Jeep Liberty Troubleshootingby Brooke Julia
The Jeep Liberty is the offspring of the Jeep Cherokee, one of the first sports utility vehicles. The Liberty comes standard with a 3.7-liter, 210-horsepower V-6. Owners have the option of two- or four-wheel drive. As Edmunds points out, the Jeep Liberty was designed for off-road traveling. When something goes wrong with your Jeep Liberty, tracking down the source of the problem involves a logical process of elimination. Begin with the major sources of the engine's power, then narrow your search from there.
Crank the engine and lift the hood. Check the hoses for cracks or damage, check the wires for looseness or disconnects, and check the belts for breaks or looseness. Look for signs of excessive wear, damage, rust and corrosion. Parts exhibiting these signs need to be examined and possibly replaced.
Pull the "Check Engine" codes. Attach the probe of an OBD scanner to the Assembly Line Diagnostic Link (ALDL) located under the dash on the driver's side. Follow the prompts on the scanner's screen and select the option to pull the diagnostic codes from the computer. Write them down and consult your owner's manual for what these codes mean.
Check the alternator and battery for sufficient energy with a voltmeter. Attach the positive, or red, voltmeter lead to the positive battery post and the negative voltmeter lead to the negative battery post while the engine is off. The voltmeter measures the voltage in the battery and should read between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. Crank the engine to test the alternator and read it again. It should now show between 13.6 and 14.3 volts.
Pull the fuses under the driver's side dash. Use a fuse puller to extract each fuse and inspect for breaks. Discard any broken fuses and replace them with new ones of the same amperage. The amperage is printed on the bottom of each fuse, and the fuses are color-coded as well to make identification easy.
Check the fluid levels if your Liberty has overheating issues. Low oil and coolant levels can cause the engine to lose its ability to cool itself. Make sure the radiator fan comes on when the engine is hot and check that the thermostat is opening by carefully touching the upper radiator hose. The hose will be hot if the thermostat is opening to release heat to the radiator.
- Use the diagnostic scanner to clear engine codes after the problem is resolved. Plug the scanner into the test port, pull the codes and select the option to reset them.
- Take the Jeep to an automotive parts retailer for free battery and alternator testing if you don't have a voltmeter.
- Be careful when handling a battery. Spread baking soda over possible battery acid spills to neutralize the acid.
Items you will need
- Fuse puller
- Diagnostic scanner
- view of the undercarraige of a suv image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com