Since the Second World War, the Jeep Wrangler’s popularity has boomed. Whether you’re headed out for your daily commute or hitting backwoods trails, the Jeep can handle it all. Even with their slew of appealing features, the various vehicle models have their unfortunate faults. Each evolution of the Wrangler has made improvements on the preceding model, but has its own set of issues to worry about. If you own or are on the market for one of these awesome rides, review the most common Jeep problems to be aware of.
The Oldest Jeep Generation
The oldest line of Wranglers dates back from 1987-1995. Of the three generations, these models were highly favored for their durability. They, of course, still had their flaws.
Exhaust Manifold Bolt Fault
The manifold shrinks and expands constantly, eventually stretching further than its able to retract. The manifold may become permanently distorted and can fracture the mounting stud. When the bolts become stretched, they are more vulnerable to failure, as it causes too much tension for them to perform.
The oldest generation of Wranglers was prone to body damage. Primarily taken advantage of by off-roading enthusiasts, even the most cared-for of vehicles are likely to have acquired a fair share of dents and scrapes along the way.
Oil leaks are common in cars of this generation’s age. Various Jeep systems are vulnerable to leaks, making its diagnosis a challenge. To pinpoint the leaking issue, utilize this color code for automotive liquids:
- Engine oil: amber (will turn brown or black with time)
- Transmission fluid: red
- Engine coolant: red, orange, green, or transparent
- Power steering fluid: red, green, brown, or transparent
The cost to fix your old car’s leak is going to depend on the source. Usually, this generation’s leak repairs are less expensive than the others.
The Second Jeep Generation
Jeeps produced from 1997-2006 are referred to as the second generation. The most common Jeep problems to be aware of for these models range from leak nuisances to recalls.
Due to an oversight in the 2005 model, many Jeeps were recalled for automatic transmission and power train related issues. Impulsive transmission slips or stuck gears would be highly dangerous to the vehicle driver. Though under recall, this problem often has a long repair time.
As you can imagine, the sound of a popping engine is not ideal. In second generation Jeeps, the engine would make a popping or backfiring noise. This noise may come as a disruptive shock to the driver and cause a brief jerk of the steering wheel. The range of causes for the startling sound include:
- Incorrect engine timing
- Spark plug failure
- Running on too much fuel or not enough air
- Plug wires
Wranglers of this generation were likely to produce some adverse leaking conditions, such as:
- Leaking door seals: Poorly sealed doors would create a damp environment for these Wrangler owners. Moisture inside your vehicle is not only an inconvenience, but can also impact your electrical systems in dire cases.
- Differential pinion seal leaks: This leak causes gears to seize and lock the rear wheels while driving.
- Transfer case leaks: Transfer cases split the transmission’s power between the front and rear wheels. When leaking, the wheels’ performance is impacted; it may indicate bad bearing.
The Third Jeep Generation
The third generation of Wranglers covers the 2007-2018 model. This generation has the most controversial reliability, garnering the most complaints from consumers. Read on to discover whether this vehicle prototype is dependable or not.
Totally Integrate Power Module, or TIPM, is responsible for your ride’s entire electrical system. That being said, your Jeep’s performance relies on a well-running TIPM entirely. Its failure is highly inconvenient to drivers and can even put your car out of commission until fixed. There are a lot of telltale signs of faulty TIPMs. A few include:
- Random airbag deployment
- Horn honking abruptly
- Windows getting stuck
- Doors locking and unlocking unprompted
- Stalling engine
As you can see, a few of a malfunctioning TIPM’s symptoms pose an extreme risk to drivers. If you suspect your car may be facing an issue with its electrical system, contact the car’s dealership or mechanic.
The Notorious “Death Wobble”
Any driver who has gone through the “death wobble” knows how frightening and powerless the occurrence can make the individual behind the wheel feel. The driver loses steering control while the rest of the vehicle shakes, causing a fright for all passengers.
Many folks know this Jeep flaw from personal experience, as a common cause for the scare is hitting a bump or pothole while driving over about 60 mph. Death wobble typically occurs when one or more of the following vehicle components are loose or damaged:
- Drag link and tie rod ends
- Ball joints
- Front track bar
- Upper or lower control arms
- Steering knuckles or stabilizer
- Suspension bushings
Should your Jeep perform the death wobble, be sure to get your steering stabilizer repaired. This intimidating phenomenon often also rearranges ball joints and tie rods in an unfavorable fashion that typically requires replacement.
The throttle position sensor, or TPS, communicates with the engine control module (ECM). It lets the ECM know how open the engine throttle is to inform appropriate emissions, fuel metering, and ignition timing. When the TPS is corrupted, incorrect voltage readings result in your check engine light turning on.
Because of its complicated combination of electrical and mechanical factors, this feature can fail for a number of reasons. Its failure affects the ECM’s performance in ways that could lead to dangerous unexpected shifting trouble.
Recognize some of the signs of TPS failure so you can tend to the issue early:
- Odd speed surges
- Stalling engine
- Delayed shifts
- Difficulty switching gears
For Extra Protection When Off-Roading
One of Wranglers’ most revered features is their ability to conquer various terrain conditions. If you enjoy the vehicle’s off-roading powers, then your car is likely exposed to more harrowing elements. In addition to providing your ride with proper maintenance, there are a few off-roading must-haves that can save you from costly repairs in the future.
At AM Off-Road, we have an abundance of off-roading accessories that enhance both performance and appearance. Our Jeep Wrangler JK front bumper is a popular choice that boosts both car aesthetic and resistance to impact. Scan our site today for embellishments to make your ride look entirely new.