2004 Jeep Liberty problems – listed

I have a 2004 Jeep Liberty and it sounds like many others have had these same issue I’ve had, so I figured why don’t I list what I’ve figured out so you don’t have to! (I haven’t listed normal maintenance items like brake pads or fluids). Comment on others things you’ve learned and how to fix them!

88,000 miles, 8/2009 – Replaced battery. Five years from OEM battery – sounds reasonable, although Consumer Reports notes this as a trouble spot

91,500 miles, 12/2009 – Water pump, belt, tensioner. Water pump froze, which destroyed the belt. Consumer Reports listed this as a common problem.

95,000 miles, 2009 – CD player. My model has a 5-CD changer. It mostly does not return the CDs when I ask. It is crap. Consumer Reports lists this as a trouble spot.

99,800 miles, 6/2010 – Left outer tie rod. Needed to complete an alignment.

107,500 miles, 12/2010 – Rack & pinion, power steering pressure line. This was a nightmare. My power steering fluid reservoir kept emptying out, but nothing was leaking on the ground (baffling!!). Upon my mechanic friend’s inspection, he found that the boots on the ends of the rack & pinion were blown up like a balloon. We had the hardest time getting the rack out and putting the new one back in. The key is to just keep taking things apart — there’s no easy way to sneak it out. It took us eight hours.

115,000 miles, 6/2011 – Exhaust gasket. My tire/service shop couldn’t figure out how to repair the exhaust leak that slowly grew louder and louder over a six month period. They said they couldn’t find a gasket to fix it. My mechanic friend was successful in finding a gasket from the dealer. I subsequently was at a Jeep dealer and was chatting and he asked it I replaced the exhaust gasket yet. This must be very common. The gasket was a piece of soft metal that fits near the catalytic converter where the leak was. If you find a part number, please comment.

120,200 miles, 10/2011 – Blower motor resistor. The fan motor has been getting weaker and weaker over the last few years to the point of which setting 1 hardly has any airflow. I even replaced my A/C coolant twice thinking that was the problem. I searched online and found this was yet another common problem and a part number was listed (Consumer Reports lists this as a common problem as well as the A/C compressor). I went to the dealer and they said I needed Part Number 5139719AA for my 2004 Liberty (not 5066552AA which I found in a search). If you determine that this is the right part, here it is on Amazon. See my post on how to replace the resistor.

120,200 miles, 10/2011 – Emergency brake swivels. I asked my tire/service shop to check the emergency brake since it stopped working all together (it hasn’t worked well since we bought it). They said they had the same issue some up on another Liberty lately and they needed to recondition the emergency brake swivels. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it cost me $190. I see that AutoZone has a $32 parking brake kit — maybe someone can enlighten us on whether something could be easily replaced.

126,300 – Check engine light (oxygen sensor). It started to come on during the exhaust leak (see above). I replaced the oxygen sensor behind where the leak was and it fixed the light.

128,000 – Hood lift supports. Yeah, my hood won’t stay up anymore. I’m going to try these.

133,000 — AND THE JEEP IS OFF TO A NEW HOME! A 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee has taken its place..

Consumer Reports also lists issues with the windows. I haven’t had any problem..so far.

QUIRKS:

For those of you thinking of buying this year, here are some annoyances:

  • The car automatically locks the doors at a low speed. When you turn off the car, it doesn’t unlock them. I worked with the dealer to fix the programming and they said it just wasn’t an option.
  • This is one key hole on the whole car. If that freezes up or breaks and the battery is dead, you’re toast.
  • There is no back window open button in the car. The only way to do it is with the remote. This is just STUPID. It you open the back door without opening the window with the remote, the window will not shut. (In the manual it says to pull the handle half way and the window will open, but mine doesn’t do that.)
  • There are multiple types of four-wheel drive systems. Make sure to know which one you are buying.
  • ABS and traction control were not standard in 2004.
  • The glovebox is the smallest I’ve ever seen.
36 replies
  1. Doug
    Doug says:

    Thanks for your info. I am in Africa so I have a Cherokee rather than a Liberty Renegade and everything is calibrated in kilometres. I have had a few problems myself, but nothing insurmountable, except one rather unexpected failure of the wall inside the oil cooler between water and oil, resulting in the two mixing, which meant that I have had to replace the radiator, oil cooler, water reservoir, water pump, connecting hoses and, it seems, the injectors (though I’m not 100% sure how the latter are linked.) By the way, I use a 2.8 CRD not a V6 petrol. Resistor seems to be giving a few problems as well as you describe. I have an odd noise from the suspension, which the dealer has so far been unable to diagnose – a very disconcerting clunk if the left rear wheel drops into a pothole (however small the hole is) – it doesn’t make the same noise if I hit a bump, and the dealer is unable to replicate the noise in the workshop. By the way, I have also experienced the standard problem of A/C condensation water filling the passenger footwell. I have done approx 140,000km (87,500 miles). You complained about the door locking issue. For me, its very pro-safety and security and so it’s a perfect solution, and I have no issues with the back door glass (the flipper glass) – perhaps they solved it after 2004. The original vehicle came with GoodYear Wrangler SR-A tyres which lasted 50,000 km (31,250 miles) but the replacements are BFG’s and are almost due for replacement now (90,000 km or 56,250 miles later.)

  2. Nigel
    Nigel says:

    Doug,

    To add in a few, will never buy a Jeep again

    1.30 K SOV for fuel injection fails.
    2.35 K Feedback from accelerator to Fuel injection fails
    3. At 50K right wheel bearing
    4. At 53K Right Passenager power window not working
    5. 60 K power Steering Rack leakin and power steering pressure line leaking

    The original gooyear wrangler tyres has zero traction in slightly wet weather, putv the car into a 360 twice with drizzle at about 25 mph
    3.
    2. At 56K Power stearing Rack Leaking
    3. 3. P

  3. Glen Riadknight
    Glen Riadknight says:

    I have a 2004 jeep liberty and something is drawing power when everything is off causing the battery to die after a day

  4. Linda Brock
    Linda Brock says:

    Glen. The same thing happens with my 2004 Liberty. I’ve had three batteries. The last one I purchased a year and a half ago and this morning…dead. I had my mechanic check it and he said the battery was fine. This has happened at least six times since I’ve owned my Jeep.

  5. brmorris
    brmorris says:

    I had my battery croak on me twice in a few months last year. I found that my hitch wiring harness had built up corrosion and I think it shorted the battery out.

  6. Kelson
    Kelson says:

    2005 Liberty. Steering Rack replaced. Multiple front axles replaced. 3 Water Pumps. Ball Joints. Front drive shaft as well. 130,000 miles. A/C leak that requires removal of the entire Dashboard. The truck smells of gas with most fill-ups. Back window does the same as yours.

  7. Penny
    Penny says:

    My 2004 Jeep Liberty has had a number of problems including some not mentioned above:
    (1) Headlights that blink off and back on for no apparent reason. (Never solved.)

    (2) Inability to lock rear door (a wire in the door had become disconnected).

    (3) A passenger window operator became very noisy – nearly deafening – and had to be replaced. (It had been operated in freezing weather and caused some plastic gear’s teeth to get stripped.)

    Like others:
    (1) In the cold weather the hood will not stay up. (I carry a 3-foot-long plastic stick to hold up the hood when I check the fluids.)

    (2) The original tires (Wrangler-S, and I believe the “S” stands for SH**) were the worst I have ever had regarding hydroplaning. When I looked them up on TireRack they got the worst rating of any tire re hydroplaning. At 20K miles, with plenty of tread remaining, I replaced them for my safety.

    I expected lower reliability when I bought a Jeep and have not been disappointed @ 160K miles.

  8. Cliff Torban
    Cliff Torban says:

    I had a problemm with my 2002 Liberty battery (new one, 3 months old) having to be “jumped” for no reason. A mechanic diagnosed, and said that there has been incidents where the radio actually draws on the battery at random times, although the engine is off, and the radio is not in use. He said the only option (this has happened 3 times in three months) is to replace the radio, which would be rediculous. He agreed with my decision, and stated that the only way to know about the radio, for sure, is if it happened while they were doing their diagnostics, which would be almost imposssible.

  9. Diane
    Diane says:

    Problem is engine light is on constantly. Mechanic thought oxygen sensor so had this fixed and light was off for one day and now is back on. Someone said could be catalytic converter but I hope not! Anyone else have this issue. Jeep Liberty 2004 good shape and am trying to sell but can’t with engine light on.
    Thanks

  10. brmorris
    brmorris says:

    Diane,

    It is good to know which oxygen sensor is throwing the code. There are 6 total if I’m not mistaken (not confident). These compare the oxygen levels as the air flows. Maybe a few need to be replaced, not just one. However, it could be indicative of a different problem. Sorry if that’s not much help!!

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    I’ve been having recent problems with my 2004 Liberty where sometimes it wont turnover. It’s very intermittent but I’ve lost faith in it’s reliability. Has anyone else had this issue? i don’t think its the starter motor, as its doesn’t doesn’t fire or splutter, could it be the emobilizer? if i take key out, wait & try again its fine.

  12. Erica
    Erica says:

    I am having a problem similar to Alex it is also hit and miss. (AT 105,000 miles) Sometimes my jeep won’t turnover but it also dies out at times when I come to a stop. (maybe 2 or 3 times a day then won’t happen for weeks) Also idles funny when setting still idle will jump up and down quickly for no reason. I have taken it to a mechanic but he cant tell what is wrong with it because it never happens when I’m there the computer is sending several codes such as miss fire and vacume leak. The check engine light came on one night but was off before I got it to the shop I have changed all the plugs and coils. Any suggestions? Also there is a much cheaper fix for the rear window that breaks off the tracks. There is a small plastic piece the hold the window to the track that is a common problem. This company has an alternate part to fix it I have had it in my jeep for about 2 yrs works great. http://www.steigerperformance.com

  13. Erin
    Erin says:

    ok my sister in law has a 2004 Libery and is having a problem finding a front drive shaft at a reasonable price, anyone know where I can find one or does anyone want to part out an old one?

  14. Mary
    Mary says:

    2004 Jeep Liberty
    Has been great for me until last nite.
    My battery light came on and I not sure where to start.
    Then my heater is blowing cold air after the light came on….
    The motor for the wiper on the rear window quit.
    I have had the recall on the backend done.
    I hope this is not a long start of things. This vehicle is a replacement for one that was totaled and I still have several payments left(LOL)…

  15. gary t
    gary t says:

    just looked at alot of jeeps and liberty,s i guess its not a good buy. took for rides sounded great rode nice but they had anywhere from 86k to 116k. prices were 7800-10800 thought it was a buy but i guess it isnt.

  16. brmorris
    brmorris says:

    All cars have their issues, but yeah, Chrysler products haven’t been very reliable over the last 20 years.

  17. kelson
    kelson says:

    Does anyone know a fix for lousy headlights on an O5 Liberty?

    BTW, had the timing cover gasket blow out and yet another front axle go since I last posted.

  18. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    I’ve had some the same issues. I have a 2004 Jeep liberty with 125,000 miles. I have had to replace the drivers side window. Was able to find the motor on ebay but it is definitely a 2 person job to replace. My CD player doesnt return CD’s either and I think that started at about 100,000. My hood lift supports no longer work. My recent issue has been my power steering. I live in PA and have to start my vehicle and let it warm up before driving. There is this awful whine when I start it up. There is no leak however. If I don’t let it warm up, my power steering doesnt work, but after driving a few miles will “kick in” And yes, I checked the fluid. I drive a lot so I do a lot of preventive maintenaince. Regular oil changes (3000 miles) & had fluids flushed. I had to replace all rotors and brake pads (which I think is normal).

  19. Chu
    Chu says:

    I have two major issues going on with my 2004 jeep liberty renegade right now.

    1. Tire sensor light (!) is always on and beeps for a while when I start the car. I’ve had to manually check the tire pressure and they’ve been fine. The sensor is probably messed up but does anyone know if this is a quick fix? Something a regular mechanic can do or do I have to take it to the dealership? Also, are there four sensors that need to be changed? What sucks Is that it even tells me my spare tire is low on pressure. Maybe five sensors then?

    2. The power lock on the driver’s side does not lock/unlock using the keyless entry and door controller but all the other locks work fine. Is there a separate fuse for each door or does anyone know what to do? Has this ever happened to anyone?

  20. Jennie
    Jennie says:

    Hi Jeep owners,
    I’m still in love with my 04 Liberty. However, my cd player e won’t play cd’s anymore. It’s States, Err, why?

  21. Julie
    Julie says:

    I have an 04 Liberty Renegade with 140k miles and have had numerous issues over the past few years..ok more like 7 years. Not sure if it has to do with the FL heat or my jeep drawing power from an unknown area but I’ve had to replace the battery at least 3x along with numerous jumps to get it going. That was the beginning of the almost end to my poor beloved jeep.
    •ignition switch broke..had to start it for a week with a screwdriver until my dad flew down to help me out.
    •leak in a hose where coolant runs. Was ALWAYS filling up with coolant only for the tank to be empty 2 days later which resulted in overheating and breaking down.
    •drivers side back window won’t roll down
    •passengers side back window came off the track
    •CD player broken..pretty sure there’s still a disc in there that just won’t budge/come out
    A/C blowing hot air
    •#2 setting on a/c quit working
    •low tire pressure constantly it seems
    •and today..happy 4th of July to me-power steering (poss the pump) went out and the belt is off
    I LOVE jeeps but it’s time for a new one. Anyone had issues with the new 4d wranglers??

  22. Mando
    Mando says:

    I’m about ready to dump this piece of s*** to the river. Thermostat housing replaced, lower control arm rear replaced, fan assembly replaced, radiator replaced, alternator replaced, ac pump replaced, fan wiring cut off and connected directly last weekend and now another dead battery!!! I’m sick of this … Never getting a Chrysler product ever again!! With Chevy I never had so many issues. 2004 jeep liberty limited (limited piece of junk)

  23. Kelsom
    Kelsom says:

    Feel your pain and have said the same thing. Total garbage cars. My Liberty and our Neon. Chrysler would have done us all a favor if they went bankrupt and disappeared.

  24. Em
    Em says:

    I am ready to drive my 2004 Jeep Liberty off a cliff.
    It is at 79K and has already had all of these issues. I have only owned it for only one year and who knows what the past owners have dealt with.

    - CD player jammed (40K)
    - Fuel Tank moved due to recall (Jeep took care of this)
    - Blown Water Pump (broke down in the middle of the dessert – 70K)
    - AC/Heat broke / system completely replaced (60K)
    - Power Steering pump & valves all replaced (65K)
    - Sunroof broken (will not close) (70K)
    - Engine light on and off (have gotten it fixed 4 different times and still flashes on and off)
    - Replaced fuse for wind shield wipers and other various fuses
    - Battery sucks needs to be replaced
    - Rack & Pinion (79K)

    I’m not even at 80K yet! WTF

    I am spending over $2,000 just to get the car fixed so I can trade it in.

    Adios you P.O.S. I will never buy a Jeep again.

  25. piet albregtse
    piet albregtse says:

    HI THERE I HAVE A JEEP LYBERTY SPORT FROM 2002
    I WAS ONCE SOLD IN FLORIDA NOW I AM DRIVING IT EVERYDAY HERE IN HOLLAND 50.000MILES I HAVE NO PROBLEMS THUS FAR!MAYBE BECAUSE THE RAIN AND SALT ON THE ROAD HERE

  26. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I have a 2004 Jeep Liberty, I have had typical issues.
    Around 90K had to replace the water pump
    Around 146K had to replace the radiator it was cracked.
    I need to replace my shocks and struts again at 147K.
    My check engine light is on. My fuel gauge does not work

  27. Bill870
    Bill870 says:

    2004 Jeep Liberty Sport
    Not too many problems till it hit 110k miles then the front drive shaft seal failed. Common problem I see on various boards.
    125k rear control arm fails
    130k won’t engage front axle when in 4wd just as this snow storm hits.

  28. Kelson
    Kelson says:

    At around the 147,000 my Liberty is gone. Front diff went and the tranny. Then a mystery AC leak. Hate to admit this, but it’s been replaced with a Honda. Simply can’t afford to keep repairing a Jeep. It’s really a shame because the Honda is REALLY irritating to drive. What fool puts a shelf where a console belongs! In the end, reliability won the sale.

  29. Carl
    Carl says:

    Last year (2013) my 2004 Liberty began emitting a very acrid smoke from under the hood near the passenger side. It doesn’t do it all the time but lately when it does, it is lasting longer and is a bit thicker. I see no burned wires or components. Aside from my CD changer being crap, everythign else in the vehicle operates as normal. I am concerned it may eventually become a fire.

  30. Bo
    Bo says:

    2004 Jeep Liberty, bought it brand new in 2003.
    Main reason for buying is because the other half thought it was the “best looking” car in that compact SUV category.

    90K miles right now, mainly one 150 mile trips once a week for the last 11 years.

    “Spartan” is the one word I vividly remembered used to describe the Liberty.

    7K miles, one of the pistons cracked – replaced under warranty

    15K miles, complete brake job front and back – replaced pads and rotors – not under warranty. Not a single dashboard warning. Primitive, mechanical chirping is the only warning that the brakes give. And if you drive in the winter with the windows closed, good luck.

    In comparison, BMW has brake sensors on their 1984 318. One would think if the Jeep has ABS and ABS sensors, the least Chrysler could have done is have a break sensor. Ironically, breaks/rotors are not covered in the warranty.

    45K miles, replaced original tires

    55K miles, replaced original battery

    60K miles, 1 year old battery drained. Previous day, back window latch was going on/off. Track down the only active fuse while the car is off, and physically remove it every time leave the car. That one fuse controls radio, lights, and doors including back window & door.

    60K miles, engine light on and off depending on the season

    70K miles, replace 4 sensors ($1K dealer job) in order to pass inspection

    77K miles, engine light back on. two sensors causing it. One of the wires of one of sensor under driver seat, under car, is cut due to friction.

    85K miles, replace water pump

    90K miles, no power steering. Empty power steering container. cold weather (under 0F)

    Ironically the back of the remote says DaimlerChrysler.

    Chrysler, never again!

  31. Victor Correa
    Victor Correa says:

    I bought an 03 Jeep Liberty sport with 139k, So far 2,300 in repairs…. Oil pan, Gasket, Front seal, Window regulator driver side, Replaced radio and speakers, Rotors drums and pads, Engine belt replaced, Now an oil leak on my timing belt gasket and an interior water leak passenger side when it rain, Jeep no more after this crap…

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