Questions/feedback about buying a 2011-12 Liberty

AimFL

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Hi! Been looking for these years for a month or so, it's really the best fit for me. I am driving around a Ford Escape ('18, very nice but I want something more fun and cheaper while waiting to order a Land Rover Defender - no judging lol) and am going to trade that in while the money's good and get one of these fun years. I am definitely getting a sunroof and I honestly HATE leather, so I'm hoping for cloth. Everything with lower miles (some of you do NOT drive these anywhere!!) is around $16-20k! The Carmax guy told me not to buy these, they tend to have a lot of problems. It was a Carmax car, so I'm not sure why he would even say that lol. Anyway, what should I be looking for other than no accidents/etc. Anything mechanical I should be able to ask about and avoid? I'm aiming for about 70k miles or less (common sense? or should I aim for higher if it's one or two owners since maybe more things got fixed?), which seems attainable. I will be switching out the radio for a camera and apple carplay, etc. I hope the tires will be pretty new. Anything mechanical on certain types of these years I should watch for, and how? And what kind of problems am I getting into over time? I love these years of the Liberty because it's fun, drives higher up than the Patriot and other mid-size SUVs (higher than my Escape) but isn't annoying inside like the Wrangler or harder to drive like the Wrangler (to me, don't be offended lol). Hope to join y'all soon!
 

JRB

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Howdy. I have a KJ, so I can't help with any specifics, someone can hopefully join in with their KK experiences or you can try searching for KK general problems (or similar terms) to see if anyone has mentioned some things.

The no sunroof part is a great start to not have to worry about leaks, some have a sky something roof that is prone to leaking and I believe hard to find parts.

I'm in south FL, carmax is rough down here, as far as very high prices for some cars that still need paint and mechanical repair. A client I detail his cars for bought a cooper s with 1,200 miles, 5 days after purchase needed some sort of intake sensor. It wasn't covered in their warranty and was quoted $1400, I thought there was some sort of drive it for a week and if you don't love it they buy it back warranty, maybe they stopped that. He's had 2 cars from them over the last 5 years that had some sort of issue, not saying you will but be as diligent as you can be while looking, maybe inquire about the used car warranty and what all they cover for how long.

I personally would take a 100k mile vehicle with documented service records and lower owners than lower miles and no/less records.
 

lfhoward

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The KK is a solid vehicle. No trouble spots to speak of, other than the sky slider roof (avoid at all costs). Most issues people have with them can happen to any vehicle as the miles creep up. Good maintenance is the key to a long life.

The Liberty in general depreciates faster than a Wrangler. That’s good when buying one used, but bad when you want to trade it in later. Pros and cons. There are used Liberties out there with reasonably low miles, for under $7-10K. (Or $2000 if you don’t mind 200K+ miles on the odometer.) The fact that there are 200K mile Liberties for sale is a testament that they can last a good long time.
 

AimFL

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Howdy. I have a KJ, so I can't help with any specifics, someone can hopefully join in with their KK experiences or you can try searching for KK general problems (or similar terms) to see if anyone has mentioned some things.

The no sunroof part is a great start to not have to worry about leaks, some have a sky something roof that is prone to leaking and I believe hard to find parts.

I'm in south FL, carmax is rough down here, as far as very high prices for some cars that still need paint and mechanical repair. A client I detail his cars for bought a cooper s with 1,200 miles, 5 days after purchase needed some sort of intake sensor. It wasn't covered in their warranty and was quoted $1400, I thought there was some sort of drive it for a week and if you don't love it they buy it back warranty, maybe they stopped that. He's had 2 cars from them over the last 5 years that had some sort of issue, not saying you will but be as diligent as you can be while looking, maybe inquire about the used car warranty and what all they cover for how long.

I personally would take a 100k mile vehicle with documented service records and lower owners than lower miles and no/less records.
Thank you! Is a KJ better than a KK and what years are those? I read an article that the 2009 was the beset year for the least amount of mechanical issues but that seems so old to me to purchase. And yes, at least here, Carmax does have a 7 day money back guarantee and I thought their 90 day warranty was bumper to bumper everything. I hope so!
 

AimFL

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The KK is a solid vehicle. No trouble spots to speak of, other than the sky slider roof (avoid at all costs). Most issues people have with them can happen to any vehicle as the miles creep up. Good maintenance is the key to a long life.

The Liberty in general depreciates faster than a Wrangler. That’s good when buying one used, but bad when you want to trade it in later. Pros and cons. There are used Liberties out there with reasonably low miles, for under $7-10K. (Or $2000 if you don’t mind 200K+ miles on the odometer.) The fact that there are 200K mile Liberties for sale is a testament that they can last a good long time.
Very good points! Thank you!
 

lfhoward

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Some Jeep acronyms that are involved with the evolution of the Liberty/Cherokee:

XJ Cherokee was made 1984-2001 in the US (longer in China)
KJ Liberty (called Cherokee abroad) was 2002-2007
KK Liberty (called Cherokee abroad) was 2008-2012
KL Cherokee is 2014-present

And for Wrangler type Jeeps:

CJ was made 1946-1986 and had many versions
YJ was 1986-1995 and had square headlights
TJ Wrangler was 1997-2006
LJ was the extended wheelbase, still 2 door version of the TJ, 2004-2006
JK was the first Wrangler with wider axles, 2007-2018
JKU was the extended wheelbase 4 door Wrangler, 2007-2018
JL is the current Wrangler, 2018-present
JLU is the extended wheelbase, 4 door version of the JL, 2018-present
JT is the Wrangler-based, Gladiator 4 door pickup truck, 2020-present
 

Jeepkj2022

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Hi! Been looking for these years for a month or so, it's really the best fit for me. I am driving around a Ford Escape ('18, very nice but I want something more fun and cheaper while waiting to order a Land Rover Defender - no judging lol) and am going to trade that in while the money's good and get one of these fun years. I am definitely getting a sunroof and I honestly HATE leather, so I'm hoping for cloth. Everything with lower miles (some of you do NOT drive these anywhere!!) is around $16-20k! The Carmax guy told me not to buy these, they tend to have a lot of problems. It was a Carmax car, so I'm not sure why he would even say that lol. Anyway, what should I be looking for other than no accidents/etc. Anything mechanical I should be able to ask about and avoid? I'm aiming for about 70k miles or less (common sense? or should I aim for higher if it's one or two owners since maybe more things got fixed?), which seems attainable. I will be switching out the radio for a camera and apple carplay, etc. I hope the tires will be pretty new. Anything mechanical on certain types of these years I should watch for, and how? And what kind of problems am I getting into over time? I love these years of the Liberty because it's fun, drives higher up than the Patriot and other mid-size SUVs (higher than my Escape) but isn't annoying inside like the Wrangler or harder to drive like the Wrangler (to me, don't be offended lol). Hope to join y'all soon!
Hi! Been looking for these years for a month or so, it's really the best fit for me. I am driving around a Ford Escape ('18, very nice but I want something more fun and cheaper while waiting to order a Land Rover Defender - no judging lol) and am going to trade that in while the money's good and get one of these fun years. I am definitely getting a sunroof and I honestly HATE leather, so I'm hoping for cloth. Everything with lower miles (some of you do NOT drive these anywhere!!) is around $16-20k! The Carmax guy told me not to buy these, they tend to have a lot of problems. It was a Carmax car, so I'm not sure why he would even say that lol. Anyway, what should I be looking for other than no accidents/etc. Anything mechanical I should be able to ask about and avoid? I'm aiming for about 70k miles or less (common sense? or should I aim for higher if it's one or two owners since maybe more things got fixed?), which seems attainable. I will be switching out the radio for a camera and apple carplay, etc. I hope the tires will be pretty new. Anything mechanical on certain types of these years I should watch for, and how? And what kind of problems am I getting into over time? I love these years of the Liberty because it's fun, drives higher up than the Patriot and other mid-size SUVs (higher than my Escape) but isn't annoying inside like the Wrangler or harder to drive like the Wrangler (to me, don't be offended lol). Hope to join y'all soon!
I have a 2012 Liberty: 2wd, ‘leather’ seats, 65,*** miles. $8900. Selling it to get a Nissan SUV 4wd. If interested email at [email protected]. I don’t frequent this forum much, thx.
 

mgd

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I have a 2012 KK with about 240K miles. I bought it new in October 2012; it had been on the lot for several months and had been test driven once, so it had about 6 or 8 miles on the odometer. While it is a Liberty “Sport” the dealer had it loaded with options, including moon roof, heated leather seats, upgraded sound system, and 18” wheels. The rear wheels have Grand Cherokee-style disc brakes, with drum parking brakes. This cause me problems when I was doing a brake job on the rear axle.

It has the factory tow package

You asked about repairs/mechanical issues: I’ve had to have the heater distribution box replaced twice. This involves removing the entire dashboard, evacuating the refrigerant etc. Requires about 6-9 hours of labor. I had to have the hinges for the rear flip window replaced as they were rusting out. For the first 150K miles, I seemed to get only 25-26K miles on a set of tires. Current tires have about 60k miles on them and still have some tread left. I’ve re-done the brakes once.

The only other mechanical problem I’ve had was when the #1 cylinder valve spring broke. This rendered the Jeep almost completely undrivable. I was in northern Arizona (a bit north of the North Rim of Grand Canyon) on US-89A when this happened. I managed to drive to Kanab, UT, where I rented a U-Haul truck and towing trailer to get it back to the dealer in Heber City, UT.


I used this Jeep to tow a 2008 17’ Casita molded fiberglass trailer about 50k miles; I also used it as my daily driver to get to work from 2012 to 2018. I am now retired, but it is still the car I drive the most. I replaced it as my tow vehicle with a 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport.

My KK replaced a 1996 XJ Cherokee which I bought as the 3rd owner with 105K miles. That Cherokee was easily the most fun vehicle I’ve ever owned. I got in a fender bender; wound up giving it to my brother who still drives it around.

My 2012 Jeep Liberty Sport KK is not for sale. It is worth far more to me than the two or three thousand dollars I would receive in a sale.
 

JibeHo22

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I have a 2012 KK with about 240K miles. I bought it new in October 2012; it had been on the lot for several months and had been test driven once, so it had about 6 or 8 miles on the odometer. While it is a Liberty “Sport” the dealer had it loaded with options, including moon roof, heated leather seats, upgraded sound system, and 18” wheels. The rear wheels have Grand Cherokee-style disc brakes, with drum parking brakes. This cause me problems when I was doing a brake job on the rear axle.

It has the factory tow package

You asked about repairs/mechanical issues: I’ve had to have the heater distribution box replaced twice. This involves removing the entire dashboard, evacuating the refrigerant etc. Requires about 6-9 hours of labor. I had to have the hinges for the rear flip window replaced as they were rusting out. For the first 150K miles, I seemed to get only 25-26K miles on a set of tires. Current tires have about 60k miles on them and still have some tread left. I’ve re-done the brakes once.

The only other mechanical problem I’ve had was when the #1 cylinder valve spring broke. This rendered the Jeep almost completely undrivable. I was in northern Arizona (a bit north of the North Rim of Grand Canyon) on US-89A when this happened. I managed to drive to Kanab, UT, where I rented a U-Haul truck and towing trailer to get it back to the dealer in Heber City, UT.


I used this Jeep to tow a 2008 17’ Casita molded fiberglass trailer about 50k miles; I also used it as my daily driver to get to work from 2012 to 2018. I am now retired, but it is still the car I drive the most. I replaced it as my tow vehicle with a 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport.

My KK replaced a 1996 XJ Cherokee which I bought as the 3rd owner with 105K miles. That Cherokee was easily the most fun vehicle I’ve ever owned. I got in a fender bender; wound up giving it to my brother who still drives it around.

My 2012 Jeep Liberty Sport KK is not for sale. It is worth far more to me than the two or three thousand dollars I would receive in a sale.
Interesting. What exactly was the problem with the heater distribution box that required replacing it 2x?
 

JibeHo22

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Thanks for that additional detail for the HVAC mode door/actuator issue.
This video provides an interesting workaround for the actual root cause of the issue that I thought was very innovative.
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