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Jeep Liberty Starting and Stalling Problems

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,875
edited March 2014 in Jeep
Post any concerns or problems related to hard starts, no starts, or periodic engine stalling on the Jeep Liberty.

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  • slg123slg123 Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 Liberty Sport - The Dealer has replaced the following
    neutral safety switch
    the starter has been replaced twice within the last 6 weeks
    the ignition switch

    The service manager says that I am getting too much power during start up... Any ideas???? :cry:
  • john81john81 Posts: 60
    In electronics, there is something called, "inductive kick".
    Since the Liberty is only a 2003, I can't imagine any switch inside the vehicle going bad. In the engine compartment, it could several components which might be suspect. The gripe is, too much "juice" at start-up, therefore burning up the starter and or switch. It is simple to conclude there is an electronic short somewhere in the system. All of the "trons" are finding a path of least resistance going directly to the starter. So, I have to question, have all the wires/harness been "ohm'd" out? Any smoke/sparks visible at start-up? Any fuses blown? Any place where the outer shielding of the wires show signs of "bubbling" or discoloration?
    If the starter is being fried, then the starter has been placed in a postion as a "fusable link". I venture to say that much of the Liberty's wiring has been put under tremendous strain from over-voltage, that even if its fixed, then unsafe situations in the wire's integrity are almost guaranteed.
    The first thing I would tell the maintenance shop is to change out the starter circuit wiring harness and completely rewire the entire vehicle associated with voltage control, alternator, etc.
    For all know, it could be a bulkhead connector passing through the firewall, a wire shorting to the firewall itself.

    Documentation is the key in this situation!
  • slg123slg123 Posts: 4
    I have now gone through 2 starters, 2 neutral saftey switches, and 2 ignition switches. It now starts on a consistent basis but makes a grinding noise. It never made the noise prior to the first replacement and now the regional tech is trying to tell me that this noise is "normal" and due to holding the key too long.

    All of the tech's at this dealer have acknowledged that the noise is not normal and is caused when the starter is dis-engaging from the fly wheel.

    I love my jeep but this is ridiculous. Any ideas?????? :mad: :sick: :lemon:
  • xkmailxkmail Posts: 36
    Make them replace it. It does not make any noise, unless you are just a picky weirdo, hopefully not. If you paid to have the work done, then get it done right.
    Or record the sound and post it or email it to me.
  • slg123slg123 Posts: 4
    I haven't had to pay for anything yet as it is still under the original mfgr warranty. The noise started after the original issue - it would start after the 4th or 5th try. Their solution was to replace the neutral indicator switch.
  • gottijrgottijr Posts: 3
    :sick: I have a 02 Liberty 3.7L V6. about 85,000 miles on it. never had a problem till two weeks ago. driving down the road and the car just starts stalling with the RPM gauge going nutz, then the cabin fills up with gas fumes,blows black smoke only when it starts acting up, check engine lite stays on, but not blinking. Had it towed to my local garage that I usually go to. They said my fuel injectors were dirty, plugs needed changing and did a VPS Fuel and air 3 step revita (whatever that means). Got all the stuff done to it, took it out 4 miles into the trip it stalls, same symptoms, RPM gauge goes nutz and smells of gas, cant restart it unless you let it sit for a few hours. Anyway, got it towed to the garage again, this time they said it needed two what they called Transmission sensors. They replaced them free of charge. Took it out drove it around town for about 20 mins then it starts acting up again just driving down the road doing about 35 MPH. same symptoms. This time I had it towed to a jeep dealer, they had the car for two days, call me back and said it needed a new computer (or engine control as they called it) about 500 bucks for it. So I had that changed, car worked again for about 15 or 20 mins and it stalled when we pulled up to the ATM machine to take money out. Same symptoms again, gas fumes, rpm gauge goes nutz, and check engine lite stays on. Had it towed back to the jeep dealer where its sitting today. Can anyone shed any light on this for me. Thanks for the help guys! :sick:
  • b2272bb2272b Posts: 1
    I'm having the exact same problem. It began two days ago. If anyone knows what the problem is, or what the solution is, please let us know.
  • gottijrgottijr Posts: 3
    :shades: Well I just got my Liberty back on Wedsnday, and after all those changes and it still stalled 4 times they came to the conclusion it was what they described as BAD COILS. So they replaced them. Like I said I got the Liberty back on Wedsnday and been driving it since today (sunday july 22nd) no problems at all. So instead of ur garage going nutz and replacing everything first have them check out the COILS. Cause this seemed to solve my problem as I described above. My garage gave me credit for the main computer they replaced and charged me 500.00 for.
  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12
    Sorry about the long first post, but I really need some help. Am trying to solve a problem my Dealer can't resolve after weeks of trying. After about three years of little problems with my 2002 Liberty, I now have a big one. At about 38,500 mile (out of warranty of course) the engine start dieing. I took it to my dealer and they replaced the Crank Sensor.

    The very next day the engine died while I was driving 70 mph on the freeway again. I noticed the Tach jumped from 2500 rpm to 4000 rpm, down to 1000 rpm back to 4000 rpm, then zero. I could feel the engine struggling to keep running during this event. On the way back to the dealer, it died two times again while I was stopped at traffic lights. Right before it died the Tach always preformed a little dance; up, down, up down, up, then zero.

    The dealer has been unable to tell me what's happening, according to them - no error codes, engine electrical diagnostic all good, etc..... Last Sunday, I had to call AAA because it keep dieing a few seconds after cranking. I couldn't keep it from dieing without my foot on the gas. The AAA guy said I had bad gas, so we filled it up with 91+ and it stopped dieing one second after cranking. I was so happy. Unfortunately, my happiness lasted only one day.

    Everyday after work this week the engine has died after about five to ten minutes after starting. The last two days I've ran the vehicle in the company parking lot for ten minutes so it won't die on the road. It starts ok, but runs a little rough. After about five minutes, the Tach goes from 600 rpm (Idle) to 5000 rpm (the engine does not rev up) then to zero. the engine dies. I hooked up a diagnostic computer and read a P0320 Ignition/Distributor Engine speed Input circuit malfunction.
    (Dealer – No error codes!?)

    Where should I start? Spark plugs, plug wires? Distributor wiring?

    Thanks - Matt :lemon:
  • Hey Matt,
    I've got the same symptons in a 2003 Liberty Renegade. It's at 48,*** miles. It has the exact same symptons you describe (bad gas was my very first guess).
    I have been driving with it hooked up to a scanner by AutoXray. I've gotten (3) different DTC's; P0340 (camshaft position sensor malfunction); P1299 (vacuum leak); P1391 (intermittent loss of CMP or CKP). From your description, I'm assuming that your vehicle is warmed-up when all the non-sense starts. I have noticed with short trips, and cooler air temps. (say 63 and lower) I have no problems. But, with higher air temps. and engine coolant up to say 210-220, it's impossible to keep her running (I also see all the tach. jumping). Then, all I do is turn the key off, turn it right back on and she's good for another 10 miles. It might do this 4 times in 10 miles or 1 time in 20, all with the hotter temps.
    I have driven 20 miles, or so, with the cmp sensor completely unplugged in cooler temps. and gotten perfect drivability. So, I don't think that P0340 DTC is legit.
    I have also noticed that communication with my scan tool is lost regularly during all of this. Leading me to believe that it is a thermal intermittent in the PCM. I believe your P0320 DTC supports this (same symptons firing different DTC's).
    It stalled last night, and did NOT fire a DTC (that could explain why the dealer didn't see a DTC with your vehicle). If the check engine light was not lit, then no codes fired.
    If I'm not mistaken, the PCM is included in the Federally mandated warranty period, which is 8yrs./80,000 miles. So, you may still be covered.
    I'm making arrangements to take mine to a local dealer this week. I'll keep you posted.

    o.k. then...
  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12
    " I have also noticed that communication with my scan tool is lost regularly during all of this. Leading me to believe that it is a thermal intermittent in the PCM. I believe your P0320 DTC supports this (same symptons firing different DTC's).
    It stalled last night, and did NOT fire a DTC (that could explain why the dealer didn't see a DTC with your vehicle). If the check engine light was not lit, then no codes fired."

    Interesting, I've been running with an AutoXray connected today too. And the scanner is lossing communications with the Libs computer alot. I can't clear the P0320 error code with the scanner also.
    Can you clear error codes with your scanner? The P0320 could be an old error before the crank sensor was replaced.

    " I have also noticed that communication with my scan tool is lost regularly during all of this. Leading me to believe that it is a thermal intermittent in the PCM." Same here, am thinking intermittent connection to the PCM. Going to check all the connections this weekend. I think the PCM is turning off the engine because it's confused about the state/status of the engine.

    The engine is now dying a few minutes after starting in the morning (about 60F - died twice this morning) and five to ten minutes after starting after work (about 75F - died twice this afternoon. Am loss communications with the PCM also and can't get anymore information.
    But the engine temp looked normal before the events.

    I'll post what I find.

    "If I'm not mistaken, the PCM is included in the Federally mandated warranty period, which is 8yrs./80,000 miles. So, you may still be covered." This would be nice. Am already out $300.00 trying to fix this problem.

  • Matt,

    I can clear the DTC's, but the vehicle has to be key on, engine OFF, to do so.

    I've had two round trips to work with no signs of any problems (except the broken communication with the scan tool). It's been cool here (high 60's, lo 70's) and relatively short trips, so no surprise. It sounds like your problem is more progressed, can't complete a trip without stalling. Frustrating!

    Anyway, I'm setting an appointment with the dealer today (also have to take care of the recall notice for lower ball joints). I'll let you know the results.

    o.k. then...
  • Matt,

    As my Liberty is sitting @ the dealer having the recall work done, I'm looking @ the service info. on All the DTC's that we listed P0320, P0340, P1391, and P1299 all would come from sensors that share the same 5V ref. input from the PCM. Also, the tach. jumping, P0320, P0340, P1391 all could signify a bad crankshaft position sensor.

    tach. jumping - the engine speed is sent to the PCM thru the CKP.


    P0340 - NO CAM REFERENCE SIGNAL AT PCM. Could be falsely triggered by bad CKP.


    Which kinda points at the CKP, but doesn't explain how a dealer has already replaced your CKP and the problem remains.

    Leaving one other un-explained problem, being the loss of comm. between PCM and scan tool.

    Lot's of words meaning: still don't know what the problem is.

    o.k. then...
  • Today I took my 2002 liberty for my scheduled appointment to have my ball joints replaced due to the recall notice i received (these are my second set) and i was told that they ball joints were on a national back order. They told me they would check the ones that are in my jeep to make sure they were alright. Well the way this mechanic checked them was to put my jeep on the lift and justlook at them, he did not attempt to wiggle my front tires to see if they were no good. Apparently they are good or at least they look good
  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12

    They just looked at them? Yeah, I think it's a wear related problem and can be seen. But they should be replaced when the Dealer gets the parts. I have not seen the TSB, but I don't think it's optional. They look ok now, because they are what?, one to two years old (your second pair). They may take three years of wear/tear to hit the failure point. Mine were replaced about two weeks ago when I took my Lib in for another problem. I hope they changed or modified the joints so they won't fail three years from now.

    But if you take your vehicle to the dealer for scheduled maintenance, they should catch it before it becomes a problem.

  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12

    My Libby is also parked at the Dealer. The problem took a big turn for the worst today. Before I began checking the wiring harness this morning, I started the vehicle to see if it would die twice like it has done all this week. It died right on time at 4 minutes 30 seconds after starting. I restarted the engine to see if it would die again in about 30 seconds to three minutes, and of course it did. But this time the Tach did not stop dancing after the engine died. This Tach was bouncing between 0 and 4000 rpms. I also heard a noise coming from the engine, so I didn't turn the key to off, but instead got out and popped the hood to hear the injectors going and a strong smell of gas. I went to the back of the vehicle to listen for the fuel pump (Yes, the fuel filter and pump is in the gas tank – Masked bad language here got my earlier post deleted, sorry.). The fuel pump sounded like it was pumping as fast as it could.

    Keep in mind the engine had died a little over a minute ago. My garage quickly filled with the smell of gasoline before I had a chance to check most of the connectors. I turned the Key off and staggered off to breakfast and a few aspirin.

    At this point, I think you are right; I have an intermittent thermal problem with the PCM. After the gas dissipated, I was able to start the vehicle and return it the the Dealer. I ran the Libby for about an hour before turning it over to the Dealer, so I also think it's a thermal problem with the PCM.

    For the last two days I have made digital videos of these events. The video of this mornings adventure really got the Dealers attention! I presented them a CD with five, ten minute videos documenting my problems. Now that the problem is documented, am sure they will fix it. After viewing the video, we talked about it and the wiring harness and\or the PCM was the majority option. The service manager believed it was a wiring harness problem at the top rear of the engine, but we couldn't see the damaged cables he was looking for.

    You are also right about the PCM; 8 years/80,000 miles. They have to replace it for free. I should know if it is the harness or PCM tomorrow. I'll let you know, when they let me know.

    Matt :sick:
  • Matt,

    I love the smell of nepalm, I mean unburned fuel in the morning. That was quite a story. I'm pretty sure a bad CKP sensor can't cause all of that.

    I'm also pretty sure that more PCM's get replaced than wiring harnesses.

    I drove my 03 away from a dealer after the recall work, because a service rep. didn't want to hear my b.s. PCM story. Which I didn't quite understand, I mean, they'll get paid, regardless. She was talkin' like the dealership would have to front the money for warranty work. Kinda stupid!

    Please, let me know what the end result is, as I'm sure I'll be looking at the same repair. Hopefully under warranty.

    o.k. then...
  • Let's hope you have better luck than I in getting a PCM replacement. The Dealer diagnosed the PCM problem on my 2006 Liberty however it took 6 days to get the PCM module and another 2 days for them to actually flash the module. They complained about network issues with Chrysler.

    Apparently they indicated I'm fortunate since the extended warranty I purchased with the vehicle covered the cost of a replacement vehicle for the 8 days. It turns out the standard warranty does not cover a replacement vehcle if the Jeep is in the shop for an extended period. :confuse:
  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12

    "Let's hope you have better luck than I in getting a PCM replacement. The Dealer diagnosed the PCM problem on my 2006 Liberty however it took 6 days to get the PCM module and another 2 days for them to actually flash the module. They complained about network issues with Chrysler."

    I called today and asked for a status on my vehicle. I have not received a return call back. If it is the PCM, I know getting a new one from Chrysler will take a minimum of three days. Plus my Dealer is very, very busy, I have never seen the service center packed with so many vehicles, so another day to install and flash.
    Am hoping to see my Libby Friday or early next week.

    Matt :sick:
  • Adrian and Matt,
    My 03' Sport 48,700 miles gave the same codes yesterday and has been running/not running at all, as described in previous entries. Got all three codes P320, P340, and P1391. Replaced the Crank and Cam sensors 2day to know avail still the same problem. Still get the same codes. Will be calling the Dealer 2mro with this info plus all the info on this great site. Hope to get some good news. Hope everything works out for everyone else as well. I will stay in touch. Thanks for all the great info!
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