I love my low mileage 2008 Jeep Liberty that I’ve owned and driven for 10 months. I recently returned from a 40 mile round trip out of town. About 5 miles from the end of the trip, disaster struck. A sudden high pitched squeal resulted in a sudden bang from the rear end. I pulled over to investigate and I smelled the unmistakeable aroma of hot differential lubricant. I also noticed some smoking from the rear end. The Jeep was towed to a local repair shop.
Steve called me a couple of days later with some questions. He told me that the little Jeep needed a new rear end and I was expecting that. The pinion bearing had failed and had damaged the pinion and ring gear. He suggested that I replace the entire rear end as they were plentiful and fairly cheap. He gave me a price of $600 for doing the job which included the replacement rear. It sounded cheap to me so I called a couple of other shops in the area. They both were within $100 of Steve’s estimate. Steve wanted to know how 90 weight gear oil wound up in the Jeep. I asked if that was a problem and he said yes.
The Liberty used 75W90 so that probably caused the bearing failure. I told him that the car dealer did a full service on the Jeep when I bought it. I did change the engine oil to Castrol as I have used it for over 40 years going back to my racing days. He is waiting on the rear end delivery so he removed the rear drive shaft for me. I need the Jeep for small trips that are not over 40mph. The front wheel drive works great with a small grumble from the rear. It does use more gas but gas prices are around $1.50 around here due to the corona virus so it’s not too bad on the wallet. I say weird in the title because most rear ends that go bad start weeks in advance. I had at most…a 2 minute warning.