With its superb off-road capability, the Jeep Wrangler is a powerful and reliable favorite for off-road enthusiasts. But the Wrangler’s performance isn’t the only thing that makes people love it. Likewise, the Wrangler also has its fair share of problems, and for this reason we have brought you the common failures of the Jeep Wrangler .
The Wrangler also has excellent resale value, depreciating only 31% after 5 years, which is incredibly impressive. Without a doubt, a vehicle of great value and a good investment.
How good is the Jeep Wrangler?
Overall, the Jeep Wrangler has an above-average reliability rating. In fact, some owners give it a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking the model 25th out of 26 compact SUVs. With an average annual maintenance cost of $694 and a very low repair frequency, maintaining a Wrangler is pretty easy on the wallet.
In fact, you can typically hit 170,000 miles on your Wrangler before experiencing any major problems. With good care and maintenance, Wranglers can even last 20+ years and 400,000+ miles.
Common Jeep Wrangler Failures
While the repair frequency is low with Wranglers, when they do have problems, the problems tend to be severe. These are some of the most common Jeep Wrangler failures for the different model years:
1. Oil pan leakage problems
According to owners of 2014 Jeep Wranglers, the oil filter housing on their vehicles was cracking and going bad. This often resulted in leaks reaching the engine and transmission case. This is a very dangerous problem and a serious fire hazard . Replacing the oil filter housing usually solves the problem and can cost $114-$122 for the part alone.
So far, Jeep has not issued a recall for this specific issue. However, they did release a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB #SB-10058301-5939) for the 2014 Jeep Wrangler. This bulletin details what to do before performing a normal diagnosis for oil loss, low oil, oil dripping or oil consumption.
Jeep has also issued a TSB (#S1809000007) regarding engine oil leaks/consumption on March 31, 2021, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States has not yet uploaded the TSB. document to your website. But 2014 Wrangler drivers can ask their local Jeep dealer service department for a copy of this bulletin.
2. Engine failure
Some 2013 Jeep Wrangler owners have reported that their vehicles suddenly jerked and lost power while driving. This error did not register any fault codes, so many of the affected drivers had to resort to diagnosing and solving the problem on their own, since some workshops were unable to service their vehicles.
Although most reports say they never found the source of the problem, some owners have fixed the problem by replacing the crankshaft position sensor . Jeep has not issued a TSB or recall on this specific issue.
3. Problems with the cylinder head
One of the most serious problems with the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is the need to replace the cylinder head. Some owners have reported a sudden lack of power along with cylinder misfiring. The problem seems persistent and recurring and has cost many of the affected homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs.
The cost of replacing a Jeep Wrangler cylinder head ranges from $200 to over $600 . Some owners have been forced to replace the entire motor to fix the problem. The problem is supposedly caused by compression leaks from faulty cylinder heads.
A TSB (09-002-14 REV. B) published by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) dated December 15, 2014, suggested replacing the cylinder heads to address this issue. According to the bulletin, affected owners may be entitled to a refund within the provisions of their vehicle’s warranty.
4. Motor Blow Failure
This is another major issue, specifically for the 2011 Jeep Wrangler, as it resulted in very expensive repairs. Many of the affected owners did not report an illuminated check engine light when they encountered this problem.
According to them, their vehicle suddenly made unusual noises. Upon checking, his vehicles had very low oil levels. Some realized the problem too late and their Wrangler’s engines had sustained significant damage , requiring engine block replacement.
FCA issued a TSB (09-001-13) on February 6, 2013, which provided a procedure for determining whether the gasoline engines in some of its vehicles needed repair or replacement.
The document detailed diagnostic procedures directing technicians on what to do in the event of unusual engine noise and oil consumption. The 2011 Jeep Wrangler was included on this list, along with the 2012 and 2013 models, as well as other FCA brand models.
5. TIPM Failure
A faulty Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) may not allow the vehicle to start and prevent normal operation of essential vehicle features (ie headlights, fuel pump and windshield wipers). Simply put, having a faulty TIPM can make a driver feel like their vehicle is possessed.
TIPM failure is a common problem with the 2008 Jeep Wrangler. In fact, it has been a persistent problem in hundreds of thousands of FCA vehicles produced from 2007 to 2015, including third generation Wranglers (2007-2015).
Repair for a faulty TIPM typically ranges from $900 to $1,300, but the price can go much higher, depending on the severity of the problem. The affected owners filed a class action lawsuit , prompting FCA to take action regarding faulty TIPMs on the Wranglers and their other models.
FCA made several recalls to try to fix the issue with the TIPMs on their vehicles. In July 2007, it issued a recall specifically for the 2007 Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro.
The affected vehicles were shutting down and the root cause was determined to be a timing error in the TIPM. The recall allowed affected owners to have their TIPM reprogrammed at the dealership. Unfortunately, the recall only affected 2007 Wranglers.
6. Problems with wobbling
Death wobble is perhaps the most well-known problem among Jeep owners. It’s not just a problem with the 2007 Jeep Wrangler. But despite its name, no one has actually died, according to NHTSA reports.
The problem is characterized by violent shaking and vibration of the steering wheel when the vehicle hits a pothole at high speeds . The jolts are said to be so strong that the steering wheel becomes very difficult to steer. Although the problem usually resolves itself once the driver slows down or comes to a complete stop, affected drivers are understandably concerned for their safety and the safety of their passengers.
In fact, a lawsuit was filed against the FCA, alleging that the company fails to recognize the potential risks caused by the death wobble. The lawsuit also claims that instead of addressing the issue, FCA is said to have claimed that death wobble is not a safety issue and can happen to any vehicle with a solid front axle.
Fortunately, as of August 2019, FCA has finally come up with a solution, which involves replacing the old steering damper/stabilizer with a new/redesigned component that will eliminate vibrations coming through the front suspension. FCA has sent notices to its clients about this campaign.
Being aware of the potential problems you may encounter with the Jeep Wrangler allows you to make an informed decision when purchasing yours. So if you’re looking to buy a pre-owned Wrangler, be sure to thoroughly research the model year you’re interested in. Also, make sure the seller has fixed any problematic parts before closing the deal.