The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most iconic vehicles in the world. However, despite its popularity and cult following, this Jeep model has some flaws here and there.
The Wrangler was first introduced to the public in 1986 as a successor to the first-ever commercial Jeep, the CJ (or Civilian Jeep)—aptly named because the Jeeps before it were manufactured strictly for military use. It has gone through several generations of upgrades and improvements since its debut. The second-generation Wranglers released from 1996 to 2006, known as the TJ, had enhanced durability and ruggedness. It was followed by the JK model in 2007, featuring a four-door design that was a departure from the traditional two-door setup. The JL, the current generation that has been in production since 2018, features a lower beltline and larger windows.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common Jeep Wrangler problems owners have experienced.
TIPM and Electrical Issues
The TIPM or Totally Integrated Power Module is about as important to the Jeep Wrangler as it sounds. It pretty much handles everything electrical within the vehicle, such as the windshield wipers, the air-conditioning, the lights, and the radio, so you can probably expect what might happen in case it fails.
The most common issue associated with TIPM failure is a general loss of power. It might not seem like such a big deal, but some owners get to the point where their Wranglers won’t even start. These electrical issues go all the way to the present model of the Jeep Wrangler. There are even some reports of the warning lights of the 2022 model refusing to light up, causing all sorts of problems.
This is a kind of problem many Jeep Wrangler owners notice about 50,000 miles in, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about it if you’ve got a brand-new Jeep. Also, it can be fixed by simply having the module replaced, which will cost about $1,500.
The TPS or throttle position sensor is responsible for proper fuel management. It helps make sure the engine uses the right mixture of air and fuel. This injection system pretty much ensures that your Jeep runs correctly, which means any kind of failure in the system is bad news.
Several things can happen when a Wrangler’s TPS fails. The least worrying scenario is that your Jeep will end up using more fuel than usual. Other worse symptoms can include a lack of power when accelerating, accelerating by itself, stalling when idling, and more. The “Check Engine” light might also be on while you experience these symptoms, which can be extremely troubling.
Fortunately, this issue can be fixed by replacing the system, which won’t cost much. Unlike the TIPM, the TPS should cost only around $250 (including labor), though it might vary depending on your mechanic.
Leaking Door Seals
Jeeps are pretty rugged and well-known for their off-road capabilities, which is why it’s ironic that they have a problem with leaking door seals. The latest edition of the Jeep Wrangler doesn’t suffer from this issue as much as previous generations, but it doesn’t change the fact that such an issue can still pop up now and again.
The problem with leaking door seals is they make for a pretty damp interior, leaving something of an odor problem inside your Wrangler if you use it for off-road activities. Even worse, they could also lead to problems with the electrical system, which could also lead to TIPM failure.
Sealing things up with a quality weatherstrip can solve this issue. It’s affordable enough as is that you don’t really have to worry about spending a lot. Of course, you’ll want to do this sooner rather than later.
“Death Wobble” and Braking Issues
Anyone who has driven a Jeep Wrangler for extended periods understands the so-called “death wobble.” This typically occurs when you drive over uneven terrain, or if you hit the brakes too hard, resulting in the steering wheel wobbling violently—a pretty scary experience for most.
The death wobble could also mean that something is wrong with the suspension, and all manner of issues could be the culprit. If you ever experience this issue, keep calm, take control, and have your suspension checked. Your best bet is to send your Wrangler over to a trusted mechanic, though repair costs can vary (pretty wildly).
It’s also important to have your brakes checked regularly, as the current generation of Jeep Wranglers suffers from braking issues—some drivers even complained that it takes way too much pressure on the pedal for it to function.
Make the Most Out of Your Jeep Wrangler
Having a complete understanding of the most common problems with the Jeep Wrangler is one of the best ways you can make the most out of your vehicle. These issues may pose some worries, but they aren’t dealbreakers when it comes to the reliability of the Wrangler.