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Jeep Liberty: Steering Stability and Suspension



  • My Jeep has 32K miles, and was doing great, but now when I am turning a corner, (not all the time of course why would it be that easy), shifting from higher gear to lower, the steering wheel tightens up, like having standard steering, and then just snaps out and back to power, won't be good during the Winters in the mountains of Colorado. Thought it was out of power steering fluid, and I had to add a little, but that's not it. Does anyone have any idea as to what's going on. Thanks
  • Rubber bushings are installed on steering box (transmission). I had some problems with pulling, but they were fixed. Tried some changes with bushings (my sooner posts). No influence on pulling. Im sure it can be fixed with alignment of lower arms. My Liberty is 04/2002, CRD 2,5 l, manual, 75.000 miles.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    renegader: I just saw your post about the 2.5 CRD. I wish you would join in at the Jeep Liberty Diesel Forum. I have a 2005 CRD with almost 19,000 miles, I got it Sept. 29,05. We are more pleased with it all the time. What kind of fuel mileage do you get. How much is diesel a liter over there? I am always interested in Jeeps in Europe, and the cost of things compared to here.

  • Hi farout, I am getting about 10,5 liter/100km on board computer, the real fuel consumption is about 10% higher. Look at my sooner posts, there were more about my fuel consumtion displayed as mileage.

    Diesel Fuel costs about 1 EUR/liter, doesn´t matter if here in Czech, or in Austria or in Germany.

    Now after installation of Powertrax locking unit in rear axle surprisingly I get only 9,5l/100 km on board computer - about 7,5% better!!! TracLok had to go out because of problems.
    Finally received responce from Jeep. They will not reinburse me for my deductable nor my insurance company due to the failure of the "ball joints". If I had drove Interstae 75 home from work that day, I believe I would not be here! Sorry Sorry Jeep! Would not own another Jeep/Chrysler vehicle. You're lives are in danger!
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    Ihsmom: You need to report this to www.nhtsa.dotgov/ Did you go to the Zone Rep in your area? I had 4 sets of top and bottom left and right side ball joints on our 2002 Dodge Dakota. When we got rid of it it had 92,000 miles and needed the ball joints replaced again. DCX knows these are a problem with several models of DCX production.
    I would encourage to not take no for an answer! What year was your Liberty and how many miles did it have, and what state do you live in? Maybe I can suggest something if you would like.

  • Did you check your ball joints? There is a recall on them. When they fail you loose complete control. You must check them every 20k miles. My 03 Liberty Sport had the ball joints replaced from a recall and then failed again causing an accident and nearly my life.
  • farout: 2003 Liberty Sport, 88k miles(40K on the replaced ball joints in 2004) I live in northwest Ohio-only miles from Jeep/Toledo where they build the crap. I did speak to the District Mgn for Jeep with no resolution. I did also post the problem with nhtsa site(one week later they announced another recall). All I wanted was my $500 deductable reinbursed to me and my ins co to be reinbursed so the premium would go back down. I will not obtain legal advise as I would pay more and have more stress than what it's worth. WOULD NOT OWN A JEEP LIBERTY OR A CRYSLER PRODUCT AGAIN. Thanks for for feedback.
  • siberiasiberia Posts: 520
    Hi All,

    I like the CRD as much as any vehicle I have owned and it has exceeded my expectations in doing everything that I bought it for. But, the following has led me to the conclusion that my CRD is the last new DC product I will ever buy:

    An engineer wrote, “The [ball joint] specifications were changed, the durability cycles were changed, as well as the loading factors, all downwards from standard JTE specs. This was to follow a directive to reduce cost of SUV parts, because, as so many people have noted here, SUV's aren't used offroad generally. The point is, the joints have a full lifetime as designed and predicted. The issue is not with the parts being poorly made, the issue is the wrong spec was used.”

    This seems to have originated by an argument between the Executive Engineer (just below VP of Engineering) of Vehicle Development (who was an old Jeep guy) and Financial (which had the backing of Bob Eaton). The parts meet the specification, but the specification was changed to save money - as with Neon head gaskets, AC, and exhaust donuts.

  • I've scanned this section, but did not see this problem mentioned. We have an 02 Liberty Sport, bought it new, it has 38K miles. We've had the first lower ball joint recall done, and it is now in for the 2nd lower BJ recall. They called me today to say that the both upper control arms have "torn" bushings. The repair consists of REPLACING both upper control arms - for a mere $700. Keep in mind I said this car has under 40,000 miles! We purchased the extended warranty, which will cover this repair except the $100 deductible, but I am shocked to have upper control arm bushing problems. Anybody else out there heard of this ?

    Thanks, Steve
  • I have an 02 renegade with 82k miles and just got the ball joint recall done. They didn't mention any problem with the upper bushings. Mine has many hard mile on it, and if there would be a common problem I would be surprised not to have it, so I would advise to complain more to your serviceman about it being too early for Bushing replacement.
  • siberiasiberia Posts: 520
    You should be skeptical about needing upper control arms and bushings. There is a serious design flaw in the lower ball joints but the upper control arms and ball joints are designed okay.

    It's quite a cost savings for DC if they can nail you for $700 of unnecessary repairs while changing the lower ball joints. DC should not be able to profit from the lower ball joint design mistake.
  • I have a 02’ Jeep Liberty with 38,000 miles. I am getting a clunking sound in the front end when I go over any bump, and if I go over a slight hump in the road and the suspension stretches (front end goes up) I hear an almost metal on metal sound kind of a screeching sound. I bought the new front sway bar bushings, but that wasn’t it . I see you had the upper control arm bushing problem. Can you tell me if your was making similar sounds?


  • Well, it's even better than I was told. They replaced: lower ball joints (2nd recall) both upper control arms (bushings & control arms are one unit). Then, when they put it back together & but it on the ground, they told me the ball joints made a popping sound. Took it back apart & replaced both steering knuckles, too! Unbelievable! Without extended warranty, this would have been well over a $1,000 repair! Less than 40K miles at that! I paid for a front end alignment (which I find illogical) and the $100 extended warranty deductible - so $180 total. But needless to say, I've certainly lost confidence in this vehicle.
  • Jim
    The car was making zero noises. Drove & steered fine. Reading some of these breaking ball joint stories really surprises me; I just did not realize the severity of the problem.

    Sounds like you'd better get to the dealer ASAP.
  • I see a few people talking about a (2nd recall) what is that about and how do I find out what recalls have been done on my Jeep. I ask because I bought this about 6 months ago. Thanks for the info.

  • siberiasiberia Posts: 520

    Bad upper control arm bushings can make exactly the sound that you describe and if they are bad this condition is not immediately dangerous as it can take quite a while to wear to destruction. Upper ball joints and control arm bushings generally last a long time in this suspension configuration because the don't carry near as much load as the lower ball joints.

    You need to inspect your lower ball joints ASAP because if they the cause of this noise you might not have much time before one or both if them pop and your Jeep drops to the ground. This is easy to do yourself but I don't have time to write the instructions.

    Maximum allowable axial play is 1.5mm or about 1/16 inch.

    And one other thing, if your upper bushing are gone and you have metal to metal contact the top of your tires should be leaning very noticeable inward. Stand far enough behind or in front of the vehicle to observe front and rear tires and compare vertical alignment. The top of the front tires should appear slightly out compared to the rear not in.

    Stay safe.
  • Jim,
    Your dealer can tell you exactly what's been done to your car. They will run the VIN (vehicle identification number) through their (Chrysler's) computer system. Would take them a matter of minutes to do.

  • Everyone, thanks for being so helpful. I called the dealer last night and the (2nd recall) has not been done on my Jeep. They are on national back order right now, so I wont be able to get it in till Monday or Tuesday. The service manager told me he would also check on the upper control arm bushings while I had it up there,,, free of charge. Thanks again all.
  • One more question. Jeep Liberty, 02’ 38k… when I come to a stop. 80% of the time it wants to fall on its face (stall) anyone else experience this?
This discussion has been closed.