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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #15

Apr 102013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 138,104 miles
I own a 2002 Jeep Liberty ltd edition and there are numerous reports on the internet that there are issues with the #2 cylinder valve coming off which in turn beat the #2 piston. I drove my Jeep home from work and parked in the garage. About an hour later I started the Jeep to leave and low and behold the #2 cylinder blew and created major damage to the piston. There have also been reports of a sludge issue on the 3.7L engines. I have never received a recall notice but after speaking with a man that worked for Dodge he confirmed that they did a silent recall on these issues for the 3.7L engine. I spoke with Chrysler and they laughed at my issue saying it was considered wear and tear since my miles are at 138,000. I don't think this issue is very funny and it could have caused me to crash if I would have been driving when the cylinder blew. I have recently had to pay over $3000 to get my repairs done and Chrysler refuses to help with the issue. Had I of known about the engine issues and all of the recalls on my vehicle I would have never bought the Jeep. I am only asking for Chrysler to help with at least half of the repair bill if not all of it. This is a defect and if the engine was correct it would have never blown. This issue has caused me 6 weeks of trying to find a ride back and forth to work as well as two absent days at work. This was a manufacturers defect and they should be held responsible. I also received a recall notice on the air bag and have yet been able to get my Jeep in for that recall as the dealership has stated that they do not have the parts yet.

- Gladstone, MO, USA

problem #14

Nov 282012

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated the vehicle made a loud knocking sound and then it stalled. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who determined there was a misfire coming from the pistons which caused the failure to occur. The contact was advised that the engine needed to be replaced. The failure and current mileage was 139,000.

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 152009

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the oil warning light illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The oil sensor was replaced and the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 86,000.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #12

Mar 072013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the vehicle exhibited an abnormally loud noise when driving at various speeds. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic and the contact was advised that the number two cylinder intake valve seat separated and fell into the pistons. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages was approximately 123,000.

- Kendall Air Force Base, FL, USA

problem #11

Feb 032011


  • 78,000 miles
After following all vehicle maintenance recommendations, engine has failed @ 73000 miles. Mechanic states engine sludge. I was told I will need to purchase a new engine. Have all service records, all oil changes were done on time as scheduled and now I have a car that does not run.

- Eaton, OH, USA

problem #10

May 082012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic, who diagnosed that the engine was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there was no recall for the engine failure and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileage was 90,000.

- East St Louis, IL, USA

problem #9

Aug 012012


  • 145,000 miles
Where to begin" my airbag light has been coming on for months while driving. I took it to a Chrysler dealership 6 months ago & was charged $100 for them to tell me they didn't know what was wrong. About a month ago, while driving on the highway, my headlights went out, came back on, went out again, and finally I hit my high beams and they stayed on. My engine uses about 2 quarts of oil per week. I have parked on clean surfaces & there is no oil leaking, but it is going somewhere. I can hear a ticking noise coming from the engine area. I called Chrysler's toll-free number today after the headlights went out again, and was informed that my Jeep is under recall for the air bag module, and maybe that is what is causing the lights to go out. This makes no sense to me that one would have anything to do with the other. I told them that I have seen other complaints about the headlights, but they stated that they've had no complaints. I have also replaced front tires three times in the past year for wear on the outside edge. I've had the Jeep aligned, tires rotated as they should be, and they just keep balding on the outer edge. The service tech said that Jeep eat through tires because of the wheel base" this car has all but eaten up most of my income. It is constantly having issues, and I get nowhere with Chrysler.

- St Joseph, MO, USA

problem #8

Aug 202012

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I have had my Jeep Liberty for about 5 years no major problems with it until this past August. I've changed the oil in it every 3,000 miles, and maintained my Jeep very, very well. One day I started the car, was driving away from my house and I heard a loud "knocking" sound from the engine. The engine light came on, and when I checked the code it read as the knock sensor. I took it to the mechanic to determine the cause. They told me that the engine was done, that I needed to replace it with a new engine to fix the problem, and that he had seen this problem with Liberty's several times before! I've checked numerous help websites and Jeep forums and it confirmed that I was not the only Liberty owner with this problem, but yet Chrysler hasn't done anything about it! buying a new engine for a car is not cheap, and it isn't something that I should pay out of pocket when there are hundreds of other reports of bad Liberty engines. This needs to be researched and taken care of promptly!

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #7

Dec 042012

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My 2002 Jeep Liberty was bought brand new from the dealer. About two months ago I was driving on the highway when all of a sudden the dashboard turned off and then turned back on, then my car started shaking like it was about to stall, and the engine light started to blink. I got scared because I didn't want my engine to stall and break down in the middle of the highway since it can be very dangerous, so I got off the highway and parked it in a lot over night so that I could take it straight to the dealer the next day. I took it to the dealer very carefully, my car started over heating when it was sitting in place/ traffic for more than one minute, and then it would cool back down when it was moving. Finally at the dealer they changed the water pump, thermostat, and one of the coils. The dealership said the problem was fixed and sent me off. Within that week my car started acting up again, the engine light began to flash again and I noticed my car was still being jumpy. I took it back and it turns out it had blown head gaskets, not only that but the heads were not even repairable. I need a complete new engine. I looked online and have found that it is very common for Jeep Liberty's to have a major engine problem. There is obviously something wrong with the way Jeep builds their engines. There needs to be a recall, it is a defect in the Liberty's. there have been multiple complaints of Jeep engines breaking down with no signs. Also as a side note, the seat belt on the drivers side doesn't really click and sometimes un buckles on its own. There is also an electrical problem, the inside lights turn off and on all the time by themselves.

- Key Biscayne, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 242011


  • 110,000 miles
After proceeding through a stop light I heard a ticking noise that got louder, then a banging, and then the engine seized within 1 block of driving. Through a rod. Had just checked oil under hood that am. Maintained vehicle well in the 9 yrs. Of ownership. There was no warning prior to event or alert on gauges. Bought a rebuilt engine & had it installed.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #5

Sep 102012


  • 119,000 miles
Jeep started missing and stalled as I was driving. Lost break pressure and steering control of the vehicle. Thank goodness I was able to get to the side of the road without an accident. The engine light came on and the vehicle would not restart. After being towed to a mechanic, he told me the values where done and the motor was shot. I have since looked up the problem on the web and have found that most 2002 Jeep Liberty's have experienced the same problem, repeatedly, one guy is on his fourth motor. Spoke to the local Chrysler dealer who acted like I spoke a foreign language, never heard of the problem. This is the company we just bailed out with taxpayer dollars, correct! I am at a loss, can't afford to fix it nor buy a new vehicle. Please put some pressure on Chrysler to address the issue, we addressed theirs.

- Amityville, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 172012


  • 119,000 miles
My daughter bought a 2002 Jeep Liberty 1 month ago. We changed the oil and I had her check it every two weeks since the vehicle was new to her. She did as I said for a couple weeks and said it used none. She is very diligent at watching her mileage to plan oil changes every 3000 miles. She went to work and the engine started to knock. She checked the oil and found it 3 quarts low and got no low oil warning. We took it to a shop and it needs a new engine. We found out no reputable salvage yard wants to sell the engine due to a known oil gear issue, so they will not even warranty one with low miles. A rebuilt motor with the oil gear issue fixed costs $3200. With labor my daughter is looking at $4500 to replace an engine with only 119000 miles. I searched the internet on 2002 Jeep Liberty 3.7 engine. I found many complaints regarding the blown motor. The average seems to be 96000 miles. Many people online said they contacted Jeep and they said they were sol. I don't expect a new engine for nothing, but when the average vehicle today does 250000 miles by most manufacturers and Toyota is at 400000. I would like to see an american company doing everything it can to create customer loyalty. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Wauseon, OH, USA

problem #3

Jun 012012

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 72,756 miles
#2 cylinder failed, #2 rocker arm came off, #2 lash has play which caused the rocker to come off, passenger side cylinder assembly had to be replaced. Also fuel leak by crimp. All this with no indication or warning signs. No unusual sounds, smells or indication from panel on dash. The vehicle lost power immediately.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

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