Jeep Lberty E-Brake issues -
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Unread 05-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
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Jeep Lberty E-Brake issues

For those who own a Jeep Liberty I have discovered that the E-brake is not self adjusting. Although Chryslers manual says so they lied to the consumer again. My wife happens to own a Liberty and her E-brake would nto work/stop the vehicle. Well after removing the drum there is no self adjusting device. The unit needs to be adjusted manually from under the car. There is an oval shape access hole in the side of the drums splash gaurd that is capped by a rubber grommet. You ned to remove the grommet and with an adjusting tool, move the adjuster star pinon until the wheell seems like it slows as you try to turn it. You can get the tool from an auto parts store.

I am appalled that Chrysler again has hidden an extremely serious problem from the consumer. The dealer must adjust this for free if you are having difficulty. If they wont, file a complant with the attorney generals office. The more the merrier. Another way is to file a complaint with the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association about this problem. I had ours resolved with a certified letter to their manager threatening legal action if they did not take care of this.

You have the right to have on your vehicle a self adjusting emergency brake required by law. If you own a Liberty, try your E-brake it probably will,not stop your car either until manually adjusted.

Last edited by mrsafetyman; 05-12-2009 at 06:42 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 05-12-2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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Trick to self adjusting inside brake handle

Unfortunately some things just do not work right and you hit the nail on the head. Even trying to get physical re-call in place takes years.
Chrysler is not wanting to fix anything for free, especially now filing 4 bankruptcy.
There is a cable adjuster inside the e brake handle, just does not work good.
SO what I do to tighten the cable is look inside the ebrake handle cover, you will notice a spring with a silver clip (tab) at the top. To tighten cable so the handle does not come up so high, Bring the ebrake handle all the way up , now use a screw driver and hold that tab back, while releasing the brake handle down. You may have to repeat the tab hold, but it will eventually make it tight for a while again. I just carry a screwdriver to tighten the ebrake.
Good luck asking them to tighten the ebrake by rear brake adjuster for free . I wish they would too.

Last edited by LibertyTC; 05-12-2009 at 10:26 PM..
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Unread 05-13-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input. I have read their, Chryslers 2100 page fixit manual and it shows an automatic adjuster in the rear brake assembly yet the mechanism just isn't there. I was told by many parts dealers that Chrysler knows about this problem and the parts person said, by the way, I sell an adjustment tool becuase we know of the problem we had a tool made. In order to adjust them properly you need to remove the rubber cap against the wheel housing under the car. The right side you move the star drive up and the left side goes downward to tighten. Man how is the customer to do this?? Well my wifes dealer West Herr has been adjusting the brakes for free since 2004 without a charge. So I guess they know about it also. We did try the interior brake lever area also without good luck in toghtening the parking brake. Oh know whats funny, they actually call this a parking brake and yet the dealer calls it an e brake soemthing the automakers have taken out of the equation long time ago. They no longer call them emergency brakes due to liability in the early 1990's. If you read thier manuals they clal it the parking brake for of it were and emergency brake and it fails, the liability would be substantial as previous with all the bogus lawsuits in the eighties regarding the E Brake. Thanks again for the suggestion. The NHTSA does have our complaint and we will see how diligent they are. I won't hold my breath as you said.
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Unread 05-16-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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I am not sure of the date, but some of the '08 Liberties may have been part of the recall on the e-brake. I have an '07 Nitro 6-speed and my e-brake never worked from the day I took delivery.

I took mine to the dealer and they put the new, re-designed brake assembly in and now this is the best handbrake I have had on any car. It even holds better than my drum-brake Wrangler. The new mechanism is looks different and in my case they needed to replace the console to fit the new part.

All this is part of a recall and the cost is free. Check with your dealer.

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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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I just bought an 05 Liberty Renegade and yeah the e-brake was USELESS. They are fixing it this Fruiday for FREE. I did not know about this issue but I did tell them I am not paying for the fix.
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Unread 05-20-2009, 10:59 AM   #6
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I have an 05 KJ and mine is fine.

OP didn't say what year he has and some have drum brakes on the rear and some have discs. I think in 06+ they went to discs as standard. So the e-brake set-up can be different depending on what you got..
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Unread 05-20-2009, 12:34 PM   #7
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Just picked up my 2008 Liberty a month ago. I had to take it in on Monday for finish detailing and I had already noticed that the e-brake was soft. They assured me that it was adjusted correctly, but it is still soft.

I will try some adjustment to see if I can correct the problem myself.
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Unread 05-26-2009, 03:12 AM   #8
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I have an '08 KK and I have problems with my Ebrake as well. I brought it up to three diffrent dealers and they ALL told me it was self-adjusting. My Ebrake has never held my KK - it has always rested on the tranny and now my tranny is giving me problems. A few weeks ago, I intentionally drove backwards for several hundred feet and it seemed to tighten and work better - the first time. After that first time, it was back to it's predicted shenanigans.

It's sad to hear this is a common problem and it just adds to my list of gripes. DC made a horrible mistake with this vehicle at the buyer's expense.
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Unread 11-29-2009, 06:21 AM   #9
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Having read this post with interest, I have a related issue:

Here’s history of a similar issue at our selling Jeep dealer:
My wife and I were regular customers who, among other things acquired three brand-new Jeeps here, valued at nearly $100,000.00 in just six years, but were treated like outcasts when we tried to fix the emergency brake. They accused me of damaging my own vehicle with an inferior brake job just before THEY caused over $426 in body damage by backing the car out of their own garage and driving into a door. They recommended the brake job. They billed Chrysler for a new vehicle defect while they simultaneously accused me of damaging my own vehicle??? Even though I asked, they refused to provide any evidence of the damage that they accused me of. They stated that the rusty/defective parts: “were shipped out immediately after the repair was performed”.

After multiple contacts and repair attempts from 10/8/09 – 10/19/09, the dealer never fixed the problem. It eventually took just one visit to another dealer to identify the cause of the problem and fix it on their first try.

In early October, 2009, the emergency brake on my wife’s 2007 Jeep Liberty stopped holding the car on an incline. It worked fine literally just one week before. The emergency brake lever needed to be pulled up much farther (over 1 foot father) than before, and when that happened, we heard a strange noise in the rear of the car.

On 10/8/09, my wife brought the car in to the selling dealer to fix the problem, but it wasn’t fixed. She was charged $37.75 for a brake adjustment that made no difference and the adjustment should have been covered under the new car warranty. See footnote #1 re: the warranty.

On the same day the dealer recommended rear brake work and I performed that work, even though it made no sense that emergency brake linings, which are only 1/4” thick would cause the emergency brake cable to be pulled over one foot farther than normal. Upon performing the work, I saw that it wasn’t necessary, as the rear pads/rotors/shoes weren’t worn significantly; the car only had 27k miles on it and still has the original front brakes. Front brakes usually wear before the rear brakes.
This repair, recommended by the dealer didn’t fix the problem but cost me $156 in parts alone.

Another appointment was made and the car was returned to the dealer on 10/15/09. He ordered parts and replaced one rear brake backing plate on 10/19 under the new car warranty because it was defective, clearly rusted and loose. The car was out of service for 5 days for this repair alone. Once again, this didn’t fix the problem.

On 10/15, I witnessed the technician as he backed the car into a partially closed garage door, inflicting over $426 in body damage. The car remained at the garage four more days, awaiting parts. The dealer provided a loaner car because just a few weeks prior, the same Jeep was out of service when one of the windows fell into the door. Another window fell into the door just a few weeks prior to that, but that’s another story…

Upon picking the car up on 10/19, I was charged $26.95 by the same dealer to re-adjust the same brakes a second time in just two weeks! This adjustment was required because every single part from the rear brake had to be removed and re-installed piece-by piece as a result of the warranty repair, but a simple adjustment wasn’t covered?

In addition, the satellite radio didn’t work. I noticed it immediately after pulling out of the dealership. Keep in mind that the satellite radio antenna is about 1-2 inches from the area that hit the garage door just days prior. The AM reception worked. The FM reception worked and the CD player worked, but the satellite reception died completely. After SIRIUS re-synced their service multiple times trying to fix it, the service began again about twenty minutes later.
After all of this and, upon my insistence, the $26.95 brake adjustment fee was refunded, but not without un-called for complaints from Rick, the Service Manager who stated that he’d refund the money, but wouldn’t fix the radio!

After all of this,
The emergency brake still didn’t work properly and the car was literally being damaged by the repair facility. Keep in mind that the garage door hit the rear of the car, causing body damage, which likely resulted in the satellite radio damage. The satellite radio never died like this, before or since.
As a result, an appointment was made with another Jeep dealer.

On 10/22 the new Jeep dealer ordered parts and installed them on 10/26. That finally fixed the emergency brake issue once and for all. It now works just like new, like it did in September, and the new dealer didn’t charge anything at all, including a free brake adjustment, something that the original dealer charged twice for. Plus, the new dealer didn’t accuse me of any damage whatsoever.

The new dealer stated that the backing plate was rusted and its rivets came loose. They stated that it’s directly attached to the emergency brake cable and is the reason why the lever needed to be pulled 1-foot farther. They also stated that it probably was the noise that we heard before the first attempt at service on 10/8/09. Both backing plates needed to be replaced.
The original dealer only replaced one.

Footnote #1
This car is still covered under the 2007 Jeep new-car warranty. We’re the original owners.
On page 5, the Chrysler new vehicle warranty covers: “the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair any item on your vehicle that is defective in material, workmanship or factory preparation”. It makes no exclusion for adjustments whatsoever. On page 7 it excludes brake rotors, pads, linings and drums, which are only covered for 12 months, but it does not exclude the rear brake backing plates, which broke here. As a result, the original dealer:
-Charged for an unnecessary adjustment that should have been covered by warranty,
-Recommended a rear brake job that was unnecessary because the brake backing plates were rusted and were the true cause of the problem,
-Caused over $426 in body damage in a motor vehicle accident,
-Most likely broke the Satellite radio reception in the process,
-Didn’t fix the emergency brake after multiple attempts,
-Did a great job at irritating a regular customer.
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Unread 12-01-2009, 04:11 AM   #10
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March, What a nightmare.
Since you have it well documented, a letter to Chrysler is in order with exact dealer locations/date/time and occurrences. Let them know how thier service departments are doing....not well.
I also have to get in soon for the rear brakes, I am afraid to ask if this e-brake problem will get fixed right..time will tell on my 04, with 36k miles. Last report I was at 50% rear, but e-brake still an issue here, even though I continue to use the screwdriver trick up front, it holds still most of the time, but not always.
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Unread 12-01-2009, 05:26 AM   #11
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E-Brake on Liberty

With drum brakes on a 2004, I'm hoping that it's not the same issue. On all vehicles, the backing plates tend to rust, primarily due to road salt. When the driver of a 2007 Liberty, like my wife uses the emergency brake all the time, the rust causes the backing plate to loosen from the rivets.

Once it's loosened and the emergency brake hardware inside the drum tightens, due to age, the emergency brake lever eventually pulls the backing plate rather than the brake pads. As it pulls even further, the backing plate eventually bends or cracks.
That causes the e-brake cable to move much farther and the e-brake to become significantly less effective.

This doesn't occur on most other vehicles because the backing plate is usually stronger, and attached better.

Fortunately, the second Jeep dealer knew this and fixed the problem on their first try. The added plus was they also knew how to back the Jeep out of the garage without hitting anything.
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