Endless Problems, Some Have Yet To Be Solved
LINDENHURST, NEW YORK -- After buying my new 2002 Liberty in 2002, I had to bring it back to the dealer within the first 3 months because the light on the heated seat switch did not illuminate; you could not tell if it was on or off by sight. After taking the entire passenger side of my car apart, they found the problem. Since then, my car has had the lower ball joints replaced twice (though I still do not have the ones I should after the last recall in Sept 07), 3 exhaust systems, and still has a clunking sound when shifting from park to drive or reverse to drive (dealer says that all Jeeps do that), and the headlights mysteriously shut off and on while driving at night (dealer was unable to duplicate). The last time, the dealer had my car for 4 days to replace the exhaust manifold (a part that had previously been ordered (I received a card in the mail that said it was in)) but in the process, they needed to order another exhaust system since the one that was on there did not match up with the new exhaust manifold. While the car was in the shop for 4 days, they were unable to duplicate the headlight issue (which btw is hard to duplicate when you just leave the car sitting in the bay for days while you're waiting for a part, then spend the last day rushing to find the problem). I was supposed to take the car on a long road trip the day I got it back, but I decided not to and road with someone else. Good thing, because when I got back, the OBD II light came on (exhaust issue) and the problem that could not be duplicated, the headlight issue, reoccurred within one day of being home.
In the past, the dealer has been pretty good about dealing with these problems, but lately they have been difficult to deal with. I have had the car in the shop for the exhaust problem 5 times; each of the first 4 times they refused a loaner car, the last they finally gave me one from Enterprise. I am so glad I purchased the extended 7 year/100,000 mile warranty when I bought the car, or I'd be broke by now.
When I buy cars, it is usually with the intention of driving them for a long time and getting as much out of it as I can; I don't need a new car every three years. My Liberty is only 6 years old and I've been debating on keeping it, but I'm beginning to think that I should bail out now and get something safer. I love the Liberty, but I don't feel safe anymore and, what's worse, is I don't feel supported by the company: a combination that is just going to cost me a lot of money.
If you're out there thinking of buying a new Jeep... Buy the extended warranty.
If you're thinking of buying a pre-owned Jeep... don't!