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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
178,779 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Jeep Liberty engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Jeep Liberty Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Apr 272013


  • 128,800 miles


My car experienced a sporadic rough idle over a 2 week period. One day the check engine light when on after starting the car. After reading the codes cylinder 2 was determined to be the issue. A shop replaced the ignition coil and all seemed well. The next day after driving the car all day with no issue, I restarted the Jeep after a 10 minute break and it would not start. When it finally started it sounded like half the cylinders were not firing and had a slapping sound. Towed it to dealership and was told cylinder 2 had no compression and it needed a new cylinder head. Both sides would cost $3,500. Parts were ordered and 10 days later they called me and said there were other problems and the cylinder head was not the issue. Piston seemed bent and it needed a long engine block and a water pump. This would cost $7,000. Not worth the fix. It seems cylinder 2 is an issue in many Liberty of this year.

- Middle Village, NY, USA

problem #34

Jul 232013


  • 1,600,000 miles
I just recently bought a car on June 13, 2013 for $5,404.05 from seattle auto mart, 12801 Aurora ave. N., seattle, wa 98133. I bought the car "as is" with no warranty. It was the first car I have ever purchased in my life. I was given a 60 day verbal agreement that if anything broke down, they would fix. It. my loan was through united finance company, P.O. Box 862, auburn, wa 98071. A vehicle inspection was done on the car my the dealership. After I purchased the car, I left for California because my dad was very sick. I was gone for about two weeks. When I came back from California, the second day I got back, I drove it a few blocks from my house, and the car stopped on me at a stop sign! it started smoking from the back and from under the hood and it wouldn't start. I had it towed for the night. I then called seattle auto mart, where I got the car from and they had their people to come and pick it up. I told them what happened and that I just wanted it fixed. Then they called to tell me that the problem with the car was that the engine blew and that I would have to come out the pocket to help pay for the repairs or they could get used parts and I would pay nothing. I told them to go ahead and fix the car with the used parts (even though I should have gotten new parts). I didn't make a payment until the car was fixed. Then so I decided to cut my losses since they were not willing to help me and I gave the car back. A month later, I received a recall notice in the mail from the Chrysler group llc stating that the vehicle has a small fuel leak and could result in a fire. On Saturday April 5, 2014 I received another recall notice ! overall something should be done! I want a new car or to be compensated for the hardship I went through only having the car for less than 30 days! the dealership, seattle auto mart should not have sold me that car!

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #33

Feb 012006


  • 70,000 miles
For many years now, a couple of times a year I will be driving along at different speeds, sometimes uphill, sometimes downhill, and the engine will turn off. I would pull over and stop. Turn the car off and then it would restart. It would always restart. Recently, it happened when driving and I just turned the ignition off and back on again while I was still in motion and the car started right up. It didn't like doing this because the wheel will lock. I read of the Chevy problem and thought this might be similar.

- Sandia Park, NM, USA

problem #32

Feb 162014


  • 137,000 miles


I owned the Jeep for about 6 months. It ran great, no problems then out of no where it wouldn't start. Sounded like the battery was dead and just not turning over and had it looked at about two days later. He told me that the second cylinder had no compression therefor the engine was blown. Personally I love Jeep and wouldn't want anything else but after hearing this, and having it be a known issue for this year make and model I would have chosen a little wiser. I read about several 2002 Jeep liberties with the same issue which led me to this site.

- Rochester , NY, USA

problem #31

Apr 172013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact was driving 45 mph when the vehicle emitted an overpowering gasoline odor. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but a diagnosis was not determined. The contact also stated that the engine failed due to a blown piston. The contact independently diagnosed the vehicle and noticed that some fuses were blown. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Portsmouth , OH, USA

problem #30

Dec 222013

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 130,030 miles
This is my wife's 2002 Jeep Liberty. We maintain it regularly, oil change every 3000. Didn't have any problems whatsoever until bam ! she loved her Jeep dearly. Wouldn't had taken anything for it. Going to church, 6 miles from the house. When she got there she stated " my Jeep is making a funny noise". after church service she cranked it for me. I told her to shut it down. Checked oil, " where did it go ". had to put in 3 quarts just to get it home. Sounds like a thrashing machine. Bad knock. I could except it if the Jeep had been roughed or fast driven but the Jeep is only driven to her work and church where the speed limit is 55 mph tops. I'm retired and she's ready to and we can't afford to put a lot of money into a new engine. Heard Jeep had a lot of problems with this engine. Especially the 2002-2003 model. Does anyone know if anything can be done about this.

- Greenville, KY, USA

problem #29

Jan 182013


  • 106,000 miles


Rear axle seals leaking replaced seals, bearings, and brakes on both sides. Engine started using excessive oil, sometime up to 2-3 quarts low, no smoke or leaks detected. All the power windows started malfunctioning one by one, would not go back up, still working issue. Rear wiper does not work. Had to replace rear brake light units twice due to shorts in wiring. Replace plastic radiator and electric cooling fan.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #28

Sep 252013


  • miles
2002 Jeep Liberty. Consumer writes in regards to engine light came back on after consumer was informed that repair work had been completed. The dealer informed the consumer, the engine light illuminating again, was due to another problem.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #27

Sep 142013


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty sport. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact had the vehicle towed to his residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact did not call the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Auburn, GA, USA

problem #26

Aug 242013


  • 1,285,000 miles
Had recently checked the oil, and everything was great. Just got back from a long trip with no problems. Then 3 weeks later with no warning, I was driving down the road at about 40 mph and the engine started making a bad sound. (which it had never done) no warning light on the dash, nothing. Pulled over checked the oil again and it registered a little low which was also unusual. Put a quart of oil in it and headed the 7 miles home, but by the time I got home the engine sounded horrible, I drove very careful and watched the gauges and for any warning lights including the check engine light or oil light to come on but nothing happened. It just sounds like crap. I had a mechanic friend come to my house to look at it and he said that it looks like it will be a new engine. What the heck, this seems to be a common problem. Why is Jeep or Chrysler doing nothing about it. The engine has extremely low miles, should be good for longer than this.

- Payson, UT, USA

problem #25

Apr 012013


  • miles


2002 Jeep Liberty. Consumer writes in regards to engine failure. The consumer experienced a misfire while driving. The check engine light started flashing, so she immediately had the vehicle diagnosed with a diagnostic code reader at a local parts store. The code fired was misfire cylinder 2. the spark plugs and coil were replaced. However, the vehicle was still misfiring the same cylinder. The head was then taken off the engine to further inspect what was happening in the cylinder to case it to misfire. The mechanic discovered the exhaust valve was drawn into the cylinder and combusted. The combustion caused the piston to melt down to the first ring.

- Torrington, CT, USA

problem #24

Jul 042013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 131,300 miles
Out of no where engine light comes on check oil no oil in car took it to mechanic said engine is blown and that it is a common incident with the Jeep Liberty engines that they always fail before 140000 mile now I have to pay 4000 to have a new engine put in it pissed.

- Ft Knox, KY, USA

problem #23

Jun 222013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 126,800 miles
Car just stalled after filling up in the gas station. Car has been well maintained and just underwent oil change and tuneup. Diagnosis of a reputable shop: Loss of compression in #4 cylinder, leaking headgasket. This has been a common problem with the 2002-2003 models as evidently shown in the Jeep forums and per repair shop/S. best solution is to buy a rebuilt engine to avoid recurrence of the same problem. Very costly to the consumers and a true testament to the Jeep brand.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #22

Jun 012013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle overheated and made a loud banging noise with the illumination of the check engine warning light. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Pittsburgh , PA, USA

problem #21

Jun 162013


  • 157,000 miles
My 2002 Jeep Liberty sport had to have the radiator replaced2 years ago (2011) due to sludge in the system, which was fine because it was already almost 10 years old. Recently (June 2013) I smelled coolant and by the time I got it to the mechanic, it had overheated just once, from the water pump not working. So the mechanic replaced the water pump, and after that it never worked the same. The engine was rough, didn't have a smooth idle, and the next day, the "check engine" light came on. I had a friend check it out on a weekend when the light stayed on and started flashing, and the engine felt/sounded even rougher. There were multiple error signals, later diagnosed by the mechanic that the head gasket was cracked/blown, there ware coolant fumes from the engine, and 3 of the cylinders were "warped". estimated repair cost: $2000-3000 and a week's worth of labor... providing they didn't find other damage when they got the engine out. Reading other reports make me disappointed with Chrysler and confident that I'm not going to have mine repaired nor buy a new Jeep (though I had previously loved! my Jeep).

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #20

Jul 102010

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 72,880 miles
I was driving on the interstate at 55 mph in the right lane. I accelerated to pass the vehicle in front of me who was driving approximately 40 mph. When I accelerated, there was an extremely loud band that came from my car. I moved into the right lane and pulled over, off the road and stopped the car. The loud bang frightened and startled me for a moment and I could have lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Up until then, I had no problems. When I drove the car home, I drove slowly and carefully. The car kept stopping, as if someone turned the engine off. I took it to the Jeep dealer and was told I needed to replace the solenoid pack and fluid, had a broken clutch, and internal damage (transmission). After that incident, other issues started such as no hydraulic under front hood (have to hold hood up with one hand while using other). The first time it happened, the hood fell down on my head. The back hydraulics to keep the hatchback open sometimes work or not and my windshield wiper motor is broken. Mind you this all started with low mileage between 72,880 - 74,000. Now I am concerned about the latest recall for fuel tank explosion if hit in rear and the other recall about the air bags.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #19

Jun 032013


  • 121,000 miles
While driving vehicle, engine started to drive rough. After driving for 5 minutes check engine light came. Took vehicle to mechanic and was told cylinder had zero compression. Was told would be cheaper to get remanufactured engine.

- Henniker , NH, USA

problem #18

Jun 152013


  • miles
I own a 2002 Jeep Liberty and had never heard of a recall on the engine! I did get a notice for the air bag issues months ago and have contacted the local dealer who maintains that the parts aren't available. Didn't some other autos have the same problem" have they been fixed? I don't want to have a wreck and the air bags not deploy and then I become a crispy critter. Nor do I want the air bags to deploy when I'm driving down the interstate doing between 60 - 70 miles per hour. Again, possible crash with burning to death. Someone somewhere needs to get Chrysler to work. Do they need a financial handout" guess I'm gonna have to trade this clunker in and get something other than a Jeep. Too bad cause I love my Jeep.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #17

Jun 102013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 74,658 miles
Salvaged engine with reported on 36K miles on it was installed by dealer in May 2011 after first engine was lost. Put new tires, alignment on vehicle on Friday afternoon, drove home, Jeep sit parked until Monday morning. Monday morning started and engine made terrible noises and died just like first engine did. Refuse to spend any additional $$ on Liberty 3.7 liter engines. Obviously an issue. I own a 2006 with a 3.7, so hopefully will not happen with it.

- Sherwood, AR, USA

problem #16

May 112011

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 72,326 miles
Engine stopped with loud noises obvious something broken. Towed to dealer. Dealer indicated engine failure due to oil sludge issue. Dealership indicated that this was a common problem even on well maintained 2002 Liberty 3.7 engines. Not even 73,000 miles on the engine. Internet is full of stories similar.

- Sherwood, AR, USA

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