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 1 of 4)

problem #74

Jan 142004


  • miles


Manufacturing defect on EVAP canister, the nipple for the EVAP hose is too large for hose diameter, 3/8" hose cracks after a couple years when the rubber is not new, causing emissions test failure. Hose replaced several times.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #73

Feb 162021


  • miles
My vehicle is a 6 yr old low mileage Chevy equinox the stabilitrak light came up as well as the service power streering. It has also lost power in the highway and stalls or won't accelerate at times which makes is very dangerous since I could get hit by someone in the highway. I have taken it to the dealership and they have replaced O then sensor which cost me $400 but not fixed I took it to another mechanic and they replaced some fuses and sensors another $500 still not fixed. The car is now bach at the dealership and it has been a few days. This seems to be. Very common problem with the equinox as I have spoken to a few people who own one and they just ended up trading their car. I don't want another car payment and for a 6 year old car with low mileage this is not normal

- Heber, UT, USA

problem #72

Oct 052018


  • 128,000 miles
Misfire in cylinder 3. replaced coils, plugs, and computer. Still throwing the code.

- Lincoln, RI, USA

problem #71

Apr 072018


  • 175,000 miles


I went to the store and picked up chips and drinks and keep running fine. Got back in it and took me several tries to crank. Kept going dead on the mile drive home. Haven't been able to afford to get it fixed but mechanic replaced computer spark plugs fuel pump and injection system. Still wouldn't crank well. Had new computer programmed. Nothing. Till says 3 cylinders are not working and I need a new motor.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #70

Aug 152014


  • 135,000 miles
We replaced the engine at 135,000 miles and the next engine is doing the same thing at less than 20,000 miles. Mechanics have said these engines were defective. Loses valve and destroys piston. I have paid over $10,000 in parts alone, not counting labor. Help!!

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #69

Dec 092017


  • 190,000 miles
Alternator failed which caused the vehicle to stall at an intersection while driving in highway traffic. Vehicle was towed and alternator replaced.

- Lewiston, ME, USA

problem #68

Oct 272017


  • 140,000 miles


My husband and I drove my 2002 Jeep Liberty to dinner and while driving back home, without any notice, the car started blowing heavy smoke from the exhaust pipes. Then it completely died, stopped! no check engine light, no check oil light and no warning whatsoever! I now have this vehicle sitting in my garage because it's going to cost us approximately $5000 to fix. While researching this issue on the internet, this issue with the engine just stopping, has happened to hundreds of other people that own this same vehicle. I have not found anyone that feels it's worth fixing. All internet reviews lead me to believe that if replaced, it will happen again. Why isn't Chrysler made accountable?? they know they got away with selling a lemon! this could potentially become a safety issue, if someone is driving on the expressway and the engine just stops as mine did! Chrysler should be forced to recall the engine or give back some sort of compensation to everyone that has had this issue. Can't believe, that after so many complaints, the government or better business bureau, have not gotten involved in forcing a recall for this 3.7 engine.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #67

Oct 062017


  • 187,000 miles
Motor went out with no warning......replaced. After 7K miles.....motor went out again. The warranty company for the motor acts as if they did not know the motors constantly go out.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #66

Jun 012017


  • 157,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While driving 35 mph, the air bag and check engine warning indicators illuminated. In addition, the air bag indicator illuminated intermittently. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V046000 (air bags) around March of 2015. The dealer (major world, 43-40 northern blvd, long island city, NY, 11101) was contacted at 866-614-2884 and stated that the earliest they could accommodate to diagnose the vehicle and schedule an appointment was a month away. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 157,000.

- Rockaway, NY, USA

problem #65

Jun 182017


  • 173,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle began to jerk forward independently without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the valve seals failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the independent mechanic who diagnosed that the motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The local dealer and manufacturer were not notified. The failure mileage was approximately 173,000. The VIN was not available.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #64

Jan 182017


  • miles


My engine failed like most people with a 2002 engine that I have spoken with. This was a bad year for these engines so I can not understand why they were not recalled. Every mechanic knows these engines would fail for no reason.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #63

Mar 242017


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the steering seized and the vehicle could not be moved due to overheating. While the vehicle was being driven 25 mph, the temperature gauge did not indicate that the vehicle was going to overheat and there were no warning indicators illuminated. The contact also stated that there was no steam or smoke coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine was defective, the coolant reservoir was damaged, and the temperature gauge was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was not provided.

- Haines City, FL, USA

problem #62

Dec 202016

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The engine of this vehicle died without warning. It's computer never picked it up, or gave me a warning that anything was going bad. It was not making any bad sounds or loose sounds of anything. The vehicle simply died in me when I accelerated going up a hill, imagine the horror that was having vehicle also accelerating behind me. I've been hearing the same complaints from thousands of Jeep Liberty users and this is dangerous. I don't understand why they're refusing to address this issue, this is something that's life-threatening and could lead to a fatal crash. Please, for hundreds more of the similar complaint, please visit: www.carcomplaints.com/Jeep/Liberty/2002/engine/engine_failure-2.shtml.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #61

Dec 172016

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
A year ago while highway driving for several miles, the engine wire harness from starter to battery caught fire. The harness was destroyed. A replacement from a salvage yard went about 100' and it also caught fire destroying itself. Another harness was installed and a year later the same fire on the same harness occurred yesterday.

- Nine Mile Falls, WA, USA

problem #60

Aug 262016


  • miles
Well where do I start. Since I have purchased this vehicle in may of 2016 I have replace multiple parts, but they weren't part of any recalls. But now my concern reviewing recalls for this vehicle and trying to address these numerous defects. I'm almost fed up. My main cover is the J17 recall for the upper control arm ball joint of which a Chrysler representative advideo my my vehicle was part of, which I clueless on how as the recall doesn't specify other than 2002 to 2003 Liberty vwhiles. Now I show that they were replaced in the past and now they since are worn in the same description they were recalled in. And Chrysler denies responsibility (?).. also other concerns with the catylic converter causing a sulfur smell when the vehicle is going up hill aso well as towing. One more thing is numerous online forum about the engine ticking being normal and unfixable other then to replace the engine. Now all this plus the multiple parts I have already replaced a vehicle less then 15 years on the market needed a in other words fully restoration is unacceptable. Especially when I have stock 1948 Jeep that need less repairs than this.

- Cold Brook, NY, USA

problem #59

Jan 012016


  • 168,000 miles
Number 3 and 6 cylinders blew. Found broken rods and bearings in the oil pan. Bearings were twisted around the studs for the crank cover. Seems to be a common issue in this year 3.7L engine. This happened while driving in traffic on a city street and I can't imagine what I would have done if I had been driving on I95 when it occured.

- Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #58

Apr 052016

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact heard an abnormal noise associated with the 3.7 liter engine. The contact noticed there was a strong hesitation without warning and the vehicle later stalled more than once. The vehicle was parked at the contact's residence due to the failure. The contact indicated that the number two cylinder may fail and cause the valves to drop onto the pistons, which could cause the motor and cylinder head to fail. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and suggested that the dealer perform diagnostic testing. The approximate failure mileage was 147,000. Updated 05/31/2016 the consumer stated two spark plugs were pulled and broke due to impact, inside the cylinder head. Updated 06/14/16.

- Fitchburg, MA, USA

problem #57

Feb 122016


  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the speedometer failed to read the vehicle proper speed as the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. In addition, the contact stated that the ABS sensor wires were fractured and rubbing against the emergency brake cable. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 142,000. The VIN was not available.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #56

Jun 192013


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated the vehicle had a burning odor near the engine. The contact received a recall notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V046000 (air bags) and 13V252000 (fuel system, gasoline, structure) however the parts to do the repairs were not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for recall repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #55

Nov 232015


  • 163,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the vehicle caught on fire near the engine. The vehicle was destroyed. No further details were available. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 163,000.

- Morristown, TN, USA

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