Question about 2003 Jeep Liberty

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'03 Jeep Liberty starts weakly and needs gas pedal to idle

The truck starts somewhat weakly, which is strange because the battery is only 4 months old. Once running, slight pressure must be applied to the gas pedal, or the engine shuts off. Only slight pressure is needed. The idle air control valve was cleaned yesterday, and for the first 15 minutes the truck idled and ran fine. Started it this morning and it would not idle without pressing accelerator. Since the battery was disconnected for a while, I tried to reset the idle by holding the gas just enough to keep it running, but idle never reset. Any ideas?

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  • Oneal25 Jun 27, 2009

    It's having some trouble turning over. A few minutes ago I did get it to idle and run on its own for a few minutes. I suspected that turning on the A/C would kill it, and I was right. As soon as I turned it on the engine died.

  • Oneal25 Jun 28, 2009

    I think I'm describing this correctly now, hope it helps. It is turning over. The starter seems to be doing its job, the problem seems almost like a fuel supply issue to me. If I apply a small ammount of pressure to the accelerator as I'm turning the key it cranks normally. If I hold the pedal in that position the engine continues to run. If I let off, the engine dies. With no pressure on the gas pedal it will crank, but engine shuts down immediately. This may help: about 4 months ago the check engine light came on. There was a cam timing sensor problem. The cam sensor was replaced and the battery was also. We've had no problems until a few days ago, but this time there are no error codes for cam or crank sensors. No check engine light either. Could it be a charging system problem? Could that cause the computer to lose the idle setting?

  • Oneal25 Jun 28, 2009

    I'll go pick up a manual today and check out your suggestions. I'll post again when I find out something more about the situation. Thanks for all your help so far!

  • Oneal25 Jul 02, 2009

    Sorry it took me this long to post a follow-up, but here it is: After re-cleaning the passageways on the IAC, I checked to see if the problem was resolved. With each attempt the battery was noticeably weakening. Turns out the 4 month old battery was defective. Since I replaced it the Liberty has been fine. Thanks again, Thundergod for your help! Although it was an off-the-wall problem, your suggestions helped me narrow down the possibilities. Very helpful!

  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    Did you clean the passageways to the valve? Also...what do you mean, starting weakly??? Does the engine turn fast (normal) or is it turning slowly? Your starter does not start the's only job is to turn it so it can start.



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Turning over is what the starter does to the engine can turn an engine over with no spark plugs in it...but you can't start it. Turning over is cranking .....the starter turns (cranks) the engine over (comes from when you had to put a crank in the front of the engine and crank it.)
Does it crank normally but has trouble starting???????

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

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  • Richard Scordino Jun 28, 2009

    Could be that the throttle position sensor isn't working correctly, or that you did not clean the idle control passageways in the throttle body when you cleaned the valve. There is a test procedure for checking both in either haynes or need a decent volt/ohm meter to do this.Sometimes they will set a code, sometimes not. If the charging system was not working the battery voltage would fall off and the starter would fail to turn the engine long before the lower voltage would affect the engines ability to run (at any rpm). As far as what the computer does, one can never guess at what the computer is capable of doing ...they work well when they work, but can do strange things when they decide not to (oh, how I love computer systems!!!) But for now...ignore thoughts like that or it may throw you off-track. You did check for vacuum leaks (everywhere) correct?

  • Richard Scordino Jun 28, 2009

    Manual is a good idea it will help you with many other items as well. Only problem I have with the cheaper ones or even some of the better ones is that when it's time for me to go to the manual, I always am looking for something so far beyond what is in there that an answer is always "secret" info, that no one wants to give out!!!

  • Richard Scordino Jul 10, 2009

    Bad battery???OK anything can happen!!! Glad it's fine now!!! They changed the way I get replies (used to be posted to my e-mail, now I have to look for it) I didn't know that so I haven't returned anyone's questions. (progress??)


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Here's the solution. Replace the battery with a known good battery. The jeep will not run if the battery is bad and not providing 12volts . Even if you try to jump start it it will not run properly until you replace the battery.

Posted on Aug 30, 2011


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My 2004 jeep liberty sometimes doesnt wanna run I have to pump gas pedal to get it to run

Chrysler vehicles are infamous for losing there idle learn when battery voltage drops below a curtain range. And then has to be re learned by feathering the throttle. I would get the battery tested...or just replace it now that we're coming into winter.
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03 jeep liberty will not idle

welcome to fixya
i wuold check to see if any check engine lights are on? if so then read and clear and see if problem goes away. if not i would take a look at the idle control valve. if it is bad then vehicle will present same issues as you are stating. Other issues could be fuel filter, weak pump, or a good fuel cleaning could be in order. let me know and ill help you as much as i can
thank you for using fixya

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Jeep liberty 2003


Jul 28, 2008 | 2003 Jeep Liberty

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