Jeep Cherokee (XJ) fuel pump question

Hey Jeep owners, and general car folks! What do you think?

I’ve got a '90 Jeep Cherokee (XJ), 214k miles, 4 litre straight 6.

I’m getting a wicked humming from the rear area, which I assume is the fuel pump, in the tank (nothing to do with the drivetrain. Makes this noise while sitting). I’ve had it for a little over a year, and drive it nearly every day for a short time. Always starts up, never quit, but I’ve never noticed this noise before. It’s either getting louder or has just started.

Is it heading towards a failure? Normal noise? Something else?

What ya’ll think?

I put this here. Looking for opinions, stories and speculation.

I’d think it’s more than likely an exhaust or heat shield issue.
I’ve never heard of a fuel pump making noise before.

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Certainly a spinning, mechanical noise. Only thing I can think that is back there is the fuel pump.

Exhaust on this Jeep is cut short, and ends just after the cat. So not even close.

I guess the question should be, “Have any Jeep owners had the pump go out? Did it make a bunch of noise just prior?”

Exhaust systems and heat shields do not make humming noises. Electric fuel pumps definitely do.

I have observed fuel pumps that made noise for longer than a year while still working fine, but I do find the sudden onset/increase worrisome.

Yeah, it is worrisome. This is strictly for off-road, and if it died in the places I go, its likely to stay there. No getting towed out, unless I find somebody with a *real serious *rig. I don’t know anybody like that.

I think I’ll stick to the trails for awhile and see how it goes.

Not sure how much help I can be since I cannot hear the noise, but I had a whirring and slight slurping sound(occasional) come from the tank a few days before my fuel pump died, same sound in my ex’s jeep cherokee (2003). 214k, has the pump ever been replaced?

Is the fuel pump in the gas tank? If so, check to be sure that the rubber strips around the fuel tank support straps are still intact. The rubber strips allow the fuel pump & tank to vibrate silently as the fuel pump does its job.

If the fuel tank is allowed to touch the frame or the body of the Jeep, it will make a humming noise. As the fuel level in the tank drops the noise will get louder. The fuel tank acts like a sounding board.

If the fuel pump is separate from the tank, check the pump’s rubber mounts for integrity.

IHTH, 48.

PS, Not a Jeep , but I had a Buick that I bought with that whine/humming noise from the fuel pump. I replaced the rubber strip after living with the noise for a year, it really made a difference in the noise level inside the car.

Unknown. I’ve only had it a little over a year. I drive it nearly every day, but only put a few miles at a time on it. Always starts. Never quit.

Yet. :stuck_out_tongue:

Drove it tonight, and didn’t hear anything. I hate intermittent problems!

I checked w/ a guy who’s had his Jeep Cherokee (and other Jeeps) for many years and he asks -
‘How low is your fuel? Mine [fuel pump] has been humming VERY loudly for years.’

Classic Jeep!

I was worried about my oil pressure (drops to around 10 psi at idle), and asked a long-time owner, and he said, “Yeah, I’ve had no oil pressure for the last 100k miles!”

It strangely made me feel better. :wink:

Must be a Jeep thing, my ex’s jeep also had a problem with the oil pressure, drive it for 5 minutes, the oil pressure needle would be buried, stop and turn the car off and then on again, bam, normal (oil level was fine, clean). Never figured that one out. Anyhow try to take note of what level of fuel you have when the problem happens, or what driving conditions it starts. Could possibly be an old U-joint if it is coming from the center-rear area. I’ve heard those click, hum, growl and whirr intermittently when they were old. Just ideas.

No, it could not.

It could and has, but I totally forgot that OP put that in the post. Sorry. Moving on!

Cobra nest under floorboards? :smiley:

This is silly.

Cobras hiss.


I had a 92 XJ and the only time the pump started getting loud was when the fuel was seriously low. Other than that it was fine, but I also traded her in for an 03 Focus so she still had a few 100k miles left on her…
I also had the intermittent oil pressure thing but it only occurred during the winter months. I ran synthetic so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t oil starvation and even at -40 she would start, begrudgingly. It might be worth swapping the frame fuel filter out; maybe it’s clogged and making the pump work harder than it needs to. It’s fairly easy to change out, just remember to take pressure off the rail and fuel line otherwise you’re getting a gas bath.
It probably wouldn’t hurt to beat the backseat with a stick to check for cobras as well. :smiley:

Wouldn’t that be “sssssssssssssssssssssssssilly” ??

The Cherokee (not necessarily the same model as OP has) has two fuel tanks and two fuel pumps: One engine-driven pump that runs whenever the engine is running (unless it fails), and an auxiliary electric-driven pump that may be operated at critical times. From one on-line source, I spotted this advice:

Come to think of it, I think the fuel level was pretty low. I don’t drive this on the road, and only fill it from cans every few weeks as needed, and allow it get pretty far down to empty.

No more backseat for Cobra hiding! Might be a rattlesnake in the wheel-well.

Senegold: Wrong Cherokee! :smiley: