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Jeep Liberty: Steering Stability and Suspension

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
This topic covers any problems or concerns regarding the Liberty's suspension and steering systems.


  • I bought my 05 Liberty sport this January, and I drive it less than 5500 miles.
    I just had a accident and it is because of I suddenly lost both my brake and steering function. I hit the front car by 25 mph. After the accident, I send my liberty to 3 different autoshop to do the inspection, but none of them can find a problem. I don't dare to drive this car again, because I don't know when will it happen again. Does anyone ever has this problem before? What should I do right now? Thanks!
  • My wife's 04 Liberty has lost power steering a few times at low rpm. Raising the rpm's to 2500 restores the power steering. Of course the car would not act up at the dealership and they could not find anything wrong.

    Nervous in Denver
  • john81john81 Posts: 60
    I can help with the power steering problem. This is fairly simple as explained though the principles of hydraulics. The power steering pump is just that, a pump. It pumps fluid to create enough flow and pressure to allow movement of the front wheels by the steering wheel. The steering pump supplies fluid to the steering gear which takes mechanical turning (steering wheel) and translates that to hydraulic advantage (hydraulics part of the steering gear) and moves the wheels.
    So, taken that you have to "rev" up the engine to 2500 rpm indicates that "at that point", sufficient pressure is achieved. Now, what about at idle? Are all belts tight? Changed the steering wheel pump? Is the pump damaged? What is the pumps pressure flow at idle? Is the system fouled with dirty fluid? What is causing the loss of pressure? Bad gaskets or seals? Loose hydraulic lines between the pump and steering gear? Visible sign of leaking fluid?
    Once pressure is achieved at 2500 rpm, go back to idle and see how long pressure is maintained before steering failure. Keep a log of time (in seconds) so to tell the maintenance people.
    I have seen where lubricants accidently get on the belt, which is counter productive, because the belt is suppose to be held tight to allow proper grip to rotate. Lubricants cause the belt to slip. Is fluid getting on the belt or pully system causing the belt to slip?
    Were all these things checked?
    I would take it back and have all those things checked and have all documentation written on paper that no problems were found, or if they did find something, indicate what was changed and why.
  • tigerkudstigerkuds Posts: 4
    I was driving my 2005 Jeep Liberty on a smooth paved highway at 130 kph when all of a sudden I seem to lose control of the steering wheel and the front tires seem to wobble.

    The feeling is like when you drive over a rail road track where the tires would wobble left and right and the steering wheel would turn left and right as well except that it's not bumpy like on a rail track. I didn't notice anything bumpy that woudl suggest something I drove over that would cause the wobble.

    I was fortunate not to panic or I could have pulled the steering wheel hard which could have resulted in a rollover at that speed. I stopped and had it towed to my dealership.

    Now, problem is they can't find anything wrong. They'll again take a look at it today. If they can't find anything wrong with it, how could anyone drive it again especially with a wife and kid inside?

    Has anyone experienced this? Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You might switch tires and wheels front to rear. Sounds like a wheel balance or tire issue. If you did the switch, you'd still feel the wobble, but it would be in the back end and you'd feel it in the seat of your pants.
  • bvcrdbvcrd Posts: 196
    I would think if it were a balance issue, you would have felt it more often, like all the time instead of "all of a sudden." It could have been that you lost a wheel weight if that were the case. It could be that your ball joints are bad. There is a history of them being of poor quality. Could be other suspension/steering components. Did it continue to do it after that one time? Maybe go back to that section of road if possible and try to duplicate it. Could be you drove over some weird section of road surface.
  • tigerkudstigerkuds Posts: 4
    It happened on a superhighway and I had been driving for almost 2 hours when it happened. I don't think I hit something bumpy on the road or I would have felt it. And I don't think it's a balance issue. The liberty had no problem whatsoever and I was very satisfied with it until that horrible moment. I even drove it at 80 kph for 3 kilometers to get to the nearest town and didn't notice a thing.

    As of yesterday, they tried to duplicate the problem and had it road tested. They were not able to duplicate the problem. They also told me that they can't find anything wrong. I don't know how much they checked though. I told them I won't mind them driving the jeep for 3 hours on the highway at 130 kph. That's because I'm not satisfied that a 10 or 20 minute road test is enough. If they have to drive the vehicle for 1 day at 130 kph I won't mind at all.
  • bvcrdbvcrd Posts: 196
    You could take it to a independent mechanic for a safety inspection. If that passes, there is only one other explanation...........Aliens.
  • tigerkudstigerkuds Posts: 4
    I thought about that but then on the other hand, I thought dealers are more qualified and knowledgeable with their own products.

    Aliens are out of equation. I didn't experience any missing time. ;-)
  • bvcrdbvcrd Posts: 196
    It depends on the tech at the dealership. Some are very good, while I have found that some knew less than me about the CRD. Aliens have gotten smarter than they used to be. They now can "bend" time so that it appears to be happening in real time, but in reality, you are several days older than you were.
  • onecobraonecobra Posts: 1
    I just happen to run across your post, while researching Jeeps.I may be able to help.

    I had a similar problem that you described on a new car. My problem did not show up until I had several thousand miles on the tires. When I reached about 75mph, the right front tire [and the car] would start shaking violently... felt & sounded like the tire had come a part[or running over railroad tracks, as you described].I took the car to the dealership and they checked the front end out, including the tire, test drove & could not duplicate.

    As soon as I left the dealership, I duplicated the problem at about 75mph. I went to a tire store & had them inspect the inside of the tire. They did not see a belt problem, but I replaced with a new tire. Problem solved. Apparently a belt was seperating at high speeds, and was not visable when static.
  • tigerkudstigerkuds Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. The shop just phoned to tell me that there was a problem with the u-joint and they are replacing it. I'll post more info after I talked to them about the detail.
  • lhsmomlhsmom Posts: 6
    This week I lost control of my 03'Liberty.Same wobble and ended up in corm field.Towed by flatbed. The left front tire and left front tire turned inward.Dealer said cause was the left front ball joint(replaced in 11/04'under recall).Final est not in yet, but will be costly.Insurance adjuster said would not pay for the "cause" but would pay for damage resulting from the accident.Since it will be over 1500.00 in damage, the ins co is sending an Adjuster out to inspect the vehicle.Has anyone had a similar cituation? What did ins pay? I don't feel safe in this vehicle. I wouldn't put my family back in it. Will be selling it.
  • lhsmomlhsmom Posts: 6
    7/18/06 finally picked up my 03'Liberty from the dealer. Insurance pd over 3k. Took awhile to get parts. The dealer was to put on a Reconditioned LT Axle Assy but couldn't locate one, they ordered a new one (which I wanted). Not problems so far. Today we are trading it off. I think Jeep should reinburse the insurance company and me. No deal. Premium for insurance went up. The ins adj said because the jeep has 80k of miles and the ball joint assembly has at least 40k (replaced in 2004 under recall)it is considered normal wear! That means another 40k miles they will need to be replaced again!
    Getting rid of the piece of crap. To bad though, it was fun to drive.
  • bob131bob131 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited since new. I had the ball joints replaced during the initial re-call when the car was new. This car always seemed to have trouble tracking in a streaight line. I am constantly steering to keep the car straight. I recently had 4 top of the line Michelins installed and the front end aligned and the car still has this problem.
    Has anybody else out there experienced this?
  • ladybug8ladybug8 Posts: 10
    Same Here; I have a 2004. Car is aligned based on 4 different mechanics at 4 different shops. I have no idea but it pulls to the right and no one can fix it b/c car is aligned perfectly. I just tune it out and don't even pay attention to it anymore.
  • bob131bob131 Posts: 2
    Mine doesn't pull to one side or the other, it swims back and forth.
  • ladybug8ladybug8 Posts: 10
    that's scary; have you called the actual Jeep 800 number? They aren't but so helpful but maybe there is something they might know of? I wish i could help more.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    my 03 is a bit jittery at low speeds but doesn't pull. It is fine over 15-20 mph but just off idle it does feel vague and a bit loose. Maybe the new recall fix will cure it but I remember a post a while back from europe that the front suspension was engineered with rubber bushings to allow heavy off roading and the compromise was some looseness in the front end. Who knows. Still love my Liberty.
  • ladybug8ladybug8 Posts: 10
    Yeah I wouldn't trade mine either; I still feel safe and I love driving it :-)
  • 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
This discussion has been closed.