Jeep Wrangler Reliability

Jeep Wrangler Reliability

When it comes to the Jeep brand, it’s a mixed bag of reaction from vehicle owners. There are many reasons to love it, specifically its rugged style and off-road capabilities. On the other hand, some owners are not too excited about the Jeep Wrangler MPG rating. But when it comes to Jeep Wrangler reliability, it can go either way, depending on which model year you drive. This guide explores the different reliability scores this vehicle model has earned throughout the years to help you decide the most reliable Wrangler to get, whether buying new or used ones.

Key Takeaways

• While popular, the Jeep Wranger has a low reliability rating from top organizations like JD Power and RepairPal.
• Jeep Wrangler owners cite common reliability issues with this off-road SUV, such as automatic transmission problems, power module failure, exhaust manifold cracks, and the death wobble.
• The Jeep Wrangler is more expensive to repair than other SUVs and vehicle models.
• Certain model years are more prone to damage and recalls, so it is important to avoid those model years.

Jeep Wrangler Reliability

What is the Jeep Wrangler Reliability Performance?

The best source of information on vehicle reliability is the JD Power Quality and Reliability ratings. These scores calculate the quality and dependability of the vehicle based on owner responses and feedback, and long-term ownership for vehicle owners that have driven the car for over three years.

The latest above data from JD Power is for the 2024 Jeep Wrangler. The overall Jeep Wrangler reliability score is 81 out of 100. This score is based on independent and unbiased opinion from verified car owners. The 81 rating is based on an 84 rating on quality and dependability. This score refers to the design flaws, defects, and malfunctions on any vehicle component. Meanwhile, Jeep Wrangler owners scored it 75/100 for driving experience and 86/100 for resale value.

Meanwhile, RepairPal also published its own reliability rating on the Jeep Wrangler. The website scores it 3 out of 5 (above average), which is slightly lower for the average rating of compact SUVs at 4 out of 5.

The Jeep Wrangler has an average annual repair cost is $694 (the average for compact SUVs is $521). In addition, the repairs for Jeep Wrangler tend to become severe than other compact SUVs. Hence, you must be prepared to pay for major repairs when driving a Wrangler.

RepairPal also notes that Jeep Wrangler owners bring their vehicle to the shop for unscheduled repairs at an average of 0.3 per year (not often). This frequency is right within the average for compact SUVs. A higher number indicates more frequent shop visits for unscheduled repairs.

This number does not tell the entire story, though. Sure, Jeep has gone leaps and bounds over the years to improve on the reliability score of the Jeep Wrangler. Despite that, it has won over many vehicle owners, particularly those looking for an off-road vehicle.

The Jeep Wrangler does not compromise when it comes to its 4×4 performance. No matter the terrain, it delivers the job. Over the years, its look has changed but it has delivered the same iconic, rough style, although slightly meaner in recent iterations with an improved front grille, in-car tech, and ladder-frame chassis.

What Are Common Reliability Issues with the Jeep Wrangler?

Jeep Wrangler is an off-road vehicle designed for the toughest terrain conditions. Despite its seemingly mythical reputation, it’s not without reliability issues. It’s important to know these before you make an investment to save you from headaches in the future.

1. Power Module Failure

Modern vehicles, including the new Jeep Wrangler models, feature an electronic control module that is vital to maintain low-voltage electronics within the vehicle, such as fuel pumps, headlights, starter motors, and throttle controls. For Wranglers, it is called Totally Integrated Power Module.

Unfortunately, this component of the Jeep Wrangler has experienced many reliability issues and is a common source of headache for Wrangler owners. When the power module fails, it is dangerous and is a major safety concern. You could experience various problems like random airbag deployment, failure to start, and engine stalling.

2. Automatic Transmission Issues

Since the 2005 Jeep Wrangler model, owners have noted issues with the automatic transmission. A common issue includes the transmission being stuck in one gear, which commonly occurs at high speeds. Because of this, the manufacturer recalled these vehicles to fix the issue. It is a time-consuming process despite Jeep covering the costs.

3. Death Wobble

The death wobble is another serious issue that users have complained about the Jeep Wrangler. This problem affected the steering due to damaged or loose components, which can happen when driving through potholes or bumpy roads. Given that the Jeep Wrangler is an off-road SUV, it’s a serious issue!

4. Oil and Water Leaks

Leaking is another common reliability issue with the Jeep Wrangler. Oil is a crucial part of the powertrain, which helps drive the vehicle forward. Many Wrangler owners complain of an oil leak, especially among older Wrangler models.

Meanwhile, oil leak is not the only leaking issue with the Jeep Wrangler. Poor door seals have also resulted in water leaks. While replacing damaged seals is an inexpensive repair, it can still be a hassle for Wrangler owners to deal with this issue.

5. Exhaust Manifold Cracks

The exhaust manifold in the vehicle’s exhaust system funnels the gases from the cylinders to the catalytic converter. Older Jeep Wrangler models have issues with thermal fatigue, resulting in cracks in the exhaust manifold. The most common sign of exhaust manifold cracks is the knocking sound. While common, the unfortunate thing about this reliability issue with the Jeep Wrangler is the expensive repair cost that can average $1000 or more.

Jeep Wrangler Reliability

Jeep Wrangler Safety Rating

The safety rating is a measure of how safe a Jeep Wrangler is. It’s crucial to consider the Jeep Wrangler safety rating when evaluating it for reliability because you want a vehicle that can ensure your safety, especially for an off-road SUV.

The NHTSA has rated the Jeep Wrangler four stars overall, but only three stars for the rollover crash. Meanwhile, its IIHS rating is good for the moderate overlap front crash testing but only scored marginal on the small overlap front crash test. It did poorly on the crash avoidance and mitigation features, so that is something to consider if you’re planning to get the Jeep Wrangler and you want a reliable SUV.

Does the Jeep Wrangler Have Any Recalls?

Over the years, the Jeep Wrangler has had many recalls involving the powertrain and other issues. The number of Jeep Wrangler recalls is an important consideration when buying this off-road SUV because it affects your maintenance and costs involved in those maintenance.

In addition, recalls are important factors in deciding whether to buy this SUV and how it can potentially affect the Jeep Manufacturer warranty. If you are worried about whether your warranty covers the prevailing issues on your Jeep Wrangler, it’s important to note that it does not. You can still enjoy your warranty coverage, or get a new warranty on your vehicle. However, it might affect the cost of your warranty and the extent of your coverage.

Is the Jeep Wrangler Worth It?

With the Jeep Wrangler reliability issues and recalls over the years, it begs the question: is the Wrangler worth it? The Jeep is a well-known brand, even an American icon. They’ve produced many reliable models throughout the years, so if you’re concerned about the Wrangler reliability, you can consider other 4×4 models. It is especially worth considering the Jeep Wrangler if you enjoy off-roading and you need a capable vehicle despite its expensive repair costs.

Make sure you take note of the most reliable Jeep Wrangler model years (and the model years to avoid) to avoid any potential headaches of owning this vehicle.


Do Jeep Wranglers last long?

The average lifespan of Jeep Wranglers is 200,000 miles. These vehicles are known to last a long time, ensuring great value for money despite the issues plaguing this off-road SUV.

Are Jeep Wranglers a lot of maintenance?

The average cost of repair for Jeep Wranglers is higher than the average for off-road SUVs and other vehicles.

What years to avoid when buying a Jeep Wrangler?

Potential buyers must be wary about buying the 2012, 2007, and 2008 Jeep Wrangler models. The 2012 Jeep Wrangler, in particular, has suffered the most number of recalls affecting its overall reliability.

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