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Jeep Liberty Starting and Stalling Problems



  • Glad, or not so glad, to hear everyone is having the problems I just ran into. I've got an 02 Liberty w/ 74000 miles and the engine cutout while driving on Sunday and had it towed to the dealer. Monday afternoon they told me the Crank Sensor needs replacement and also reccommended fuel injector maintenance service. I had my car back Tuesday afternoon and about 4 miles from the dealer it died again, same symptoms, tach bouncing, etc...

    This morning, Wednesday, they call and say now they're receiving an error code for Cam Sensor which they will replace at no cost to me. That's nice of them but from what I'm reading from the rest of you I fear a recurring experience as I drive away again tonight.

    For what it's worth, I'm in upstate NY and the car has endured winters and summers here for the past 4 years and has suddenly experienced this issue.
  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12

    This is very strange. Why is the Crank sensor and the CAM sensor failing on the 2002 Libery at the same time? They both have the +5 volt ref in common and connect to the PCM on the same connector I think. I ran my Libby for about three weeks with a bad CAM sensor which damaged my PCM according to the Dealer.

    Did they tell you the error code number?

  • Matt,

    They did not provide me the actual error code. I picked up the car Wednesday evening and so far have driven approximately 30 miles with no problems.... yet. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • wajeepwajeep Posts: 1
    Hey There,

    I have a 2003 Liberty with about 74K miles and the other day it wouldn't start. I thought for sure it was the starter but when the tow truck came to get it, it did start. Like some of you have mentioned, black smoke came out the back and and it wouldn't stay running without giving it serious gas. The dealership replaced the battery connectors and told me I needed new thermostat hoses. This ended up costing a lot of money and now that I have it back it still doesn't start all that great and my instrument panel has some wierd glitches here and there.

    Any suggestions? It does have a new battery.

  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12

    "instrument panel has some weird glitches here and there".
    Could you explain what the instrument panel is doing? Does the engine dies or just won't start? Any engine codes?

  • I had the fuel pump changed on my Jeep Liberty and it runs perfect now. Several mechanics told me to make sure I put a factory pump back in, instead of an aftermarket pump. They say the aftermarket pumps only last a few months. Hope this helps.
  • Six days and 300 miles later I've experienced no recurring problems. In the end, I'm looking at a replaced crank sensor at my expense and cam sensor at the dealer's expense. Whether they were both bad or whether it was a misdiagnosis and only the cam sensor was bad, I guess we'll never know.

    I'm off to find appropriate thread to post my other Liberty issues. :(
  • Another 2003 Jeep Liberty stalling problem:
    - Crankshaft sensor was replaced, didn't help.
    - Service manager said all six ignition coils are bad (they expanded for some reason), he hasn't seen that before.
    - The coils have been replaced, and it STILL isn't fixed.

    Now they want to order a new PCM, doubling my costs from $500 to $1000.
    And get this - I have 80,780 miles on it, and knew enough to check if this was covered via the 80,000-mile federal warranty.
    It IS!
    I called Chrysler to see if they could cut me a break, and the lady was rude. Seemed to delight in telling me I was screwed because I was less than 1000 miles over!

    Meanwhile, two yrs ago my Honda had 83,500 miles when the catalytic converter went. It took a little pleading, but they replaced it for FREE.
    That's great customer service, and I tell everyone how much I appreciated it (and now you know, too).

    We'll see if Chrysler can be as reasonable, as I keep trying. But when their national customer service phone reps go home at 5 pm (wtf?), that's not exactly encouraging.

    Meanwhile, should I be questioning whether the PCM really needs to be replaced?

  • coatsmcoatsm Posts: 12

    Wow, that PCM is going to cost you @$800.00. All six ignition coils bad? That's more than kind of hard to believe.

    Have they checked the "CAM" sensor? Have you been running the vehicle for along time with the Engine dying problem? I damaged my PCM by running my vehicle for three weeks with a bad CAM sensor according to my dealer.

    If the Libby dies are about four minutes to six minutes after starting (Engine going into closed loop), have them check the CAM sensor (@$70.00).

  • They wound up fixing the cam sensor, too.
    I just sent out a letter to them to see if the $966 that they would have paid in full 800 miles earlier is going to lead them to pay me ANYTHING at all now.

    Do they have to? Should they do something if they want to seem reasonable? Yes.
    We'll see.
  • What is the Federally mandated warranty period, which is 8yrs./80,000 miles?

    I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty that has $60,000 miles on it and it wont start. It makes a clicking sound when you try to start it. My husband tested the battery and it is low so we are going to replace that but I am sure that is not the problem.
  • Why so sure that the battery is not the problem? Other symptons? I have a 2003 Jeep Liberty w/ 62K miles and came out one morning a month ago to find the exact noise you are describing (rapid clicking). I thought the worst at first also but that is exactly when you should expect the battery to go (60K, if not sooner). I replaced mine and have had no problems since. Great ride, nothing but regular maintenance so far (brakes, tires, battery, and oil changes) and two recalls professionally handled.
  • mhaipmhaip Posts: 1
    Hi, noticed your message and was wondering if you ever resolved your stalling issue? I thought I'd post as I seem to have encountered a similar problem and was able (I think) to resolve.

    My Liberty is a 2003, V6, automatic, with towing package. I'm the original owner with 67,000 no hassle kilometers on the odometer.

    Two days ago my Liberty was parked on the driveway in pretty cold weather (-29c). I went out Friday morning to start it (block heater had not been plugged in), and although it would "turn over", it wouldn't start. After plugging in the block heater for a few hours I still couldn't get it started.

    Shortly thereafter I learned that the the dome light had been left on overnight due to a improperly closed rear door (My wife fessed up ;) ) Thinking the battery was probably low, I put a charger on it overnight. Saturday morning however (with a fully charged battery) I still was not able to get it started.

    Today after talking with a Chrysler mechanic I put the accelerator to the floor and was able to start it. I got black smoke and a really rough idle. Taking my foot off the accelerator caused the engine to die.

    I was preparing to arrange for a tow to the dealership this evening when I came across this forum. After reading the posts and theorizing about possible causes, I decided to attempt a PCM reset.

    I disconnected the positive terminal on the battery and let it sit this way for over an hour. After an hour I put the key in the ignition and tried to start (with battery still disconnected)... I think this causes/completes a PCM reset. At the same time I also cycled the gear selector through all gears (in the event the problem was safety neutral switch related).

    I then reconnected the positive terminal on the battery and was able to start the Liberty on the first attempt (without depressing the accelerator!). Not only did it start... but the idle was much smoother than it had been even before the problem first occurred.

    Although I'm not a mechanic... for what it's worth... here's my assessment of what I think was wrong.

    I believe a combination of the dome light being left on, along with the cold weather caused a low voltage situation. This led to memory/code corruption in the PCM. (I equate this to what can happen with a desktop computer in a power brown out). Although the sensors (CAM, etc) were trying to communicate with the PCM, the PCM was stuck/hung in a programming loop. Resetting the PCM allowed the module to begin receiving the communications from the sensors.

    I'll give it a good test drive tomorrow. If the problem re-occurs and I find myself at the dealership I'll be sure to re-post.

    Hopefully someone out there will benefit from my experience before having to replace sensors or a PCM module.

  • My problem was fixed by buying a new battery. I did have the black smoke also. My husband charged the battery overnight and tried to start it several times and he would push the accelerator down to the floor and it would idle rough and blow out black smoke. Once we got a new battery the problem was fixed. Hope you figured out your problem.
  • Anyone have stalling problems with a 2006 model? My 6 month old Liberty stalls out regularly- hot engine, cold engine it doesn't matter. It's been to the dealer 4 times and they say nothing is wrong with it. I'm getting ready to pull the Lemon law trigger on them.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    vector: Unless this problem is actually taking your Jeep out of service (each state has different number of days) there would be nothing to make the Lemon Law effective. If you could get them to go for the Lemon Law, the cost is $ ,50 cents a mile, and your down payment does not count on cost per mile. So if you have more than 10,000 miles it just does not pay. Unless you have very compelling problems you will be paying for a dead horse for sometime to come.

  • Have you had any luck getting this issue resolved, last friday i was driving home and all of the sudden my 2002 jeep liberty shut off with no warning and wouldn't start back up, i've tried a bunch of stuff, new cam sensor and crank sensor, i can only get it to run if I hold down the pedal, it sounds very ruff like its down about 3 cylinders, if anyone has any help please let me know

  • perviepervie Posts: 1
    My wifes 2002 Jeep Liberty suddenly would start but not idle on cold morning (22 degrees). I found a vaccum leak on a hose coming off the air intake intake towards the master cylinder. Both ends attached with rubber vaccum hose were severly cracked and sucking air. . Replaced and fixed problem. Cost 2 bucks.
  • rich14rich14 Posts: 15
    ok my jeep liberty stalled on me and the tachometer went nuts and smoke and the smell of gas was awfull,, what could it be??I was going down the road at 55 mph and just quit,
  • Hello,

    I have a 02’ liberty with 40,000 miles on it. About 90% of the time when I come to a stop it wants to stall. It has stalled a few times. It doesn’t matter if it is cold or hot. I noticed that if I put it in neutral before I stop and put it in drive after I am completely stopped it will not act up. Does anyone have any ideas on what this problem is? Thanks Jim
  • Hi, did you ever get your grinding problem figured out? I am having the same difficulty and would like to hear more about your experience with this. Thanks!
  • Jeep Liberty 2002: On the first cold start of the morning, the engine fires and then there is a grinding noise that occurs while I am still turning the key. It is the exact same noise you get if you hold the key too long after the car has started. The colder it is, the worse it grinds. It seems to be correlated with the temperature (I never had the problem in the summer.) I live in MN and noticed it at temps 30-40 degrees F and lower. Also, if the engine is warm, it does not occur. If anyone has any advice or ideas on this issue, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
  • My wife and I bought a used 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited 4X4 from a used car dealer here in Erie, PA in July 2006. It is now Feb. 2007 and we are experiencing our first problems with the vehicle. Here's what has happened so far:

    Sunday - vehicle won't start. Lights and everything work fine, and starter is engaging, but the vehicle won't turn over. I tried to jump it with my Durango, but to no avail. I took the battery to local autozone and had them charge it. Put the battery in and the truck started right up. Two hour later though, it wouldn't start again and no prodding in the world could get it going.
    Monday - after work I picked up a new battery. Checked the truck to see if it would start first and got nothing on several attempts. Dropped the new battery (which has 710CCA as opposed to the stock 525CCA). Tried the truck and it started on the second try. Drove it to the used dealer we purchased it from (they have a really good service dept. that I trust). The service guy checked the wiring from batter to starter and said he couldn't find anything wrong. Vehicle started three times right away while there. He mentioned that we might have gotten water in the gas lines, so I swang by the parts store and grabbed some IsoDry and dropped it in the tank. Vehicle started right up twice more before I got back home.
    Tuesday - wife says the truck won't start again this morning, and I couldn't get it to start--even with pushing the gas pedal to the floor. Getting the same symptoms as Sunday.

    It has been very very cold here the last week (temperatures near zero!). Any suggestions? I'm contemplating the crank/camshaft position sensors at this point because that is the closest thing I can guess at. Could it just be a bad tank of gas that I am going to have to suffer through?
  • vinnimdvinnimd Posts: 2
    Well i am so glad that i found this forum and that i dont have to spend nearly a 1000 on getting these items fixed. Like all of you have described i have experiencing similar problems, tach jumping all over, the rear kicking, stalling, RPM's all over the place, the oil light comes on and it would shut off etc. Now after i let the engine sit for 1 minute or 2 it starts right up and away i go for about a 1 to 3 minutes than its back, and the same routine but sometimes i can get away with 10 minutes of driving with out any problems.

    Originally the system started when i went and got gas on a cold night, drove for 30 miles and perfect. Than after the car had sat for 3 hours, it started kicking, jumping, sniffling, and shutting down 2 times with the oil light coming on... and i couldnt get above 2000 RPM, or 35MPH to 45 MPH, but i got home. Than the next day nothing, no check engine light nothing of that sort and the problem is gone, yea right, it came back the next day. So its been going on a while and i finally took it to the dealer for a diagnosis, and this is what they told me.

    I almost forgot, i own an 03 Libby Renegade and i dont baby it, i tow with it, and off road with daily and monthly, afterall its a jeep!!!

    Below is the actual email from the dealer

    :confuse: the check engine light has 5 fault codes
    1. p1391 intermittant loss of crank or cam signal
    2. p0141 1/2 o2 sensor heater failure
    3. p0161 2/2 o2 sensor heater failure
    4. p0320 no crank reference signal at pcm
    5. engine speed sensor circuit

    to correct the check engine light we need to replace both the crank and cam sensors $310 and the two oxygen sensors $ 445 then reset the light and drive to make sure all the codes will clear the engine speed sensor circuit could be due to the fact the transmission is low on fluid-tech found the transmission pan gasket leaking--need to remove skid plate and reseal transmission pan $235 for the 80 k service: there are exterior light bulbs out $50, oil change due $35, and tech recommend to service battery terminals $65

    any how i told them they are crazy... so i ordered the service manual from Chrysler, and once it gets here i will replace these sensors and give it a test drive...

    i will let you know how it goes.
  • jeepgrl02jeepgrl02 Posts: 1
    Hi JeepTech,

    My husband last night found out that the CPS Censor seems to need replacing in our 02 Jeep. Can you tell me, is this easy to replace or will it have to be done by the dealer?

  • mfitzykmfitzyk Posts: 6
    This in in reply to another post with similar question/problem:

    Member since: June 23, 2007
    Total points: 103 (Level 1)
    Points earned this week:
    --% Best answer

    Same thing happened to us, except it did stall...several times in a 3-mile commute. This WAS on '04 Liberty with 48K on it. 1 week after driving it off the lot, began stalling. Dealer said not their problem - no warranty implied. My wife, a teacher, took it to her school auto shop class. They cleaned out the throttle body (for $7). If you take it to a dealer, they will hook it up to a machine and there will be a CAM sensor error - $150 to replace, or they will maybe clean out the throttle body for $65/hr if you ask them. There are countless forums on the the web about this problem with people replacing this part and other sensors and the Liberty continues to fail. Bottom line - sold the Jeep after 3 painful months, bought an '05 Explorer Limited V8, gets better gas mileage (16/22-24) compared to Jeep (12/16-18) and have never been happier. Oh yeah, transmission slipping on the Jeep too after shifting from reverse to drive, same thing on my friends '05 Grand Cherokee. Did not want to have to replace that because even though Jeeps powetrain warranty is transferrable (for $150), you cannot transfer it after the basic 36m/36K mile runs out, which is a scam and a sense of flase hope from Jeep that you are covered for 7y/70k miles. Hope this helps and you have better luck with your Jeep, but this is one product line I will never buy again (please don't get upset; I am not a Jeep-hater, and I'm sure someone has opinions/experiences with Fords - what I've driven: '93 F150 V6 Manual - no problems, replaced clutch, brakes, tires, one bed support in 107K miles, still ran great when I sold; '02 F150 Supercab XLT V6 manual - slave cylinder went out @ 28K miles, replaced by Ford no questions asked - even though 36 months bumper to bumper was up; Dad drives '02 Explorer with 90K - no problems).


    and the list goes on indefinitely...a major problem across the board for Jeeps
  • kim22kim22 Posts: 4
    Over the last two nightmare weeks my brand new (not even a yr old) Jeep Liberty decided it's randomly not going to start. I took it to two different dealers and neither one can figure out what is wrong. They checked the battery, alternator and computer system. No one can figure it out. I'm so scared to go anywhere because I never know if my car will turn back on once I turn it off.

    I have kept up with all standard maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.). I looked into what my rights are and although the car is not a year old it is over 18,000 miles so I would not even be able to build a lemon law case if needed as a last resort.

    I feel so helpless. I don't know where else to turn. Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions? What can be done?
  • billzollbillzoll Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Jeep Liberty Sport. Exact same symptoms you describe has happened to me today. I'm on vacation and when I call the warranty guy he insists it's my battery. What's the latest with yours?
  • kim22kim22 Posts: 4
    Well, the latest with mine is that they still really do not know 100% what the problem is, but they decided to try replacing the battery and the belt tensioner to see if that solves it. They tested the alternator and it is fine, but feel that the belt tensioner might not have been adjusted properly and, therefore, the battery was not being charged. A few days have passed problem free. Hopefully this solved
  • calden1calden1 Posts: 1
    We have an 06 Liberty with the same problem. It has been brought to the shop twice for failure crank . Now the dealer is just changing out parts hoping he gets it right. Did you ever get your problem resolved? Ours only has about 15,000 miles on it and I share your pain.
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