Bought has issues

So I bought an 08 Jeep Liberty from this privileged college kid. I asked him about 5 times, in writing and in person, if it had any mechanical issues. Specifically if it had any transmission issues, being theyre known for that. Told me no mechanical issues, up and down. Fully functioning, no issues. Just a crack in the windshield and some scratches. Took it for a short ride around his neighborhood being it had no plates, obviously couldn’t go far. Didn’t notice anything. Signed the title, drove down the highway. Transmission slipping the whole time. It’s been 3 days and I’ve noticed a slew of issues from small to , possibly, big. Kid doesn’t answer his phone of course.

I feel like the kid or his father tampered with the check engine light. I don’t know if theres a fuse or if the bulb was pulled, but there’s no way the check engine light isn’t on. Guess it’s possible but seems unlikely. Does anyone have experience with this? Is there a way to tell if it’s been tampered with, short of opening the dash and looking for the bulb? I’m gonna hook it up to my obd, but I just wanted to try and solicit someone else’s advise on this.

Also seems like the injectors are bad or clogged, being it sputters at about 1500 rpm. Half the power locks don’t work. Heat only works on certain fan settings. Suspension doesn’t sound right. Sucks. Really got ripped. Buyer beware for sure!

Maybe me having it in writing him promising no mechanical issues will help down the road. Doubtful though.

Any help about the check engine light is appreciated!

Turn the key ON but not to crank… Is the check engine light on? If Yes, it hasn’t been tampered with. If not, Oops, could be burned out, could be tampered with.

You could have done that before you bought it. You could also have take it to a mechanic for an inspection before you bought it. Tow it there, have a mobile mechanic come to the car, whatever.

Legally, you might have some traction but in reality, you are stuck with this since all kiddie has to say is, “It was FINE when I drove it” and there is nothing you can do to prove otherwise.

We always recommend your mechanic look any car over before you buy it. Best $100 or so you’ll ever spend… which you will be proving here in a couple of weeks.


Sorry , but this is a case of shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you pushed the written statement all they have to say is that was their opinion at time of purchase . It might even say 'Sold as is ’ on your bill of sale. Next time pay a shop tp look at any used vehicle you might want.

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This probably varies a bit from one state to another, but in my state all private car sales are “as-is”
(no warranty) even without that statement in writing.

All I can suggest for the OP is to take the Jeep to a real mechanic (not a chain-run place like Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, or AAMCO) for an evaluation.

Okay, before I get any more replies, just wanna say that I’m very aware of the “I’m beat” factor about the sale. My post is more about the check engine light issue. I’m, again, acutely aware that I made a bad judgement call.

Again, my post is not about me getting ripped off, and wanting to pursue the seller.

Asked and answered.


Right! Duh of course! Will check and get back. Last time I turned it on I didn’t see it with the other lights that come on which is what sparked my concern. Thanks so much!

Wow, okay, well it did come on with just the battery on. Very surprising!

If you can read the OBDII codes or get them read, what are they? Maybe we can give you ideas on what is wrong.


Well good to know your check engine light is functional. But know this… the CEL does not cover all maladies in vehicles. There are many things outside the lights ability to report upon…so dont go all Sunshine n Rainbows yet … Sorry, but dems the facts.

The liberty is not a go to vehicle in Jeep land.


100 percent agree. There’s for sure some issues here. Just feel a little better knowing that he at least didn’t tamper with the light. Unfortunately this was my only decent option to buy right now. I was in an accident a few weeks ago (not at fault), I’m a paramedic still working, and I needed a small SUV. It’s what was available and what I could afford from my settlement, that also suited my needs. However, I was also under the impression there were no issues with it. If I get a year out of it I’ll be happy

I have another question, maybe someone can answer.

I’m noticing the power locks aren’t working on the driver’s side. Seems like the rear doesn’t work at all from the fob or the button inside, and the front sometimes works with the button. Seems like its getting triggered but not fully locking. Anyone know what this is? Actuator? Faulty wiring? Not very good with wiring and electrics.

Thanks again for the help!

Every time I have considered buying a used vehicle–regardless of whether it is licensed and insured–I always take it for a long test-drive, to see how it performs in traffic, and on the freeway. The risk of getting a ticket, which I’d attempt to contest in court anyways, is peanuts compared to the risk of buying a vehicle with hidden problems.

In fact, before even driving the car, I always require the opportunity to look inside the radiator, check the oil and transmission fluid, look for evidence of leaks, and start the engine from cold so I can see how it runs as it warms up. If the seller offers up any excuses why I cannot go to where the vehicle is normally parked so that I can start the engine from cold, I walk. Similarly, if the seller offers up any excuses why the car cannot be test-driven, unless it’s being sold cheap for parts or repair, I walk. No exceptions.


You started thread so you can edit the title. Remove I’m beat if you want

Re: the power door locks. First step is to check the fuses. There may be a couple of different fuse panels under the dash, inside the dash, and under the hood. The manual will give you some hints.

If all the fuses AND relays are good, get someone to read the OBD II codes from the BODY computer. All the consumer-grade scanners will only read the Powertrain § codes. You need to read the B codes and maybe the C (Chassis) codes. We have a local auto-electric shop that reads these for free. Hope you are equally lucky.

The wiring for the rear door lock might be broken inside the door jam since the lock doesn’t appear to be working at all. Stress on the wires causes them to break after about 10 years of wear time. There may be a short harness available for the door jam that you can replace if this is the issue. The trouble could also be due to a jammed solenoid inside the door. You can apply 12 volts to the solenoid manually to see if you can make it work. Reversing the polarity with make the solenoid work the in other direction. The front lock may just need some lubrication since it works part of the time.

You should really think about getting a factory service manual for the vehicle. Ebay is a good place to get one for a reasonable price. The manual will show you everything you want to know about the vehicle, especially the wiring. It is about the best investment you can make on the car.

The lock actuators are weak and failing, you will need to replace the latch assemblies. A common repair, Rock Auto has these door latches for $59.