really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
141,228 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 #54

Oct 262015


  • 130,000 miles


Was driving down the highway and quit. Had towed to shop and they said the engine was shot.

- Cayuta, NY, USA

problem #53

Mar 122014

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My Jeep currently has 42,000 miles as of Nov 1, 2015. It is 14 years old. However, the 3.7 L engine has a history (1 in 200 as best I can tell from the internet) of somehow coagulating oil into sludge around the 50,000 mile mark. This Jeep is part of the trailer hitch and airbag recall, but as you know dealerships never got parts to update. However, it also seems the engine was designed to fail on these models. Mechanics that work on these engines just shake their heads and tell you Chrysler updated the engine to fix this but that doesn't help anybody who has an originally designed engine. Again, these engines were designed to sludge. It usually starts with rocker arms cracking/breaking and even after replacement and cleansing the oil sludges up again. Of course, Chrysler dealerships act like every occurrence of this is isolated, but third party mechanics know better. Mine has two Jeep right now that are sludged. Basically the social safety concern is that your engine can break when you're driving. And also that Chrysler sold batches of these engines that they knew were defective, if not at the original design then soon after; when they decided they had to change the original design. I'm only being affected by it now because I have so few miles on my Jeep.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #52

Jul 122014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that after the vehicle was started, a fuel odor emitted from the vehicle. In addition, the contact mentioned that after the vehicle was parked, the check engine warning light illuminated. The contact also mentioned that after turning the ignition key to the on position, the vehicle failed to start without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 12V527000 (air bags), 13V252000 (fuel system, gasoline, structure), and 15V046000 (air bags) however, the parts to do the repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Cottage Hills, IL, USA

problem #51

Aug 122015

Liberty 6-cyl

  • miles


The contact owned a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact heard a noise emerging from the bottom driver side of the vehicle. The vehicle also started to hesitate and all the warning indicators illuminated. The contact slowed down to approximately 10 mph into a parking lot. The contact parked and exited the vehicle. She was alerted that the vehicle was on fire. The fire department extinguished the fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 12/29/15

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #50

Jul 232015


  • 103,498 miles
On July 23, 2015, while driving on the interstate highway, at approximately 55 miles/hour, the odometer, speedometer and cruise control simultaneously stopped working for no apparently known reason. When arriving at my destination in another state, (approx. 60 miles), I researched the internet for potential problems. A number of other 2002 Jeep Liberty owners had experienced similar problems. Additionally, several owners had experienced engine stalling when braking at a stoplight or intersection. On July 28, 2015, when traveling on an interstate highway, I pulled off to the safety lane to take a telephone call. While I was slowly pushing on the brake pedal to move safely to curb lane, the engine stopped working, as did my steering. Quick thinking - having read prior owners' comments - told me to put the car in neutral and turn the ignition key on. That worked! I got the car safely to the side lane. I am in the process of getting problems corrected; however, other owners have stated that the problem of stalling persists.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #49

Jun 182015


  • 90,380 miles
I was pulling out of my driveway and the car just shut completely off and I was stuck in the middle of the road. About 10 mins later, it started back up again and drove normally. This is not safe at all and if I was driving on the road, I could have died. I'm scared to drive this car now and I can't afford to go to a mechanic and pay thousands of dollars. From looking online, this is a recurring problem with this car. There should be a recall on this issue. Someone can really lose their life over this.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #48

Jan 032015


  • 143,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that the failure was experienced after the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 15V046000 (air bags). The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 143,000.

- Paragould, AR, USA

problem #47

Apr 292011


  • 81,000 miles
2002 Jeep Liberty - engine - cylinder misfires, overheating causing coolant to overflow, coolant got in cylinder?, new engine required - quoted $5,500 plus $120 per hour labor from Jeep dealer.

- Addison, IL, USA

problem #46

Nov 042013


  • 211,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that when accelerating, the vehicle jerked forward as the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the CO2 filter needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 211,000.

- Robinsonville, MS, USA

problem #45

Sep 012014

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 98,986 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle but the problem occurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that there was an electrical shortage on the rear hatch module. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,986. Updated 11/24/14

- Williamsburg, PA, USA

problem #44

Jul 012014


  • 112,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the check engine light remained illuminated. The oxygen sensor was replaced several times however the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- Baltimore , MD, USA

problem #43

Aug 162012


  • 120,000 miles
The engine is blown because the valve issue that Chrysler is very well aware of. Regular maintenance and proper oil changes took place. The engine they put in this vehicle is known for this issue. The valve breaks off and destroys the engine. Thanks guys. Way to own up and fix your mistakes.

- Cleveland , OH, USA

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

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