I have an '03 Liberty Sport 3.7L, and it seems like everything has gone wrong all at once!
1) My A/C went out 2 weeks ago (join the club, right?) - I can replace that myself.
2) Both rear windows went out (about a year ago) - I can replace that.
3) Oil leak in front valve cover - recent (I think I can do that).
but the BIG issue that I need help with is this:
4) I hadn't driven the Jeep in awhile (because of the A/C) and when I went to crank it, it wouldn't start. I assumed it was the battery (I had a 4 year-old battery in it), so I bought a new battery. I replaced it, cranked up no problem (this was 2 days ago).
Today, my wife was driving it home, stopped to fill up with gas, and it wouldn't start again. It sounds like the starter is trying to turn over, but can't get over all the way... In other words, it sounds like it is getting power, but slows down before it can start up all the way.
I have no idea what this could be! Could it be the starter? Could it be the alternator is out and drained the new battery?
From reading the forums, it sounds like it could be absolutely anything, and I have no idea where to start outside of randomly replacing parts which could get expensive.
Not to mention, the Jeep is still sitting outside the gas station. Should I tow it?
The alternator sounds like the deal here. If the alternator's bad, you're battery is draining. All you need to test is a digital voltmeter. First thing you do is getting a reading of the battery ~ should be at 12.7V or so. If you get below that, the battery has drained, which means the alternator didn't charge it - knowing the battery is new, this usually tells you it's a problem with alternator.
Then jump start it. Voltage should be around 13.50V with no load while eng is running (shut off radio, light, etc.). Make sure you measure after you disconnect the jump battery or all you get is the reading of the jump battery. If you don't get that kind of reading, then your alternator is probably bad.
I am also leaning towards alternator, easy thing to check take it out and to auto zone or pep boys they will test it for free!
They can not properly test your alternator.The voltage regulator is in the PCM.With the use of a battery temp sensor the PCM can stop the alternator from charging the battery and is 100% normal if the conditions call for it.
Normally while running the alternator should be putting out between 13.5-14.8 volts depending on system condition.
Oh and just because a battery was just bought and thought to be new does not mean it is any good.
'02 Liberty sitting on 35" tires,HP44,RockJock60,and AtlasII t-case
Are you 100% positive the battery cables are tight on the posts of the battery? Seen/heard this many times, people change batteries and it doesn't start, turns out the cables weren't tight when the new one got installed.
Do what Reptile advised you...ie. check the voltage across the battery while the engine is at idle...If you do not get a reading of about 13.5 volts then there is a problem with the charging....not neccasary the alternator being the problem as the alternator is regulated by the PCM (ECM in a diesel).
Do the above check, check for clean and firm battery terminals and report back your findings.