Long term reliability

_UnLiMiTeD_

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Hi there, been a long time since I’ve been on these forums. I used to own a 2004 Kj, unfortunately my time with it was very short since my job change required a lot of travel and went for a more economical car. I loved it for the couple years I had it and never had issues with it.

Fast forward over a decade later and my wife has finally got the medical clearance to get her license and is looking for a used suv to start learning on.

I’m wondering between the Kj and KK, what years would be best to look for in terms of reliability. She loves the size and ride height of these and loved mine when I had it. I’ve found a few in my area with about 110k Kilometers. Any main issues to look out for?

Any advice is appreciated!
 

LibertyTC

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Welcome back.
I've searched craigslist and could not found any KJ's or KK's with under 150,000km. Many are around 200 km & more.
If you have been able to find a few at 110 k that would be great.
Look for rust & consider getting it inspected. Having a previous history of repairs would be a bonus from a private owner.
Overall my KJ has not had any major issues, yet it will need valve cover gaskets coming up and some other brake work etc soon.
 

_UnLiMiTeD_

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Welcome back.
I've searched craigslist and could not found any KJ's or KK's with under 150,000km. Many are around 200 km & more.
If you have been able to find a few at 110 k that would be great.
Look for rust & consider getting it inspected. Having a previous history of repairs would be a bonus from a private owner.
Overall my KJ has not had any major issues, yet it will need valve cover gaskets coming up and some other brake work etc soon.
Not sure where you live, but my luck so far has been on Facebook market place actually. One with 110,000k and another with 138k. Both are 08 models, one has that sky roof, any known issues of that roof leaking long term?
 

LibertyTC

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The main issue with the sky slider roof is lack of parts availability = zero. If it breaks, really bad news.
I'd pass on the skyslider.
I'll let other KK owners chime in as I have a KJ and they will know more on leaks.
 

_UnLiMiTeD_

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Avoid the sky slider, check! Lol

Appreciate the input so far. Not looking to spend a ton of money on a first car for her to learn on. But she doesn’t want a car where she feels she’s sitting on the ground.
 

_UnLiMiTeD_

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Hopefully in the next few weeks, I’ll have one tracked down for her. She’s too scared to drive my Durango lol.
 

Scooter 1991

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I just purchased a 2010 liberty limited in October. Mine has the skyslider and it still functions as its supposed to. It rained for almost a week straight after I got it and no leaks. I think the issue with them breaking may have just been user error. If there is snow/ice on the roof it should not be opened. If temps are below freezing or have been and there could be ice in the system and it should not be opened. Like most retractable roofs and sunroofs, they need to be greased and have the weather seals conditioned periodically to maintain a good seal. Its a cool feature if its maintained. I wouldn't let the skyslider scare you away from a good deal. If you don't care for it just pull the fuse and don't use it. If it is a leaker you'll be able to tell by the water stains on the ceiling. Good luck with your search! The KK is definitely underrated!
 

tommudd

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I just purchased a 2010 liberty limited in October. Mine has the skyslider and it still functions as its supposed to. It rained for almost a week straight after I got it and no leaks. I think the issue with them breaking may have just been user error. If there is snow/ice on the roof it should not be opened. If temps are below freezing or have been and there could be ice in the system and it should not be opened. Like most retractable roofs and sunroofs, they need to be greased and have the weather seals conditioned periodically to maintain a good seal. Its a cool feature if its maintained. I wouldn't let the skyslider scare you away from a good deal. If you don't care for it just pull the fuse and don't use it. If it is a leaker you'll be able to tell by the water stains on the ceiling. Good luck with your search! The KK is definitely underrated!
Many had issues soon after buying them back in the day.
I agree that they need maintained but with these sunroofs they were bad from the get go really.
Not sure if cheap parts, poor workmanship or what it was but ,....
No wonder they stopped installing them
 

Scooter 1991

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Yeah I've read the horror stories lol good thing is it can be manually closed using a torque driver if it ever fails
 

tommudd

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Yeah I've read the horror stories lol good thing is it can be manually closed using a torque driver if it ever fails
LOL not always
I knew a young lad who bought a brand new KK with skyslider when I lived in Toledo
After owning it 4 months, only opened it once they went on a trip to Chicago
It rained they had it open
They were at 3 dealerships around Chicago trying to get it repaired or closed
none could help, they drove home to Toledo with it open , still very wet inside
Next day it was on the dealers lot, they traded it in
Dealer had it about 4 months till they sent it to auction
Knew one of the techs there real well, only thing he would say was it was a hunk of garbage
So the " horror " stories are true , been around with KJ/KK owners a long time
 
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John P.

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I have a 2011 KK. It's been a good reliable vehicle so far for the 2 years I've owned it. In 20k miles the only real mechanical failure was the fan clutch. Maintenance wise I have replaced rear brakes and rotors including new parking shoes and hardware, transmission pan, oil pan, sway bar links, flush and replace brake fluid and power steering fluid, and shocks (twice tried cheap ones and replaced with good ones). It currently will need a new front hub bearing but I'm dragging my feet until spring gets here. Also will probably order a new timing set from cloyes, I have a weak tensioner that is more of an annoyance than a problem(chain clatter when first started). I too have seen many KK's with 200k plus for sale so they must be somewhat reliable over the long term.
 

Johnny O

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176k and climbing. Only real issues are ones I created through lack of experience with Jeeps.
 

classiccat

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I’m a lurker here after we “inherited” my deceased FIL’s 2012 KK this past summer…it only had 89k and the undercarriage is relatively immaculate for a quazi-salt belt vehicle (spent a lot of time in NJ & PA). I had to do a little surface rust repair on the rear most floorpan…nothing remotely close to rotting through (now she’s completely covered with fluid film…rockers are packed with it).

He only owned it for a short while before he passed away; he only drove it a handful of times.

So she’s a creampuff in my eyes…long list of things that I/we love about it; she’s definitely a keeper.

Despite the carfax history which shows somewhat regular “service” intervals, she has a laundry list of issues due to overlooked preventative maintenance.

From major to minor:

The transmission (42RLE) is toast.
* One of the 1st things I did was drop the pan b/c I could see seeping and the pan itself was bubbling.
* I was not expecting to find the horror show inside…severely burnt fluid, ton of metal in the pan with bubbling/flaking paint INSIDE of the pan. The filter was packed with metal...mostly aluminum.
* I've done 3 pan drops with 1k on fully cycled fluid (through the trans cooler output) and each time the pan & filter were filled with debris (Aluminum, clutch, steel, etc.) and now it’s throwing codes <P0740(TC clutch) and now P0869(pressure)>
* It would be great if you can get it on a scanner & check the TC lockup (mine isn’t) & CVI tests to estimate how much life is left (my OD clutch is non-existent.)
* At a minimum, check the fluid color/level…in a pinch you can use the engine oil dipstick…but if you’re going to own a KK, you’ll want a dipstick with the ruler; target is around 45mm @ 195F fluid temp (I monitor temp with a ScanGauge 2)
* Check service interval to see if it’s had Trans service in the 30-45k range.
* Needless to say, our rig is parked until the replacement ****** with TC arrives.

Front hubs / axle nut corrosion:
* Pull the front wheels and see if there’s severe corrosion there.
* Mine are horrible…the nut and protruding axle threads are unrecognizable.
* I figure I’ll be replacing both front axles very soon.
* Regular tire rotations obviously were ignored.
* It seem like the KJ's are not prone to this issue.

Cold "Lifter" Tick (? I’m not 100% sure it’s lifter(s)...stethoscope suggests that its coming from that area)
* I’ve been on a 1k mile OCI (with MMO + 10w30) and it seems to be getting better.

Engine Oil Pan:
* Completely covered with surface rust with some areas starting to pit esp around contours.

Spark Plugs:
* Easy job but a lot of folks are conditioned to change plugs at ~100k (i.e. iridium) when these have a 30k service interval.
* Ours still had the original plugs and the gaps were about 2x spec. J It was beginning to have problems starting and this is probably why.

Leaking rear pinion seal
* It wasn’t too bad yet…a drip or 2 overnight so I changed that out.
* relatively easy job; I made witness marks & measured the rotation torque to achieve the same pinion preload when I reinstalled the yoke.

E-brake:
* I’ve replaced the ebrake shoes, taken up all of the slack yet still struggling to find that happy medium of stoppability (on a hill) and not rubbing while underway.

Brakes:
* The fluid in our reservoir looked like coke a cola and all 4 calipers had at least 1 slide pin that was rust seized.
* The dealer that sold the vehicle to my FIL should be ashamed…they even did a pad swap and didn’t even bother to pull the slide pins or flush out that **** fluid.
 
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NavyStore

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My 2008 KK has had a few issues, mainly the SkySlider being repaired twice (about $3k USD out-of-pocket each time but Chrysler split costs with me both times). Yes, I still use the roof, and yes I do have some seepage issues. Just don't take it through an automatic car wash with the high power plowers! Also, when you hand wash it, don't use a power sprayer on the roof, as that'll blast water past the seals. Then I had an issue with a rat chewing through a transmission cooler line when it got stuck in the engine bay (weird incident) and that was almost $2k USD for parts, labor, etc... because they also had to replace/rebuild the AC system, and that had cost another $2500 or so because of multiple failures. I live near Seattle, and use the AC about three months a year.

Mechanically, she's great. Yes, I get the 'mystery ding' from occasional codes that don't trigger anything, and sometimes it will show a code that then disappears three days later. I also have the strange cold lifter tick (but when the engine lets go, I have the Jeep Powertrain Warranty (got lucky since I'm original owner) and plan on driving this thing forever. Since I flat tow it behind my RV, it has about 50k miles more on the frame than the chassis than on the odometer. So, I do the axle, brakes and tire work earlier than recommended. I had a tune-up done about 90k miles and they replace the plugs (OEM ones were still looking good), wires, etc. Only upgrade I did was a K&N intake system which gave me a big power boost, but cost me about one MPG. I do have a mystery coolant leak, somewhere. No pooling in the floorboard, and no coolant in the Mobil1 full synthetic when I get it changed. So far, no regrets about buying or keeping it. I know one day I'll have to put her out to pasture, but hopefully not for a long, long time.
 

_UnLiMiTeD_

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It’s a shame because the lowest mileage one we have found is one with the sky slider roof but very hesitant to even test drive it if that’s the case with them as we get a lot of rain here
 

Jesse Maiolo

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I have an 08 Liberty with 153k and counting. Some replaced parts here and there but overall nothing major. I've had it since around July. I live in a snowy area and I stay on top of any rust issue. Before this I had an 03 with 230k,no major issues. It's a Chrysler product so it will break at some point. The reliability of the engine and ****** however, seem to be pretty damn good. That's why i've been buying old Jeeps for years. Going back to when the Cherokee was a box on wheels with the 4.0. Can't **** that one!!
 

klc

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My 06 had 196k mikes when I bought it last July, I’ve had the dealer and a couple of shops look at it, and they say it’s pretty solid. I did need to have the transmission cooler lines replaced, the TPMS also needs a new wireless control unit, but those are the only expensive things so far. In March I’ll see about new springs and shocks, it is sitting an inch low.
 

sparky88

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I got a 2011 just going on 39K. Just changed oil regularly. Had to replace gas tank / skid plate support.
Plan on keeping for a long time. Original owner, bought new from the dealership. Live in MI. It’s a Renegade. We had a sun roof put in it. Old but still very nice.
 

_UnLiMiTeD_

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Just wanted to update this and say thank you for the help and suggestions. We decided to just get her the dream jeep she’s wanted for years. 2019 wrangler Sahara unlimited with 15k on it. Loaded up with all the options including the sky slider roof. We were very intrigued by that on the Liberty but atleast this one has an extended warranty in case leaks come up. So far she’s loving it, got a paint correction and ceramic coating on it as well.

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