8 Infamous Problems with Jeeps Over the Years - JeepSpecs.com (2023)

Throughout automotive history, we’ve come to know many car brands and models characterized by their high reliability over the years—but sometimes, it’s the lack thereof that gets more attention.

Of course, any automaker’s products can suffer from recurring issues—and Jeeps are no exception. Whether it’s a Wrangler, Patriot, or Grand Cherokee, each Jeep model has its own peculiarities and problems. Even if you’re not a Jeep guy, you’ve probably heard Jeep owners say, “it’s a Jeep thing.” And this is precisely what they’re referring to.

It’s worth mentioning that this list of the eight most infamous problems with Jeeps over the years should not discourage you from acquiring a Jeep. Instead, as Jeep enthusiasts ourselves, our goal is to inform and help new or potential owners become familiar with the quirks and common problems they can expect when entering the Jeep community.

#8: Death Wobble

The death wobble is perhaps the most infamous problem in the Jeep world. This happens when the front axle oscillates violently, causing the car to shake or wobble and making it hard to handle.

This issue is not exclusive to Jeep, although it happens to Jeeps the most because they are coil-sprung with a solid front axle setup. So, since both front wheels are connected by a solid steel tube, the motion transfers through the axle to the other wheel when one wheel wobbles.

There are a few reasons you may experience the death wobble:

  • Poor alignment
  • Unbalanced tires
  • The loose steering stabilizer bar
  • Worn ball joints

If you’re in the market for a second-hand Jeep, you should inquire about each of the issues above and inspect the car to avoid experiencing the death wobble after you buy it.

Via: Newsweek

(Video) Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT - History, Major Flaws, & Why It Got Cancelled! (2006-2021)

#7: Electronic Swaybar Failure

Another common suspension problem on Jeep models from 2005 onwards is the electronic sway bar disconnect system. The electronic swaybar disconnect system, also known as stabilizer or anti-roll bar, is a suspension component that helps level the vehicle and prevent excess sway through turns. Although this system is excellent for the road, it reduces the articulation you’d want in an off-road suspension.

Often this electronic swaybar won’t reconnect for everyday driving, so owners are stuck with whatever setting they had in the swaybar before the system failed.

This system fails because of defective electronic housing seals that disintegrate—resulting in poor circuit board electrical insulation that allows water to get in and mess up the sway bar controller.

If you’re left with the electronic swaybar system disconnected, you might feel less confident and less in control on the highway or on curvy roads.

Via: JL Wrangler Forums

#6: Cabin Water Leaks

Jeep owners expect to drive their vehicles off-road without experiencing the outside weather inside the cabin.

However, Patriot, Cherokee, and Wrangler owners have all reported water leaking from the upper corners of the front doors into the cabin during wet conditions. And sometimes, it isn’t a minor leak, as some owners have reported pooling water on the vehicle floor.

You can find plenty of online complaints from Jeep owners about water leaking into the cabin around the doors and windows, and even from the front dome light. Additionally, there are many reports of wind noise in Wrangler tops, both hard and soft, due to worn seals.

(Video) All New Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Variant Review |Top Model | Interior | Price | 4x4 | CARQUEST

Via: JK Forum

#5: Exhaust Leaks

Some Jeep models, especially the 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine from the 1987-2001 Cherokees, the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee, and the 1991-2006 Wrangler, are known for developing exhaust leaks. In addition, the 4.7-liter V8 in the 1999-2009 Grand Cherokee is also prone to developing exhaust leaks.

This was because of cracks in the exhaust manifold resulting from repeated heating and cooling cycles. So, if your Jeep is any of the above and you’ve noticed ticking sounds, or the smell of exhaust coming from the engine bay, or even poor mileage, these could be signs you have an exhaust leak.

Since this is a widespread problem, many aftermarket manifolds have been made to withstand cracking better than the OEM part. You might want to consider purchasing one.

#4: Ignition Switch Recall

If you own or are considering buying a 2006 or 2007 Grand Cherokee or Commander, you should know these Jeep models are prone to an ignition switch fault that resulted in a recall by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Unfortunately, if you are only hearing about this problem until now, there’s a good chance you missed the recall on their ignition switches that caused the engine to switch off while driving.

If you’ve experienced this issue, you should take your Jeep to your dealer as soon as possible so they can deal with the problem.

#3: Faulty Window Motor

Among Jeep models, the Grand Cherokee and Liberty are known to have faulty window motors and regulators. This fault would cause the windows to suddenly drop into the door while driving or the motor to burn out and fail completely.

(Video) MAHINDRA THAR ART IN TAP COLOUR PRO #shorts #viral #trending #295 #tapcolorpro

Surprisingly, the two vehicles don’t share the same regulator, but both seem to have the problem, although this appears to be a more common issue in the Liberty.

This can often result from a damaged or misaligned regulator, so if you think your window motor is burned out, we suggest replacing the regulator as well.

Via: Reddit

#2: Malfunctioning Electronics

Chrysler’s Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM used in newer Jeeps is the system that operates the electrical system as a whole.

The relay center controls the windows, air conditioning, door locks, windshield wipers, and many other electronic parts. Some of these faults are noticeable and, in many cases, potentially dangerous. For instance, Wrangler owners have reported a sudden loss of power or an inability to start the vehicle at all.

TIPM malfunctions can cause the horn to honk randomly, the windows to roll up and down, and the doors to lock and unlock themselves randomly. Some owners have described it as their vehicles having a mind of their own.

Owners have reported malfunctioning TIPM on Wranglers and Grand Cherokees from 2007 onward (and on other recent Chrysler vehicles).

A partial recall involves the total replacement of the faulty module, but it only applies to the 2011 Grand Cherokee.

(Video) 1942 Willys MB military jeep - Detailed Walkaround, Review and Test Drive!

Via: Youcanic

#1: Transmission Failure

The job of a transmission is to deliverthe right amount of power to your wheels for driving at a given speed. Unfortunately, modern transmissions like those found in 2014 and 2015 Cherokees have many electronic components and are prone to having problems that affect shifting. These electronic shifting issues in the transmission are often related to a faulty TIPM.

Signs of a bad Cherokee transmission include:

  • Trouble shifting gears
  • Delayed acceleration
  • Won’t go in reverse
  • Check engine light
  • Overheating
  • Loss of power
  • Shaking or shuddering
  • Strange smells or noises coming from the transmission

A transmission repair/replacement on a 2015 Jeep Cherokee could cost around $4,300, while replacing a gear shifter is around $200 to $250.

Via: JL Wrangler Forums

The above are some of the most common recurring issues with Jeeps. However, no list of problems will cover all the possible failures of each model. They all have their quirks, and they will develop different issues depending on how you drive your vehicle and care for it.

A list like this can be a good starting point to better understand the potential problems a Jeep can have. Still, Jeep is not the only automaker to have problems. Indeed, product defects are unfortunately common across many industries.

(Video) How To Choose The Right Jeep For Off-Roading - Wrangler JK 2 Door vs 4 Door Off-Road Comparison

Fortunately, many brand enthusiast forums, online newsletters, and reports can help you research the Jeep you own or are looking to buy. These will help you save time, money, and headaches—contributing to a better Jeep experience for you.


What is Jeeps biggest problem? ›

Among Jeep's most commonly reported problems are transmission issues, engine stalling, and the infamous “death wobble” that can happen to steering wheels at high speeds or on rough terrain.

Why do Jeeps have a bad reputation? ›

Some have put it down to the fact that their infotainment system is slow and has glitches that you simply don't see in competitor vehicles in the same class. Other issues include poor handling and limited comfort and though neither of these has much to do with dependability they have a bearing on overall satisfaction.

How many miles until a Jeep starts having problems? ›

In combination with its strong off-road performance and iconic styling, the Wrangler presents a solid choice in terms of reliability. According to Motor and Wheels, the Jeep Wrangler has an average lifespan of 10-15 years and between 100,000-280,000 of mileage.

What year Jeeps have engine problems? ›

Third-generation Wranglers (2007-2015) reportedly struggled with a problematic Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM. The faulty TIPM is especially common with the 2008 Jeep Wrangler.

Are Jeeps notorious for problems? ›

Battery and Electrical Issues

Complaints about electrical issues make up a large portion of Jeep owner complaints. The Grand Cherokee generates a lot of reports of TIPM failure, power steering issues, stalling, and complete loss of power.

Do Jeeps have a lot of transmission problems? ›

Jeep transmission issues are a common problem among Jeep owners. From slipping gears to delayed shifting and even complete transmission failure, these issues can leave you stranded and facing costly repairs.

What is the most reliable Jeep? ›

The Jeep model that is the most reliable and ranks the highest in its vehicle category is the Jeep Wrangler, which ranks 1 out of 24 Most Reliable Small SUVs. Following the Wrangler is the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. You can see the rest of the Jeep vehicles and their rankings below.

Are older jeeps reliable? ›

Some current Wranglers lack durability and dependability, while the older generations are entirely reliable to this day. Well-cared-for Jeeps can last for ages and continually perform at a high level.

What is a good year for a Jeep? ›

The 2015 Wrangler has continually been rated the most reliable year for the vehicle. Its four-wheel drivetrain gives it incredible off-road performance, especially among other vehicles in its class. It has strong engine options that give it the boost it needs in acceleration.

Do Jeeps hold their value? ›

When you purchase a new Jeep, your ride will retain a bulk of its value for the first 5 years of ownership. It can even keep 70% or more of its base MSRP in its first 3 years while others tend to lose 30% by the end of the first year. The Wrangler has one of the road's best depreciation values for a variety of reasons.

Can a Jeep last 300k miles? ›

The average Jeep will go at least 200,000 miles, with higher-reliability models going further. That said, Jeeps can last up to 300,000 miles with routine care and maintenance.

What was the best motor Jeep came out with? ›

4.0L I6. Of all the Jeep engines in all the world, the 4.0L inline six-cylinder is by far the most famous.

What Jeeps have the best engine? ›

The Most Reliable Jeep Engines in 2023
  • The OG – Willys Go-Devil. The Willys Go-Devil is the first engine on our list. ...
  • The Biggest Boy – The AMC/Jeep 401 V8. ...
  • The Long Runner – AMC Powertech 4.0L. ...
  • The Current Order – Chrysler Pentastar 3.6 V6. ...
  • The Turbodiesel You Want – VM Motori 3.0 V6.
Mar 3, 2023

What is the most reliable Jeep engine? ›

3.6L Pentastar V6

of torque, with variable valve technology that helps push that torque curve into a lower rpm range. The Pentastar itself has been Jeep's signature Wrangler engine since the 2012 model year, and has been a reliable, award-winning motor throughout its lifespan.

What is the best year for a used Jeep Wrangler? ›

If you're looking for a used Jeep Wrangler, you'll find the best years are any models made after 2012. However, the 2015 and 2019 models are stand-outs in the Wrangler lineup. Jeep Wranglers made after 2012 come with the better 285-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.

What car brand is most reliable? ›

What is the most dependable car brand? Here are the brand rankings based on the number of problems per 100 vehicles, according to J.D. Power's 2023 U.S. vehicle dependability study. The industry average is 186. The highest-ranking premium brand was Lexus, and Kia was the highest-ranking mass market brand.

What is the best Jeep Wrangler? ›

Overall, Edmunds recommends the Wrangler Rubicon. It is the most capable version when the going gets really tough, and it comes with every available engine and transmission. 2022 Jeep Wrangler.

What year did Jeeps become unreliable? ›

The 2011 model of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is right up there when it comes to being unreliable. Car Complaints have recorded over 2000 complaints on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As if that's not bad enough, the NHTSA has 1565 complaints logged against the 2011 Grand Cherokee with 5 investigations and 6 recall notices.

What Jeep has the least amount of problems? ›

The 10 Most Reliable Jeeps On The Used Market
  • 10 2011 Grand Cherokee.
  • 9 2017 Wrangler.
  • 8 2017 Compass.
  • 7 2020 Wrangler.
  • 6 2000 Cherokee.
  • 5 2019 Grand Cherokee.
  • 4 2014 Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition.
  • 3 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
Feb 2, 2023

Are Jeeps a lot of maintenance? ›

Jeep Maintenance Costs

Jeep models average around $11,476 for maintenance and repair costs during their first 10 years of service. This is more than the industry average for popular brands by $4,662. There is also a 26.16% chance that a Jeep will require a major repair during that time.

Is Jeep or Chevy more reliable? ›

According to the trusted non-profit Consumer Reports, Jeep ranked 19 among 26 brands, with a score of 41, just behind Chevrolet with a score of 42 and No. 17 ranking.

Are old Jeeps easy to fix? ›

Are Jeeps Easy to Work On? The reason why older Jeep models are such a popular choice is their dependability. Aside from being dependable vehicles, they're also extremely simple to work on.

Are Jeeps good on gas? ›

2022 Jeep Renegade

The 2022 Renegade also has stellar ratings in terms of fuel efficiency. The front-wheel drive model gets 24/32/27 MPG (city/highway/combined), while the four-wheel drive model gets 23/29/26 MPG (city/highway/combined).

Are Jeeps good for snow? ›

In fact, the stock ground clearance on a Wrangler these days is right about 10 inches (9.7 for Sport and Sahara, 10.8 for Rubicon) which means your Jeep can handle deeper snow better than most other vehicles without having a problem.

Why should people buy Jeeps? ›

Jeeps are easily an outdoor aficionado's best friend. This is because Jeeps have solid suspension systems, which allow for greater articulation– and high maintenance of such a capability to boot. The wheels, which can come in either steel or alloy, are perfect for off-roading as they are made for climbing obstacles.

What Jeep gets the best gas mileage? ›

The most fuel-efficient Jeep model in the current lineup is the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, which offers up to 49 MPGe. Meanwhile, the 2022 Renegade is the most fuel-efficient Jeep SUV that features a regular gas powertrain.

Why does everyone want a Jeep Wrangler? ›

It brings the rugged look and feeling that people love. The short wheelbase and high-torque engine make for a nimble off-road machine that appeals to multiple demographics. Beyond its look and feel, Wranglers give owners the opportunity to strip the car down to its bare bones.

What is the average mileage life of a Jeep? ›

If well-maintained, most Jeeps can exceed 200,000 miles, and some people have even been able to maintain their Jeeps for up to 20 years. For this reason, you may see some models with fairly high mileage while shopping at a Jeep dealership near you.

What is the average age of a Jeep owner? ›

The data in this study found that a significant demographic of Jeep Wrangler owners are aged between 25 and 54. Below are the average percentages for age groups for owners of the 2018-2021 Jeep JL, with 93% of them having children: Under 25: 1% 25 to 54: 38%

What age group buys Jeeps? ›

Jeep demographics: age and children

25 to 54: 38% 55 to 64: 30%

Which Jeep is the best value? ›

Here are five 2022 Jeep vehicles that offer the best value.
  • Wrangler Unlimited. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler is for you if you're an adventure lover. ...
  • Grand Cherokee. Suitable for any taste or task, the Grand Cherokee is one of Jeep's most versatile and valuable models. ...
  • Renegade. ...
  • Gladiator. ...
  • Wagoneer.
Nov 18, 2022

How many miles do Jeep Wrangler tires last? ›

Your vehicle's tires play a large role in your overall maintenance cost. If you're wondering how long Jeep Wrangler tires last, the answer varies. Your stock tires should last you at least 30,000 miles off-road and 50,000 – 60,000 miles commuting.

What Jeep has the most miles ever? ›

1. 2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport RHD — 362,911 Miles.

What car will last the longest? ›

Here is the list of the top 20 longest-lasting vehicles on the road.
  • Honda Element. Honda. ...
  • Honda CR-V. Honda. ...
  • Honda Accord. Honda. ...
  • Chevrolet Avalanche. Chevrolet. ...
  • Ram 2500. FCA US LLC. ...
  • Ram 3500. Stellantis. ...
  • Toyota Sienna. toyota. ...
  • The 2024 Toyota 4Runner: Everything You Need to Know. Toyota. The 4Runner is due for a redesign.
May 3, 2023

How many miles can a Jeep Wrangler go on a full tank? ›

Taking all the models into count, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler has the best fuel retention capacity. Its tanks can hold up to 21.5 gallons of fuel, with which you can travel more than 590 miles.

What is the most American made Jeep? ›

Jeep Wrangler/

What was the old Jeep engine called? ›

The Willys L134 (nicknamed Go Devil) is a straight-4 automobile engine that was made famous in the Willys MB and Ford GPW Jeep produced during World War II. It powered nearly all the Jeep vehicles built for the U.S. and Allies. It was later used in a variety of civilian Jeep vehicles.

Who makes Jeep engines now? ›

FCA, or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is the parent company that oversees the full Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, FIAT, and Jeep brands.

What is the smoothest Jeep? ›

The best Jeep Wrangler for on road only driving would be either a 4 door Sport/S or Sahara with the Highway Tires. This will give you the smoothest ride of the current generation of Wrangler. A more pricy option will be the 4Xe Sahara, a plug in Hybrid Wrangler that can operate on electric only for up to 25 miles.

What year did Jeep go to 3.6 engine? ›

The new management ordered a dramatically upgraded interior for 2011, and for 2012, their efforts to juice up this global icon run all the way to the ground. That big change is an all-new engine, as under the hood of every 2012 Jeep Wrangler sits Chrysler's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6.

What Jeep has the best horsepower? ›

Thanks to its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI HELLCAT V8, the Trackhawk produced an amazing 707 horsepower and 645 lb.

When did Jeep stop using the 4.0 engine? ›

The 4.0 engine was discontinued at the end of the 2006 model year, replaced in the redesigned 2007 JK Jeep Wrangler by Chrysler's 3.8 L OHV V6, which originated in the company's minivans. This engine was used in the following vehicles: 1987–2001 Jeep Cherokee. 1993–2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Are jeeps a lot of maintenance? ›

Jeep Maintenance Costs

Jeep models average around $11,476 for maintenance and repair costs during their first 10 years of service. This is more than the industry average for popular brands by $4,662. There is also a 26.16% chance that a Jeep will require a major repair during that time.

What problems do new jeeps have? ›

Transmission Issues
  • Powertrain Issues. Another problem that owners of the 2019-2022 Jeep Compass are experiencing is powertrain issues. ...
  • Suspension Issues. Another common problem that owners of the 2019-2022 Jeep Compass are experiencing is suspension issues. ...
  • Steering Issues. ...
  • Fuel Economy.
Jan 19, 2023

Is it a good idea to buy an old Jeep? ›

Affordability and Extended Value

Quite simply, these vehicles hold value. Older Wranglers don't depreciate as quickly as other brands, making them a valuable asset that's worth the investment. Plus, factory Jeeps don't have a high price tag to begin with, so the buyer is receiving an incredible deal.

What is the best year of Jeep Wrangler to buy used? ›

The best model is the 2005-2006 Unlimited Rubicon with the 4.0-liter six-speed manual transmission as it has a considerable towing capacity and double the legroom and cargo space. However, be mindful of the resale value. From 2007 to 2019, Jeep started producing mainstream Wranglers, referred to as the JK generation.

Do Jeeps use a lot of oil? ›

Jeep owners say the 2.4L Tigershark engine consumes a quart of oil every 1,000 miles. This heavy oil consumption makes its engine inefficient, irritating, and expensive and can be dangerous if the oil indicator system doesn't even alert you when oil levels are low. The engine has an oil capacity of 5.5 quarts.

Are Jeeps more expensive to insure? ›

Across national and regional providers, the average cost of full-coverage insurance for a 2022 Jeep vehicle is $1,833 per year or $153 per month. This is about 6% above the national average of $1,730 per year. These averages are based on a married 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit score.

Do Jeeps have reliable engines? ›

Reliability is all but ensured in a model under 5 years old, and the available engines are known for their durability and reliability. Any Jeep Wrangler from this era is one that can last for at least 200,000 miles and more when properly maintained.

Do Jeeps have electrical problems? ›

In particular, 2021 Model Jeep Wrangler have been the subject of numerous complaints about electrical problems. These issues range from simple annoyances, such as faulty interior lighting, to more serious problems like complete loss of power while driving.

Do Jeeps have good reliability? ›

The smaller Cherokee, Compass, and Renegade, are not competitive in our tests. Most Jeep models do not have strong reliability. The automaker advises owners to park vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles. The latest recall involves a software update for certain models of the SUV.

What model Jeep is best to buy used? ›

You'll have your pick of quality vehicles at a Jeep dealer, but here are the 10 best used Jeeps to consider:
  • 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition. ...
  • 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. ...
  • 1988 Jeep Gladiator. ...
  • 1996 Jeep Comanche. ...
  • 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islander. ...
  • 1994 XJ Jeep Cherokee. ...
  • 1991 Jeep Wagoneer. ...
  • 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.


1. What One Month Of EcoDiesel Jeep Wrangler Ownership Has Taught Me
(Ideal Media)
2. Is My DREAM Jeep Wrangler Finally Complete?
3. 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Review | Loving the V8! | Price, Engine, Off-Roading & More
(Edmunds Cars)
4. 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Review - A Love/Hate Relationship!
(Shooting Cars)
5. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
(Luke’s Whips)
6. The 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Is the Ultimate Wrangler
(Doug DeMuro)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dan Stracke

Last Updated: 17/09/2023

Views: 5836

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dan Stracke

Birthday: 1992-08-25

Address: 2253 Brown Springs, East Alla, OH 38634-0309

Phone: +398735162064

Job: Investor Government Associate

Hobby: Shopping, LARPing, Scrapbooking, Surfing, Slacklining, Dance, Glassblowing

Introduction: My name is Dan Stracke, I am a homely, gleaming, glamorous, inquisitive, homely, gorgeous, light person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.