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Jeep Liberty Reliability and Common Problems

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The Jeep Liberty is one of the top choices that come to mind when it comes to economical midsize SUVs. But despite being a highly capable off-roader, different model years of this vehicle have had their share of problems. Let’s take a look at the common issues that have plagued the Liberty over the years to give you a better idea of the repairs this vehicle may eventually need.

Are Jeep Libertys Reliable?

older model of jeep liberty off road
The Jeep Liberty has received average scores on all major reliability ratings.

The Jeep Liberty has received average scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal rates it a 3.5 out of 5, ranking it 14th out of 26 midsize SUVs. It received higher scores on Cars.com, earning a score of 4.2 out of 5 based on consumer reviews. The average yearly cost to repair a Liberty is $674, which is about $100 more than what you’d spend to maintain similar SUVs.

Jeep Liberty Common Problems

Although this SUV was made by one of the most well-known automakers in the world, driving it won’t come without problems. Here are some of the most common issues associated with the Jeep Liberty:

Electrical Issues

Late-model Chrysler vehicles are equipped with a totally integrated power module (TIPM), which is a distribution box for the vehicle’s entire electrical system. While it has its advantages, it’s also a leading cause of drivability problems for those who own a Liberty.

Problems due to a faulty TIPM were common among this Jeep’s 2011 and 2012 models. Drivers have reported incidents of their gauges dropping to zero as all warning lights illuminated, while some were unable to start their vehicles at all. These issues can also be caused by other faulty electrical components, such as the wireless control module (WCM) and body control module (BCM).

Jeep Liberty Power Window Problems

A bad window regulator is the most common 2006 and 2007 Jeep Liberty problem reported by drivers. The faulty part would make clicking noises when rolling down the windows and get caught in the door latch, preventing the Jeep’s door from opening.

The most common fix for this issue is replacing the part. A new Jeep Liberty window regulator can cost anywhere between $100 and $200 plus labor costs, depending on its type and configuration. However, some owners report that they still had difficulty operating their windows despite replacing the regulator multiple times.

Due to the high volume of affected vehicles, a federal class action lawsuit was filed against Chrysler in 2010. The lawsuit alleged that the automaker sold Jeeps equipped with window regulators that were impossible to repair. The lawsuit was dropped in 2013, and a similar one filed in the same year was unsuccessful as well.

Defective Sky Slider Sunroof

One of the features that make the Liberty stand out from other midsize SUVs is its Sky Slider sunroof. Unfortunately, the fabric sunroof fitted on the 2008-2010 models has been prone to failure. Aside from getting stuck and making noise, its drain tubes were also prone to clogging, which caused water to leak into the vehicle’s interior.

A class action lawsuit that named several Jeep and Chrysler models affected by the same issue was filed in 2014. The plaintiffs accused Chrysler of negligence in disclosing maintenance information to the owners, causing their vehicle’s interior to get damaged. The automaker agreed to pay the plaintiffs $350,000 in legal fees and roughly $129,000 for repair costs in 2019.

Transmission Problems

Owners of some 2002-2010 manual transmission Libertys (excluding the 2013 redesign) reported their vehicles popped out of first gear when accelerating, which was caused by a bad synchronizer assembly.

There have also been reports of some automatic 2003, 2006, and 2010 Jeep Libertys staying in default mode, which causes the vehicle to stay locked in one gear. Some were able to resolve the issue by reprogramming the powertrain control module (PCM).

Fluid Leaks and Defective Power Door Locks

Owners of some 2002-2012 Jeep Libertys have reported fluid leaks from their vehicles caused by a worn differential pinion seal or transfer case. These leaks can cause bearing failure, which may lead to excessive vehicle vibration and whining or grinding noises.

There have also been reports of defective power door locks in both generations of the Liberty. Resolving this issue may require the replacement of the door lock actuator, which can cost anywhere between $100 and $200 plus labor costs.

Unusual Noises from the Exhaust Manifold

Unusual noises from the exhaust manifold have been a common complaint from 2002-2010 Liberty owners. Drivers report hearing ticking noises from the exhaust manifold as well as tapping noises around the muffler or gas tank. These are likely caused by loose or broken gaskets and bolts.

Fuel Tank and Brake Lock-Up Issues

The 2005 Jeep Liberty has had problems due to a bad fuel filler neck, which causes the gas tank to overflow. Drivers have had their tanks fill up before the pump has shut off, causing gas to splatter on the vehicle’s exterior.

Fuel tank filler neck
The 2005 Jeep Liberty has had problems due to a bad fuel filler neck, which causes the gas tank to overflow.

The 2004 Jeep Liberty, on the other hand, suffers from serious brake issues. There have been complaints about the front brakes locking up while the vehicle is in motion. During these incidents, some drivers were only able to drive their vehicle in reverse.

Despite replacing parts like the brake pads, brake calipers, and master cylinder, a lot of people who own this model year have been unable to fix the problem. So far, no recalls have been issued to address the problem.

Engine Problems

Engine misfire is a common problem for both generations of the Liberty. Drivers have reported cases of engine knock, rough idling, and excessive vibration when shifting gears. The most common culprit was faulty intake valves. Replacing an intake valve can cost you anywhere between $15 and $30 plus labor costs.

man working on a jeep liberty
Engine misfire is a common problem for both generations of the Liberty.

Things were bad for the 2002 Jeep Liberty, which had problems that caused total engine failure. Vehicles with over 100,000 miles on the odometer had blown engines in need of replacement. This has been a main cause of frustration for drivers of the Liberty, especially because an engine replacement may cost more than what their vehicles are worth.

Regardless of how well you take care of your SUV, you’re bound to spend on repairs as it racks up mileage. But by knowing what problems to expect and doing regular maintenance, you can keep your Liberty in top shape and maximize its service life.

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