How to Get the Engine Code From a Jeep Liberty

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The Jeep Liberty was introduced in 2002. Every vehicle manufactured after 1996 has come with on-board diagnostics II (OBD II: the second phase of vehicle computers). OBD II standardized the equipment needed to check engine codes and the location of the diagnostic link connector (DLC). It also standardized the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) to help mechanics diagnose and pinpoint the area of the faulty equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • OBD II engine code reader with operator's manual
  • DTC guide
  • Pen and paper
  • Open the driver-side door and locate the DLC on the Jeep Liberty. It's on the right hand side of the steering wheel, under the dashboard. It's trapezoidal and matches the plug of the OBD II code reader.

  • Plug the OBD II code reader into the DLC.

  • Turn the ignition key two clicks to the key-on/engine-off mode. The Liberty's battery will provide power to the OBD II code reader, so you will not have to turn it on. The key-on/engine-off position will power all the electrical options on the Liberty without starting the engine.

  • Refer to the operator's manual of the OBD II code reader to determine how to use it. These pocket scan tools are extremely simple to operate. Some have two buttons while others may have several buttons and various features. All of them use a digital screen with scroll buttons to choose the option you need.

  • Scroll to the "DTCs" or "Read Codes" option, and then press the "Enter" key.

  • Refer to the DTC guide (most of the OBD II code readers come with a diagnostic trouble code guide) to determine what engine code triggered the malfunction indicator light (MIL, also known as the "check engine light"). You can also find OBD II codes online.

  • Write the code on a piece of paper and keep this for reference.

  • Erase the code if desired or applicable. Some code readers do not offer the feature of erasing codes. Most on the market today provide an erase function.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't keep erasing codes on the Jeep Liberty. A DTC informs the driver that there is a problem in the Liberty; ignoring or erasing the code is not fixing the vehicle.
  • There are two kinds of engine codes: hard and soft. Soft codes can sometimes be resolved by erasing the code due to something as simple as a loose gas cap creating a vacuum leak in the emission control system. Hard codes, however, may not erase or will re-trigger the MIL shortly after the erase function has been applied. All codes should be diagnosed and addressed to prevent further problems with the vehicle.

References

  • Photo Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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