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Alternator & Battery Fail; Transmission Locked in Park


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My son came home in his 2008 Liberty tonight, with the battery lamp lit on the dash and that distinctive ...

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Old 04-11-2018, 11:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Alternator & Battery Fail; Transmission Locked in Park

My son came home in his 2008 Liberty tonight, with the battery lamp lit on the dash and that distinctive burnt alternator smell.

He pulled in our driveway, blocking the other two family cars. His Liberty will not restart; it is electrically dead, and the transmission will not leave Park. I actually did not need another reason to hate automatic transmissions. I charged the battery for about an hour and put it back in the Liberty, but no crank and no movement out of Park. I had to drive both of our functional cars across my next-door neighbor’s lawn.

It is dark in the driveway, so I didn’t get a great look at the alternator removal possibilities. Is there anything about the job that I should know? How is the serpentine belt tensioned?

Thanks - Steve

Last edited by steverose359@gmail.com; 04-12-2018 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is an automatic adjustment pulley on the passengers side of the block. Make sure to disconnect the battery before you start the job.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Very easy job. Even more so if you don't have HD cooling. Just take the belt off (go clockwise on tensioner bolt to relieve tension and slip the belt off) - I have HD cooling and I didn't even need to remove the fans or anything, just let the belt drop off. Undo the 2 (or alternator bolts, the wiring plug and the bolt for the ground and it's out. Easy job.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My son and I pulled out the alternator last night. The 2008 Liberty has a big plastic tank over the whole top of the radiator, which is right in front of the alternator, but it wasn't too bad to get it free and pry it out.

I am a little puzzled about why the transmission is stuck in Park. Hopefully, after we get power back to the system with the new alternator and new battery, it will straighten up. Because the vehicle cannot be pushed, we are working on it out in the open. We are forecasted in Minneapolis to get 2-4 inches of snow tonight and another 3-7 inches tomorrow. The moral of the story: Don't buy tickets to Minnesota Twins home games in April.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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also smack your son upside the head for blocking everyone in like that.
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Old 04-14-2018, 01:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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There is a park override switch on the shifter. It's a tab that must be lifted. Push your key down, and out of park it will go.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You need to remove the center console ...There are two screws in the bottom of the CD storage box and one under the 2WD/4WD lever boot... You should be then able to lift the console...You will find under the shift lever a solenoid with a steel rod on the left hand side of the shift lever... Pull the rod down and that will release the lever from the park position.... I found this on my 06 Renegade...
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I found that tab next to the shifter and popped it out. I stuck the car key into the hole, which allowed the shifter to move out of park, but it would not move more than half way to R. We tried stepping on the brake, turning the wheel, rocking the car, but it would not go into neutral. I probed around with a screwdriver, but no luck.

Now there is 14 or 15 inches of snow on the Liberty, and it is blocking the driveway. Perfect storm.

Putting a transmission into neutral seems kind of basic. Why do they make it so hard?
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Key needs to be in and turned. Foot brake pressed. The key interlock with the gearshift can be disabled by removing the top and bottom plastic around the steering column behind the wheel... Look for the cable coming from the gearshift and there's a plastic lock to disengage up by the key. Disengage the latch and the plastic end of the cable housing should slide all the way out disabling the key interlock. I don't know how the interlock works on the brake pedal end.

What about putting the transfer case in neutral?
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When I removed the fire damaged shift assembly I did see a cable going up to the steering wheel shaft...I never thought about it working the "other way"... Good Thoughts!
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