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Jeep Liberty Driveline

tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
edited June 2014 in Jeep
We're consolidating several discussions relating to the driveline into a single topic which includes everything in the drivetrain after the engine and transmission.

tidester, host
SUVs and Smart Shopper


  • scheckscheck Posts: 8
    I keep hearing a noise that seems to be coming from the rear door handle, latch area. It happens whenever I hit a bump where the rear tires are not exactly on the same level. Normal cracks in the road are not a problem. I've fiddled with the striker and stabilizer with no luck. Door seems solidly in place when closed. Nothing loose underneath the rear end. Recall completed on window mechanism. Metal stress?
  • aswainaswain Posts: 2
    I was parked on the street and had gone inside for about 20 minutes. When I came out, my Jeep had just rolled about 50 feet and hit a construction truck. Punctured the grill, radiator and A/C system --- to the tune of $2,500. Weird thing was that the accident had just happened --- after the Jeep had been parked for 18-20 minutes. I've been driving manuals for 25 years and never had anything like that happen. A friend said she vaguely remembers a problem with Cherokees popping out of gear. Anyone know anything about Libertys?
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    sorry too hear about your mishap,but didn't you put your E-brake on,I always put it on no matter what,my dad always told me not to trust just putting it in 1st gear.,it could pop out so he made me never forget after seeing a good friend of the familys car get banged up wores then yours.

    so head the advice,use the E-brake thats why it thier and to save your life also.

    I glad you didn't get hurt. :)
  • I have an 02 Liberty which developed the same problem. I took it to a mechanic who looked into the back with a camera and found that a spotweld on the spare tire assembely went bad. I got some spray foam from Home Depot and sprayed into the back and it dampened the sound. This may be your problem.
  • himmadhimmad Posts: 2
    :lemon: :mad: Jeep Liberty owners beware! As I was pulling out at a speed of about 20 mph with my 2003 Liberty (35,757 miles) I felt a jolting bang from the front end and moved off to the side of the street. As I attempted to move the vehicle a few more feet, suddenly the left front ball joints broke and the axle fell to the asphalt. It was quite traumatic to say the least! I called roadside assistance and the driver said I was lucky to be alive. I had just been traveling on a high speed road and had the ball joints failed ten minutes before, little doubt a roll over would have occurred. After a three hour experience trying to get the vehicle on a flat bed truck, I got home at two in the morning. What really disturbed me as I looked back through the service records of the vehicle the next morning was that on June 15, 2004 (mileage 18,237) the ball joints were replaced as a recall on 2002/03 models. I have called Chrysler/Jeep four times and their lack of concern is appalling. We have owned Jeep vehicles since 1994 and have always been pleased with the performance. Chrysler could have cared less about what had occurred. They said they would "note the incident" and were not the slightest bit concerned how this affected our family. They were not interested in hearing the details of what had happened nor did they acknowedge the fact that this information could possibly prevent disaster for someone else. When I wished to speak to someone at Chrysler about buying back this vehicle (we owed $10,500) they said it was only their policy to fix and return it. I said it was my policy not to drive it again since I had relied on the competency of Chrysler twice and they failed both times. Catastrophic failure of ball joints is hardly the same as a problem with the air conditioner. My wife and daughter would not even think of driving this vehicle again, let alone at high speeds. When I asked if they would like members of their family driving this vehicle, there was no reply. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I spoke to one representative for at least twenty minutes and was completely stonewalled. She said she could not refer this call, and said it was company policy to terminate this call. Can you imagine! I am a very patient person and I was completely overwhelmed by Chrysler's disregard for customer concerns. Obviously, profit, not safety is the bottom line. As long as there was not a catastrophic accident, they could care less.
    I urge all Liberty owners (especially 2002/03) to have your vehicles checked, even if you have had the ball joint lower control recall done. I had an appointment to have grating noises and rough steering checked and this incident occurred three days before the appointment. Don't wait! If enough Liberty owners voice their concern, maybe Chrysler will listen, especially if it affects their bottom line. Perhaps we could change slightly the famous words of Patrick Henry to "Give me a Liberty and give me death." Perhaps it was an isolated incident, but I would not like to see anyone go through this trauma. The local dealer was very helpful, buying back the vehicle for the buy out price, saying they would certify it as road worthy. But my Liberty days are over and I strongly encourage you to have your vehicle competently checked. The bottom line is people, not profit. That is my concern. :sick:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The NHTSA has a link where you can file a complaint about a vehicle. Since there was already a recall for this problem they may be more interested than usual in your situation.

    I just glanced through the most recent consumer complaints at the NHTSA and someone reported earlier this month that their 03's ball joints failed for the second time. That consumer also reported front end noise before the failure.

    Steve, Host
  • himmadhimmad Posts: 2
    :) Thank you for your input on the ball joint defect w/ the Liberty. I will definitely forward my comments to the NHTSA for their information and hopefully further investigation into this serious safety issue.
    Him Mad
  • I have similar experience with Chrysler's disregard for customer concerns. I drive 2002 CRD Liberty 60.000 miles and I have third set of ball joints. One set was changed on recall, the second set had to be changed (and payed) after 12.000 miles (DC said I taxed my Jeep driving it offroad!!! - I did not at that time), third one is ok so far. But I let it check every 6000 miles.
  • i own a 2005 jeep liberty and i also had a ball joint break yesterday! thank god that we were not travelling at a high rate of speed when it decided to go. i have a long commute to work every day...all highway and am concerned of my safety and my family's safety. it is a the dealership that we purchased it from at this very moment. i did receive concern from the gal i spoke to at chrystler, but the service tech was not appropriate in my opinion! i hope that they will correct this without a fight!
  • Is it a loud dull clunking noise like a jack just slipped out from under the car when you hit a bump? I have that problem and it used to be loud, it's a lot softer now that they have replaced faulty axle parts and tightened some bolts that were loose back there.

    In addition My 03' liberty transmission overheated at 3,000 mi so they took it apart. they determined that the whole thing needed rebuilding and replaced it with a new trans. I'm at 55,000. miles now and the same thing is happening again. :cry: :mad:
  • I am getting a loud squawing, groaning sound coming from underneath my 2004 Jeep Liberty. It does it at slow speeds when turning or applying and releasing the brake. I have 53000 miles on it and recently did have the transmission flushed and new fluid added. It was doing this prior to taking it in to have this done. It doesn't do it all the time. Took it into the shop again today and mechanic drove it around and of course it didn't do it. Any ideas what this could be? Seems fine at highway speeds.

  • Try lubing the sway bar bushings
  • jeep7jeep7 Posts: 1
    I back out of the driveway and drive for a block and then take a left and drive for a 1/2 block take a right and approximately 20-30 feet a popping noise is heard from the rear underneath of the vehicle. The transmission is cold and driving around 20-25 mph and the noise seems to come from the rear-end or transmission. It maybe when the vehicle is shifting gears but have taken it to the dealer about 6 times and they cannot duplicate the problem. Any ideas?
  • I have the same type of problem, see message 2013, I have taken the car back to the dealer twice and tomorrow will be the third time. Dealer seem to want to blow off the problem. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to be on some mountain top when the vehicle breaks down. Does any one know how to research this problem to see if the jeep liberty has a history of this problem and what the cause is. I have seem several message about the popping sound on this forum along. Is there a way to contact Jeep, other than some public relation guy that could help with the problem.
  • cross4cross4 Posts: 1
    I own a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The ball joint recall repair was done. Yesterday while in a parking space I was backing out, heard a loud noise. I got out to check around my vehicle. Nothing. I continued to back out and then my whole right front dropped. My upper and lower bearings need replacing. I need a whole new cv Right front axle and new front right tire totaling over $2300. Needless to say thank God I was not on the highway because I could have been killed or seriously injured. I now am in contact with Jeep and it is under investigation. I think I will also be afraid to drive it once repaired. I can't believe it and encourage other owners to beware for their safety.
  • renegaderrenegader Posts: 73
    As my own experience, the front ball joints are the most critical part of KJ drivetrain. They last me every 30k miles, I have now 3rd pair of lower ones and now I´m waiting for change of 2nd pair of upper. My KJ has 70.000 miles. To be complete, need to say I lifted 2,5 inch. I let check them every 6k. Life is worth it.
  • butchoybutchoy Posts: 6
    I had the same issue with my lower ball joints failing on my 2003 Liberty (which was not on recall list).

    Click here to see my pictures: LqCU

    Luckily, this happened in a parking lot and not on a busy highway. According to the NHTSA, over 40 incidents have been logged. Chrysler did pay for the damage but I think they really need to investigate this issue further.

    If you hear grinding noises when turning your steering wheel or if you hear creaking noises in your front suspension you should get your ball joints checked out immediately!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    An even better place to post your pictures is in

    imageDrive on over!

    tidester, host
  • butchoybutchoy Posts: 6
    Thanks tidester,

    Another link to picutures of my Liberty ball joint failure:

    Also, a link to NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation:

    Just click on the "Search Selected Type" button to start.
  • renegaderrenegader Posts: 73
    I had similar symptoms with worn out universal joint in rear driveshaft. You came home, horrible sounds, next day, when vehicle is cold you don´t hear anything. Maybe you feel light vibrations of drivetrain. How many miles do you have on?
  • cetylcetyl Posts: 1
    Last week my left front lower ball joint gave way without warning. No personel injury but my kids in the back were scared enough to now refuse to ride in my jeep. The rim split, tire blew, and control was quite difficult. Luckily I was at less than 30 mph. Who knows what would have happened at a higher speed. This Liberty has 34k miles which are 100% easy highway miles. I informed two friends who had similar early 2003 Liberty's of my concerns. Both had their ball joints checked and both required bilateral replacements. Sounds like a dangerous problem.
  • bgbstrdbgbstrd Posts: 1
    To anyone out there with Jeep Liberty's with a rear end noise that the dealer has a hard time duplicating: there is a joint, kind of like a ball joint, on top of the rear diff. This thing makes noises at times and the noises can be extremely difficult to duplicate. If the tech cannot duplicate the noise ask to drive them around so you can dulplicate it. Most dealership technicians would rather take a few minutes and go for a ride than have a pissed customer bad mouthing his work.

    While you're at the dealer, trade in your KJ on something, anything, else. Between Liberty balljoints, power steering racks, leaks, and noises they are a vehicle I would never put someone I care about in.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    butchboy:WOW!IF ANYONE HAS A REASON FOR dcx TO PAY FOR REPAIRS YOU SURE DO! I had a 2002 Dodge Dakota that had 4 sets of lower and upper ball joints replaced in 92,000 miles. But nothing happened except a loud pounding noise while on my dirt road. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

  • rhino6rhino6 Posts: 3
    AMEN!!! I would love to see every liberty owner drive their liberty to the dealer and run away.
  • This just in..another 800,000 Libertys recalled due to a potential failure in the front
    balljoint. Nice..... :lemon:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Recalls happen. Not too encouraging that the ball joints were recalled once before for the '02-'03 models though. Here's a story about it.

    Jeep Recalls 2002-2006 Liberty SUV (Washington Post)
  • ladybug8ladybug8 Posts: 10
    If you call Jeep and give them the last 8 digits of your VIn they can tell you if you are included in the recall.
    The number is 800-853-1403.
  • ree691ree691 Posts: 8
    I have a 2004 Liberty with 50k and just had new tires put on. Took it in for a front end alignment and found out the balljoints were shot. :sick:
  • My 2003 Liberty recently started having a noise like running over a rumble strip when I start into a turn from a standing stop. I can get a similar noise if turn the steering wheel left or right to the stop and drive slowly in a circle on a hard surface. I have the limited slip differential. I've got an appointment with the Jeep service department next but I wanted to know what you all thought. I have 68,000 miles on it and the drive train warranty runs out soon. Thanks
  • cm1jscm1js Posts: 1
    Just bought my daughter a 2002 liberty. It has the same noise. Jeep dealer in branson thought without looking it may be the clutches in rear end as they are limited slip. clutches could be from $400 to $900. Mine sounds like a metal grinding sound also when turning left or right slowly like turning into a drive way under light load. I was a auto tech for 32 years but never heard anything quite like this. Mine has 67000 miles. Didn't know how much warranty is on the jeeps but mine has probably expired due to year. Jerry Sutton
This discussion has been closed.