really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
22,793 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.

2004 Jeep Liberty transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Jeep Liberty Owner Comments

problem #16

Mar 202009


  • 82,000 miles


2004 Jeep Liberty sport. On March 20, 2009 while driving, the auto transmission slipped out of gear, would not shift out of 1st gear. On March 24th, Liberty returned to us. Dealer charged $500 to replace wiring attached to PCM, stating they were worn out and not covered under warranty. On April 24th the same problem occurred while driving on the interstate in Connecticut, the Liberty abruptly downshifted from 4th to 1st gear nearly causing us to be struck by trailing vehicles, and would not go into any other driving gear. Jeep dealer in greenwich, ct said they suspected the tranny was worn but could not undertake the repair. We cancelled our trip and brought it to a local dealer on April 25th, bad PCM diagnosed, replaced. Warranty covered. Received Jeep back on 5/1/09. Later the same day the problem occurred again while driving on highway. Brought it back to same dealer. PCM replaced again we're told. Liberty returned to us on 5/6/09. On 6/9/09 while driving on the highway the Jeep shut down completely once again an accident was narrowly avoided. Towed to a different local dealer. Bad PCM again diagnosed. Part had to be ordered. Liberty finally returned to us on 7/2/09. On 7/9/09 while driving on local road, the transmission slipped again and would not shift out of 1st gear. We brought it back to the dealer who did last repair. As of today it remains there. The check engine light came on in each instance at the exact moment the problem occurred.

- Patchogue, NY, USA

problem #15

Oct 072004

Liberty 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,100 miles
Shortly after purchasing my Jeep Liberty 4X4 with 6 cyl. Engine and 4-speed automatic transmission new, it would occasionally exhibit an abrupt thunk when downshifting into first gear as in coming to a stop. The local Jeep dealer said it was common to the vehicle and a "quirk." It continued to do this off and on until I reached approximately 43,000 miles at which time the condition worsened. Now, it will also display a loud thunk and jerk in the rear feeling as if you have been hit from behind when starting to move forward from a stop in 1st gear. I know I was not hit as there was no one behind me one time and I pulled over to check on a second time to be sure there was no evidence of being hit. This happens approximately 2 times per week, depending on how often the vehicle is driven. The feeling is very alarming. I called one Jeep dealer who said there was nothing they could do unless they can reproduce the symptom or if a warning light was on to read the error codes (no warning light has ever gone on). The second dealer said they would look at it for $100, but could not guarantee anything.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #14

Dec 282007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Jeep Liberty. While idling at a stop light in 4 wheel drive, approximately 6 feet behind another vehicle, the vehicle dramatically jerked forward without warning. As a result, the contact crashed into the other vehicle. She had to place the vehicle in park to prevent movement of the vehicle. The dealer could not duplicate the failure. The contact noticed that when switching from 4 wheel to two wheel drive, the vehicle operated awkwardly as if it was not in the proper gear. The vehicle stalled once while driving and then restarted itself moments later. The contact filed a formal complaint with the manufacturer. The current and failure mileages were 60,000.

- Coralville, IA, USA

problem #13

Nov 062007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


Transmission had long delay between reverse and drive. Eventually got worse and would not go into gear. Dealer said transmission needed to be replaced. Also transfer case broken and jammed, not allowing vehicle to move. Had Liberty into see dealer week prior to case failing. Dealer said nothing wrong after I stated to them the Liberty felt like it was stuck in 4 wheel drive. Cost was $ $4200 for replacement of trans and transfer case.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #12

Apr 022007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Jeep Liberty in August 2006 with 19,000 miles on it, from the day I bought it I complained of bad shifting. It has been in the shop 6 times for this problem, with the last time on April 2, 2007 when they finally pulled the pan and found brass shavings! they claimed that one side of clutches were completely burnt. I explained to them over and over that it hesitated and would not always want to take off. -

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #11

Dec 082006

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 65 mph under normal road conditions, the transmission froze and did not catch any gear. The vehicle was taken to the service dealer, who determined the transmission needed to be replaced.

- Bristol, NJ, USA

problem #10

Nov 282006

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2004 Jeep Liberty, vehicle seems to upshift too early and when traveling in the 45-60 mph range for a minute or so, I can step on the gas pedal almost to the floor before it down shifts very abruptly and then whines out rpms. It does this going up inclined roads also, but not downshifting properly until I step on the gas very hard. (the incident date here is deceiving, it's been doing it for 2 yrs now and the dealer can't get it to do it, or figure it out and I'm concerned that my trans/drive terrain warranty will not cover this if something fails as a result).

- Cohoes, NY, USA

problem #9

Jan 022005

Liberty 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
: the contact stated after parking the vehicle, with the engine running, the driver walked 15 feet away, and then the vehicle began to roll backward down a hill into a pond. The vehicle gained speed while rolling down the hill and the doors automatically locked. The contact's infant was still inside the vehicle when it rolled into the water. Both the contact and the father-in-law swam 40 feet from shore to the vehicle and retrieved the baby. Once the child was out of the vehicle, the contact began to swim to shore, the baby and contact made it safely to shore. The father-in-law had a heart attack in the water and passed away on the scene. The police department responded and a report was taken. The contact and baby were admitted to intensive care. The vehicle was towed to the dealership, where both the dealership and manufacturer representatives were unable to determine the problem. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop, where it was determined the same problem existed that was addressed in NHTSA recall #05V460000 on the automatic transmission.

- Ellerbe, NC, USA

problem #8

Jul 232005

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
1. transmission downshifts hard when decelerating to a stop 2. steering gear replaced 3. after item 2, left (driver) side front lower ball joint broke.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #7

Feb 042004

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While in drive on an incline vehicle will roll back and need to apply brakes to hold position! dealer has looked at transmission and found nothing wrong.

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #6

Nov 162004

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56 miles


Vehicle lost power when driving at 40 mph. Although the vehicle was in gear it began to coast because the engine was not getting any power. Consumertook the vehicle to the dealer and contacted the manufacturer. Dealer contacted an engineer, who test drove the vehicle 10 miles but the problem could not be duplicated. The consumer also indicated that the vehicle does not operate in 4WD high in reverse.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #5

Jul 092004

Liberty 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Transmission downshifts hard when decelertaing to a stop. Aharsh jolt is felt from the rear of the vehicle as it comes to a stop. Vehicle drives normal most of the time. And this is a very intermittent problem. Chrysler technician at ( potamkin Chrysler in miami) could not duplicate the problem mentioned.a copilot is being installed to record the transmisson problem.this Jeep was purchased brand new in June of 2004 and has been a problem since. Vehicle only has 2,000 miles.

- Miami Springs, FL, USA

problem #4

Aug 102004

Liberty 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Hard shifts, no power in pulling inclines, have to press accelerator to floor, and there is a whining noise from rear end especially loud with accel/decel and gets progressively worse, has been in for repair but within 1 week it was the same..(rear gear bearings).

- Fairmount, GA, USA

problem #3

Jun 292004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While releasing the brake in an incline, the vehicle rolled back. The driver applied the accelerator pedal to move the vehicle forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic can not duplicate the problem.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #2

Jul 192004

Liberty 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Transmission downshifts hard when decelerating to a stop. A loud bang is heard and a harsh jolt is felt from the rear of the vehicle as it comes to a stop. No damage is visible under the vehicle and vehicle drives normal most of the time. This is a very intermittent problem. Dealer (mack massey of el paso) could not replicate, but stated he (service manager) knows of the issue and called it "a characteristic" of the Jeep Liberty. This has been a problem since purchase, April 2004. Incident occurs at least 10-15 times per week.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 022004

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles
Automatic transmission fluid leak.

- Belford, NJ, USA

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