2004 Jeep Liberty 3.7 Liter, Coolant Tank Leak
Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 16 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: I’m doing very well.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about jeeps, we’re back into the land of jeep, a Jeep Liberty 3.7 liter. So this is a gas engine which is a bit different than, talked a lot about their diesel vehicles, this is gas, what was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: Well, this vehicle came to us for a maintenance service and an inspection so we had a look at the vehicle and found a few things, one of them was a coolant leak on top of the engine which was not a huge leak but definitely something potentially serious which is why we’re talking about that on this hangout.
Mark: So was there a lot of coolant leaking?
Bernie: There wasn’t a lot and the interesting thing is the way the coolant was leaking, you know the way because of where the coolant was leaking, it wasn’t a large leak and could never amount to a large leak but where it was leaking was what’s really the most important thing. I’ll just show some photos here, this is our actual coolant leak. So this is the coolant overflow bottle, it’s located on the right hand side of the engine compartment and it’s basically an expansion tank for the cooling system, this is where the radiator cap, it’s, it’s out of the frame off to your right over here but the radiator cap sits on top. This is where you fill the coolant, now the red arrows are pointing to what’s broken on this piece. There’s a very small diameter hose, it’s basically an air bleed supposed to keep air out of the system so it circulates coolant and where the bottom arrow here, is where this piece here is supposed to attach into the coolant bottle so what’s happened is this, this has actually created a coolant, a small coolant leak that spews coolant out. Now where this bottle is located on the engine is kind of the critical part. I’m just going to work my way through these shares here, so this is the result of that coolant leak and if you look down, this is the top of, this is the right cylinder bank of the engine, and coolant bottle sits on top, now all that reddish coloured stuff that’s dried up anti-freeze, Chryslers anti-freeze from the factories are reddish coloured so that, it ends up showing like this. Now around here we have fuel injectors, we have ignition coils, that’s kind of the critical piece, the ignition coils sit in this area here and coolant is dripping down on top of the ignition coils running down into the spark plug wells. We have one more photo here, this is, these are the spark plug, sorry these are ignition coils taken on that cylinder bank so you can see that these coils are, this one’s o.k. but these ones are covered especially this one in the antifreeze residue and its run right down into the spark plug tube and caused, created an engine misfire. O.k.
Mark: So besides leaking coolant and you know potentially causing overheating problems, what other problems did this cause?
Bernie: Well this was actually causing the engine a slight misfire, the sparkplugs in this vehicle were quite old and we replaced them but I mean, had it started leaking a lot worse the engine would have developed, definitely developed severe misfire and with coolant seeping into wiring connectors, it can cause damage as well so I think, you know this leak may have been going on for a little while but we caught it at a good time to fix it, so the repair, basically new spark plugs just based on age, cleaning up all the leaked coolant and the ignition coils and replacing the coolant bottle and we flushed the coolant system with fresh antifreeze as well.
Mark: So how reliable would you say these gas powered Liberties are in comparison?
Bernie: Comparison to the diesel is what you’re saying?
Mark: Or into the, just into their competitors even.
Bernie: Yeah, yeah I’d say these vehicles do have their issues, the engines have problems you know, we’ve seen timing chain issues with them, we’ve also seen one common problem with this engine and it’s a 3.7 liter V6 Chrysler, also uses a 4.7 liter which is basically the same kind of engine but it has two extra cylinders, it’s a V8 and not a V6. One common problem in these engines is the valve seats fall out which is, which involves some major engine disassembly and major expense so you know, overall they’re not the most reliable vehicles out there, there’s a lot of them and if you’re asking do we want, which is better the diesel or the gas, I couldn’t really say which is better but because the diesels are, the diesels have their engine problems and they cost a lot to fix so if you’re wanting a vehicle that doesn’t have any problems, this isn’t the vehicle to buy but they are nice little niche vehicle you know, their size and being all wheel drive.
Mark: Anything further on the Jeep Liberty?
Bernie: No, I’d say you know, if you’re looking to buy a used one definitely get an inspection done on it and just do your research and know these particular items, you know if the diesel you know the, you’ve seen our hangouts, there’s a lot of information on the diesel, the problems in the 3.7 liter engine which is the other offering, there’s issues with those so as long as you go in knowing what to expect then there’s no surprises and everything can be, it can only be better.
Mark: And would you say with a vehicle like this that doesn’t have the best kind of record that regular maintenance is even more critical?
Bernie: We it is for sure, regular inspections, regular maintenance definitely more critical. We just talked about timing chains on Acura’s in our last hangout, again these engines all have overhead, overhead cam systems with timing chains and so again regular oil changes are just absolutely crucial to the life of these engines, so yeah good maintenance is really important.