The Jeep Liberty is a practical compact SUV with serious off road capability.
However, it is not unheard of for owners to experience issues with the alarm going off at random.
If you have experienced alarm-related issues with your Liberty, this article shall provide you with the most likely culprits.
Table of Contents
Why Does My Jeep Liberty Alarm Keep Going Off?
A Jeep Liberty alarm is most likely triggered by water leakage, keyfob malfunction, lift gate sensor issues, low battery, and power lock problems.
1. Weak 12V Battery
Battery issues are the most common cause of alarm issues for the Jeep Liberty. The Liberty is an older model that was discontinued in 2012 and 12V batteries typically have a lifespan of around 3-5 years so its not uncommon for them to require replacements.
A weak or depleted battery can cause a wide range of electrical issues, including an alarm that goes off at random.
First, its important to make sure:
- The battery terminals are free from rust and corrosion
- The battery terminals are free from dirt dust and grime
- The battery connections are tight
You can clean corrosion from a battery with some baking soda and water.
- Apply baking soda over the entire area that’s affected by corrosion.
- Add a small amount of water to activate the baking soda, this will cause a chemical reaction which will remove the corrosion.
If you feel that your car’s alarm system is going off as a result of a weak or problematic battery, the surefire answer to this problem is to have the battery tested.
You can do this yourself if you are so inclined and own a multimeter (see guide at end of article).
Or simply visit your nearest mechanic or you can have it tested for free at AutoZone.
Under normal conditions, a Liberty’s battery should hold up for at least 3 years.
2. Key fob Issues
A key fob that is dirty, old, oily, or most likely, low on battery can trigger the Liberty’s alarm system.
Fortunately, the solutions to key fob problems are relatively simple – thoroughly clean your key fob with a microfiber cloth (dipped in a bit of rubbing alcohol) and replace the device’s battery.
Do the same process with your secondary (back-up) key fob, if you have one.
Here are the steps you could follow to access the inner compartment:
- Identify your key fob type (a quick check on Google should suffice)
- Purchase a battery (most models use a CR2032 Coin Battery)
- Look for something to pry open the outer casing of your key fob (like a flathead screwdriver)
- Pry open your key fob by jamming your prying tool into the gap/seam/groove of your device and gently applying pressure to separate the case halves.
- Once you have gained access to the battery compartment, pry the old battery out of its compartment and embed the new battery into the slot (make sure the battery is placed properly and in the proper orientation).
3. Liftgate Sensor Issues
Another likely culprit of your Liberty’s alarm going off would be issues with the sensor associated with the liftgate. The liftgate is the actual door covering the rear of the vehicle.
Typically, the Liberty’s lift gate sensor is located in close proximity to the latch.
The sensor is an electrical switch that monitors the state of the lift gate – open or closed.
False readings may occur as a result of damage, wear and tear, dust buildup, rust or corrosion, or dirt buildup.
On JustAnswer.com, a Jeep technician shared this insight:
“The lift gate sensor/switch may be the cause of the alarm going off. If you want to keep the alarm off for now until you get it fixed, don’t use the power door locks or remote to lock the vehicle. Use the manual lock buttons when locking the doors. That should prevent the alarm from arming and then prevent it from going off every 20 minutes.”
“ … To fix it permanently, ask a shop or dealer to connect their WiTech scan tool and monitor the door and liftgate switches to see which one is tripping the alarm. and then have that switch/latch replaced. Most likely the liftgate switch from what you said in your original question.”
Sometimes, you can resolve issues with the liftgate by simply cleaning the latch and applying some lubrication, such as WD-40. However this will not resolve a damaged liftgate sensor.
3. Problematic Door Switch or Hood Switch
A problematic door or hood switch is another common cause of alarms going at random on a Jeep Liberty.
These switch’s are simple in operation, they monitor whether the doors/hood are open or closed and relays this information to the cars computer.
However if a switch is faulty or damaged it can send false signals to the cars computer, thus triggering the alarm.
These components will incur a lot of wear and tear so its a common point of failure.
Below is some expert insight provided by a Jeep mechanic, as posted on JustAnswer.com:
“The most likely cause for the alarm going off on its own would be a bad door or hood ajar switch. It will require some testing to determine exactly what is wrong, starting by looking at stored alarm data.”
As mentioned above, the one true solution to this issue is to have your vehicle checked at your local dealer or service center.
Another Jeep owner shared this helpful information, in response to one owner whose alarm would go off when they attempted to lock the door.
“I had a similar problem with a ’15 Cherokee I bought new. The rear driver side door did the exact same thing. I took it to the dealer in the 3 year/30k miles. The lock was the problem. They replaced it at no charge and I had no other issues. Since your problem is only that one door, I would lean toward a physical problem with the lock, not an electrical system issue.”
Its also a good idea to give all door latches a good clean and some lubricant such as WD-40, this may solve the problem by itself.
4. Power Lock Issues
Our research has led us to discover that using the vehicle’s power locks may lead to the alarm tripping unexpectedly.
It does not happen often, nor does it occur right after the power locks are utilized, but several owners have noted that if the doors are locked (and unlocked manually), the frequency of the Liberty’s alarm going off is sharply reduced.
This is what one owner (of a 1996 Liberty) had to say about the matter:
“ … this is a common problem that can be avoided if you stop using the power locks and always manually lock and unlock the doors with your key. It’s a little annoying, but apparently the power locks are connected to the alarm issue. I hope the same works for you.”
There have actually been recalls that pertain to keyless entry, door latches, and sensors, so what the quote said above is actually substantial.
In case you are experiencing power lock issues in relation to your alarm system going off, the first step you should take is to check if your vehicle falls under any of the related recall campaigns and then to have your unit properly assessed at your local Jeep car dealer.
5. Aftermarket Alarms
If your Liberty is equipped with a third-party or aftermarket alarm system, then you might also have to consider that it was not properly installed or it is not compatible with the rest of your vehicle’s electronics.
In addition, certain sensors may be defective or overly sensitive, leading to an unnecessary alarm trigger.
While we believe that aftermarket alarms, in most cases, are better and more advanced than the stock alarms installed in vehicles, an issue may still arise when it is installed.
In case you are an owner of a Liberty that actually has a third-party alarm system fitted, then have it properly assessed by an expert at your local dealer or service shop.
6. Water Leakage (Leading to Damaged Wiring)
Another possible culprit behind your Liberty’s alarm going off is water leakage into the wiring harness of the alarm system which would eventually corrode the terminals and lead to a faulty alarm system.
One owner from CarGurus.com shares his experience and insight below:
“Water leaks in and corrodes the contacts on the wiring harnesses, causing quite a few different problems, one being the alarm problem. Replace the sealing and clean your contacts the best you can. If the alarm keeps going off, you may have to replace your wiring harnesses.”
Based on our research, the back hatch seals on these models are not as secure as expected.
This type of vulnerability allows liquids to easily seep into the interior portions of the vehicle, affecting all types of cables and wiring inside.
Even if you are an expert in all things cars and engineering, we highly advise that you do not solve this issue by yourself.
Get your vehicle checked on by an authorized service technician to identify the cause of your problem and come up with a possible solution.
7. Accidental Activation of Panic Alarm
While this cause is not reported as much as the others on this list, it is still worth discussing as it happens more often than owners are willing to disclose.
Most Liberty models come with a key fob that comes with a built-in panic alarm. Accidentally pressing the panic button can lead to the alarm going off unintentionally.
To deactivate your panic alarm, simply press the panic button again. The noise and light flickering should stop shortly after.
8. Damaged Wiring
Damaged electrical wiring can cause a wide variety of issues, especially with the alarm system.
Damaged, corroded or faulty wires aren’t easy to find and you’ll need to have an auto electrician carry out some fault finding on your car.
A common point of failure for electrical wiring is in and around the doors,.
If you’ve had some kind of water leak in your car then this issue is one to investigate.
Check for Recalls or TSBs
By entering your car’s VIN number on Jeep’s recall page or the NTHSA’s Safety Issues & Recalls page you can determine whether or not there is a TSB or recall for your vehicle and if there is you’ll want to get it addressed.
A recall is issued by a vehicle manufacturer for issues that are safety-related, while a TSB covers components that may be malfunctioning but don’t compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Disconnect the Battery
Sometimes mysterious alarm problems can disappear with a simple reboot, there are no guarantees here but it’s worth a try.
Disconnect the battery for 20 seconds and this resets many of the electronics in the vehicle.
Check For Warning Messages
When the alarm occurs can you see any lights or warning messages on the instrument panel?
This can give a clue as to what’s causing the alarm e.g. ‘Hood Ajar’.
Take it to a Jeep Dealership
If needed, take your Jeep to the dealership.
Tell them you are NOT paying for a check on what the problem might be.
Ask them if they will check it for free.
Most dealerships and other places do quick/initial diagnosis for no money as they plan to make money for the repair of your vehicle.
If your unit is still under warranty then they should fix and resolve the issue for free.
How to Test the 12V Battery
How to Test the Battery:
- Before testing, remove the surface charge from the battery, this allows for an accurate reading.
- Simply turn on the headlights for 2 minutes then turn off.
- Set the multimeter dial to the ’20 Volts’ setting.
- Make sure the car is turned OFF.
The multimeter will have a red probe and a black probe.
- The red probe is for making contact with the positive terminal.
- The black probe is for making contact with the negative terminal.
Measure across the battery terminals.
- The meter should display a reading, if the battery is fully charged the voltage should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.
- Anything under 12V and the battery should be charged or replaced.