong. A new cap and spark plug wires still got me no fire. Must be the ignition coil. Nope. After testing it with a voltmeter and finding out it was okay, still no fire.

I called my dad who deals in used parts. He called his "Jeep Man", who said it was the crankshaft position sensor (CPS). Turns out he was right. About the size of your thumb, it lives halfway up the bellhousing on the left (driver) side of the transmission. It monitors the position of the flywheel. It's location was too tight for me to get at with my standard tools. So, after a trip to the dealership for the part (about $40) and an hour of labor from the full-service station mechanic (another $40) it finally cranked. Naturally, the mechanic said, "That would have been the first thing I checked." I guess I'll never know for sure.

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