hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
147,836 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Jun 202013


  • 160,000 miles


This was my primary (and only) transportation and the Jeep ran as normal on 06/19/2014, no problems or noises. I cranked it up on the morning of 06/20/2013 and the motor was knocking like crazy. I took it to an independent repair shop and let them listen to the noise. I was advised that 1st, the noise sounded like the rocker arm or beads and this is not the first Jeep Liberty they have seen with this problem and 2nd it was not safe for me to be driving the Jeep with this problem as the engine could possibly fail causing a crash and 3rd I will have to buy a new motor for this vehicle which is around $2,000 and up for a rebuilt engine or $6,000 and up for a new one. I was still making payments on this vehicle and didn't have this type of $$ just lying around so it has been sitting in my driveway for over a year. From my research online, there are numerous consumers who have had this same engine problem yet Chrysler has not been made to recall there engine for defective parts. On behalf of Jeep Liberty owners that have had to face this huge problem, I am requesting that this issue be researched as soon as possible!!!! Jeep are not bottom line vehicles as most people know. I personally paid $30,000 for this vehicle and am furious at the lack of response or sense of urgency by Chrysler to resolve this and all the other issues with their vehicles. If you are going to charge for vehicles like they are 5 star vehicles, then you need to sell a 5 star product or give 5 star respectable service and correct your defects.

- Sandy Ridge, NC, USA

problem #41

Feb 042014

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 138,422 miles
I was driving to unlock my other vehicle because my husband locked the keys in the car. I had my two young boys, 2 and 3 years old with me. I was on an interstate when all of a sudden, the wheel locks up and I see smoke coming from the hood. Blew the engine!!!! I was stuck on the side of the road, no cell phone, the night before a terrible ice storm that was headed my way. Very scary situation. I couldn't believe it was happening to me. Now it is going to cost me over $5000 to fix it, I think not. I don't have that kind of money sitting around. I have two little ones in diapers and another in college. So disappointed in the manufacturer for not warning the public. And to boot, I only paid it off last summer. $18,000 down the tube. It was my first vehicle I ever paid off. So very disappointed.

- West Reading, PA, USA

problem #40

Jul 122014


  • miles
We bought the vehicle used and they said that there was a problem with the engine, but they did not give us a warranty or any other discount. Now we have had the vehicle for six months and it needs a new bottom end of the engine put in which costs more than the vehicle is worth but we do not have a choice, we have to put one in. I have always bought Jeep's in the past and was very satisfied with their performance, but now I re-thinking my loyalty. I have always wanted a Jeep Liberty but now I wish I had never bough it.

- Middlesboro , KY, USA

problem #39

May 182014


  • 179,000 miles


Valve is either dropped or has broken randomly. I have been told that it is not worth fixing, because it would cost way too much money. Also I have done research and found that is a very common problem with the 2002 Jeep Liberty. I want to know why Jeep has yet to address this problem.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #38

May 282014

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
Drove a short distance aprox 1/2 mile to store. When I came out car would crank but did not start. I left car idle for 1 hr and then it would start. This condition has happened a few time in the previous year.

- Lee's Summit, MO, USA

problem #37

May 312012


  • 135,000 miles
Driving through a school zone one morning and the car suddenly lost power steering and shut off, would not start again. Towed it back to house and read check engine code about crankshaft position sensor. It melted in place because of where it is in relation to the exhaust, took 4-5 months to fully dig out the melted sensor and replace. Had to put a heat shield over it myself and has since lasted 2+ years without trouble. Very poor design and a hassle to fix.

- Little Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, USA

problem #36

May 212014

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 111,300 miles


Key gets stuck in the ignition system from time to time the keys are left in the ignition steering wheel gets locked unable to retrieve key. Electrical stability control defect since buying it in 2003, numerous suspension problems since 2003, spend thousands of dollars fixing defects.

- Belmont, MA, USA

problem #35

Apr 272013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 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's of this year.

- Middle Village, NY, USA

problem #34

Jul 232013

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 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 therefore 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

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