Major Malfunction of Jeep Liberty CRD

nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
edited August 2014 in Jeep
Twenty Miles into trip all fluids checked the night before on cruise control at 70 MPH. Suddenly engine missing, then came back for a moment and barely made it off the freeway and died in mall parking lot. As it died the low coolant lite came on but Temp gage remained at normal. Would not restart and all instrument lites were flickering on and off strange clicking noise. There was no coolant at all in the radiator or hoses and hoses were cold to touch and no pressure. Oil on dipstick was 2 inches highter than normal but still seemed to have the feel and viscosity of 0W-40W.
Towed to garage and now waiting to hear the diagnosis. 135,000 freeway miles, Oil changes every 6,000 miles all maintenance done on time.
Two more years of payments @$440 per month.
Anybody ever bought an engine for this thing??
Advice, biting my nails !!


  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    A new engine will cost you much more than repair or exchange.
    I checked European prices and it seems you're heading for an equivalent of 5,000 Euros to have yours rebuilt, assuming you can buy a new cylinder head and need no major machining.
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    Waiting to hear from my mechanic. What a shame to lose this engine, vehicle looks like it just came off the showroom floor inside and out. I wonder if I could sell it without an engine for $5,000?
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    Just got the news !! Engine is GONE !! Mechanic put water in radiator and it ran right into engine. Any suggestions ??
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    edited September 2010
    Ask for a detailed repair proposal first.
    You know what you have, you don't know what you will get...
    I would pay the bill and keep the truck for a longer period. Mine is a MY2003, has a few dents inside out (off-road, dog & grandchildren) and it's like a member of the family now :)
  • roxburnroxburn Member Posts: 2
    Looking at a 2003 Jeep Liberty for my daughter for college. Can anyone help me?? Vin no#1j4gk58k03w721653. I am a complete idiot when is comes to buying a vehicle and just hoping this one might be ok. Any info would be appreciated.

    Thank You
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    Run to Toyota or Honda
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    My Mechanic drained the oil and attempted to fill radiator, coolant ran right through the engine into the oil drain. Sold on Craigs List as is for $5,000 and paid it off. My mechanic said he would not touch the engine. Called a Bosch center and they quoted me and opening price of $8,000 if they could find an engine.
    Can't put up with this any more, got to get on the road to make a living. I wrote an email to VM Motori explaining the problem and telling them I had a $10,000 loss on the vehicle. I know these engines are rugged and this should not happen to a well maintained vehicle that has never been off road or pulled a trailer. (does not have a hitch) I will look forward to their reply. Did not bother to go to Jeep, did the window thing with them and I know how unresponsive they are. Biting the Bullet !!
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    I feel sad for you because when there is such a "big" problem the investigation time is usually short. I wouldn't bother repairing a crack in the cylinder head but the rest of the engine is a 'standard' piece of equipment that most engine re builders know how to deal with :sick: :sick: :sick:
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    This vehicle was not sold in Ca. so no dealers have people trained to work on it. I was constantly having problems with complete shutdowns and the check engine light was always on and no one could find the problem. I travel long distances and the stress of being shut down in some remote Oregon area or between Los Angeles and Phoenix really scared me. I got 135,000 miles out of it but not without high maintenence cost. Probably will buy another diesel like a 250 crew cab that's sold by dealers here and they have people who are able to work on the engine.
    I am sad because I had planned to make this my beach runner fishing vehicle in the outerbanks in a couple of years.
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    What made you choose the Liberty CRD?
    Can the over investment needed to save fuel compensate the known issues related to Jeep or was it the image of prestige given by Daimler that attracted you?

    Last year no CRD was sold by my local dealership. My wife wanted a (very) small SUV, so we looked at the Wrangler and the first thing we were asked was our budget!

    This year Jeep Kia and Land Rover and are sold by the same person, under the same roof :P
    Four years ago Jeeps were sold and serviced by the Mercedes Benz dealership in Annecy where buns and coffee were offered; we lost our wisdom along this road...
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    Sorry to hear about your CRD dying such a death. Cracked block???

    I see you are considering a Ford F-250. Avoid it. Any serious engine work requires cab removal. The more recent models have issues with EGR failures (clogging due to poor design) and oil cooler failure leading to other engine malfunctions. Only recently did Ford start building its own in house diesel, the 6.7L V-8. It was designed in Europe so it is probably pretty good but I would wait to see what issue crop up.

    The Duramax diesel is basically a re-badged Isuzu engine. Isuzu makes decent diesels but with GM having had their fingers in the design, I would be leery.

    Dodge uses Cummins and those engines are pretty solid. The 5.9 L is solid and can take tons of punishment. The older ones are good for mid-twenties fuel economy. The 6.7L is decent but a bit thirsty. Major servicing is pretty easy and the engine/transmission can be slid forward as a single unit in under an hour.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801

    I do not regret buying my CRD. In spite of some niggling issues and some quirkiness I am very happy with it. Fuel economy is good, the engine itself has been quite trouble free. Now if we only had decent diesel fuel in this country...

    Tomorrow I will replace #4 glowplug. That should be intriguing. I am going to be using a mirror and bright light(s) to view the sucker. The rest will be by braille.
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    Be careful not to over torque the electrical connection of the glow plug. This connection sometimes feels 'spongy' :(
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    When I purchased the CRD, I had just returned to the US from an extended trip to the UK where I drove two great Diesel Vehicles, a Volvo and a Peugot (sure I misspelled that) and I was so impressed. I wanted to get on the alternative fuel bandwagon and the CRD was the perfect vehicle. Came from the factory with biodiesel, engine has a huge reputation since 1947, so my confidence factor hit the roof...I will always wonder, if I had purchased a vehicle other than a Jeep with this same engine would things have been different ?? How much did Jeep change the VM Motori engine and it's components to make it saleable in the US?? Interesting I did not have the EGR problems a lot of owner say they have had but I did have Mass air flow sensor problems which were corrected. Maintained in a pristine manner--- If I had the money, I would break this engine down in my living room and see for myself what caused this failure. New owner has promised to give me all the details of the breakdown when he comes to pick up the title....and I will document it on this blog as well as in am email to VM Motori....This should be happening at around 300,000 miles and it should not be an internal engine failure. I have driven several vehicles to over 250,000 miles and flown airplanes that were way past MOH and never a major failure like this. :confuse:
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    You ever run 100% biodiesel??? Also another thing I forgot to mention in all my blogs which everyone must be getting tired of now (Only a few more when I find out why the engine blew and I will be on to something else) In the very infancy of my CRD the drain plug stripped by a very responsible mechanic who was able to retap and insert a larger plug. Said the pan was soft aluminum...You ever run into this??
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I have never run B100 in my CRD but I have run up to B40. Mixtures beyond B20 did not seem to make the CRD run any better or any differently.

    As to your engine situation, I spoke with a diesel tech at my dealer. He thought of a few things like a major head gasket failure between cylinders but more than likely a cracked block from a casting defect that was not found or from loss of coolant. I would be interested in knowing what happened if the engine gets an autopsy.

    As to the oil pan issue, I have never run into your problem. I do my own oil changes and I treat the pan and plug with great care. I always clean the threads of the plug and pan with a bit of solvent, smear fresh oil on them, and then reassemble. I use a torque wrench on the plug so I do not over-torque it. I have been doing this for many years and have never had a problem with stripped threads.
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    I used to do my own oil changes but now I just buy the oil and filter and pay my garage $10 and I don't have to worry about disposing of the dirty oil and filter.
    Person who purchase my jeep promised to let me know what they find in the tear down. I have rolled it over in my mind so much it is becoming a dream, trying to figure how such a large amount of water could run straight through the engine.
    And if it was just a head gasket failure wouldn't the water have to get pass a piston to get to the crank case?? And if it blew a rod, the rod would have gone throught the crank case and dumped oil all over the place and I would have gottne an oil light. No external moisture or visible damage, all internal and all water was gone from the upper 1/2 of the radiator and into the engine. Can't figure out where the weak spot was or why it waited 4 years and 137,000 miles to fail.
    I will post any results here.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801

    The glow plug exchange went without a hitch. Could not use a mirror as it got in the way so I did it all by braille. I used a tiny bit of anti-seize compound on the threads of the glow plug so it would not seize in the head. Took about 45 minutes. I work slowly.

    The electrical connection to the glow plug is a pull off/push on type. It does not screw on.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    A broken head gasket between cylinders can cause significant coolant loss but if you are dumping water into the cooling system and it is coming right out of the oil pan, then I suspect that a head gasket failure is not what happened.

    The block must have had an internal failure. This engine is sleeved so a sleeve could have broken or come loose, but that is a rare failure. A broken connecting rod is also rare in diesels. I am wondering if the block near one of the sleeves cracked or broke?

    I look forward to reading the autopsy results.

    I still prefer doing my own oil changes. I let the oil drain for about 20 minutes from the pan and oil filter. In the meantime, I inspect the suspension, the boots and exhaust system. Every other oil change, I spray a little silicone on the boots.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    So, they are building these under license from VM Motori? I believe Hyundai builds the three cylinder VM diesel for use in their small vehicles. Shame they do not sell them here.
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    Gentleman who bought my CRD says the engine is completely Seized and repairs will run $7,000. He is planning to sell it as is since he says the engines are so rare.
    Anybody know where you go to buy a used or rebuilt 2.8 liter CRD...
    Any suggestions?
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    I would contact VM directly via their web site:

    Good luck!
  • countryboy8countryboy8 Member Posts: 2
    2005 liberty that has had EGR probs, they are to be fixed how, but now there is a fuel leak prob. I put a inline electric pump and jeep still dies! Help!!!!!!!!!
  • jeet2600jeet2600 Member Posts: 3
    Hi Edlankford
    go to Ebay have one only 27k never install (test engine) complete from
    AC comp to belt i think only $2500
    i do not know how to link but you go to diesel engine you will see
  • jeet2600jeet2600 Member Posts: 3
    Hi Adlankford after i post when back to Ebay that engine is gone
    but another one show up they want $4400 engine only
  • countryboy8countryboy8 Member Posts: 2
    Anyone know if a fuel lift pump helps or not?
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    I have one on my MY 2003. It came with the truck and works fine. I never had air bubbles trapped in the fuel circuit.
  • desmo750ssdesmo750ss Member Posts: 17
    Yes, I striped the drain plug (weird metric size, 16.3mm) and I drilled and taped to a common 18-1.5 mm drain plug. Yes, the pan is soft aluminum.
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    My engine is older than yours but the oil pan is made of steel. You may be able to buy and mount the old oil pan ?
  • nottowaynottoway Member Posts: 67
    Caribou 1- I called VM and spoke to a very nice lady who told me since I was out of warrenty there was nothing they could do and even if I was in warrenty it would be Chrylsers problem to deal with. She did however give me her email address and asked me to let them know what was found when the engine was opened.
    The person who bought the jeep from me, as I said earlier, found out it was going to be a very expensive engine replacement and resold it on Craigs list for what he paid me for it.
    So I will never know....still bothers me that I could not afford to pull that engine and see for myself what went wrong. A lot of people ask about the timing belt, it had just been changed and that breaking would not do so much damage that all the water dumped into the engine.....Love to know if anyone else has experienced this at 137,000 on their CRD...
  • caribou1caribou1 Member Posts: 1,354
    A few local posters complain about tremendous cost of repair and I found no information describing block damage or major cooling fluid leak. The Liberty was sold in a version called "Wild Dream" in France and I now believe this was premonitory :confuse:
    Those (like me) who bought the 'derated' version (150HP) got the original and reliable engine plus a flawless transmission. I once saw our engine on a workbench and I would send it to a motorcycle specialist rather than to the local mechanics for repair because it's tightly packed with moving parts everywhere and the aluminum block has very thin walls. Another argument about cost is that local owners put cheap tires on their Jeeps. Perhaps the market study didn't see the financial crisis along the road...
    Like in many domains, we should only buy what we can afford to pay cash and to buy in two examples :shades:
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