Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable? (Jeep Guy Weighs In)

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The Jeep may be an iconic vehicle, but it has endured many recalls making it an unreliable choice for some drivers. It also experiences serious issues that require expensive repair. Some of these problems occur early in the beginning of the Jeep’s use, but other cars get these issues later.

Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable 1 Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable? (Jeep Guy Weighs In)

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Is the Jeep Wrangler reliable? 

The vehicle’s reliability rating is 3.5, over the set reliability of 5. It is ranked as the 25th compact SUV out of 26 based on the frequency, cost, and severity of its actual repair, making the Jeep Wrangler an unreliable vehicle.

The problems make Jeep Wrangler users disregard its popularity and categorize it as an unreliable vehicle. However, it’s crucial to understand this car’s overall standard ratings before concluding your decision.

The Jeep Wrangler’s average repair cost is usually $694, meaning it has average ownership costs. Even though its repairs tend to be severe, the number of times you visit a mechanic is lower than other compact SUVs.

Other vehicle models have a repair cost of $652, and an average SUV has an average repair cost of $521. So, the Wrangler requires higher maintenance than other SUV models.

Since the higher repair costs don’t necessarily indicate that the vehicle is unreliable, the severity of its issues determines its reliability. So, with the increased severity of problems, the Jeep Wrangler seems like a less reliable car than other SUVs.

Common Jeep Wrangler Issues That Make It Unreliable

Here are some of the issues that make the Jeep Wrangler less reliable.

Several Recalls for Fire Risks and Other Safety Issues

Jeep wranglers transform into more stylish models with every release. Unfortunately, some have manual transmissions that can overheat, posing a high fire risk.

In other words, the friction caused by the pressure clutch cracks the vehicle’s transmission case and overheats the engine.

In addition, once the case fractures, heated debris can contact an ignition source and initiate fire. The damaged pressure clutch plate can also lead to propulsion loss, hence creating road debris.

Fire risks aren’t the only concerns fueling these recalls. Jeep also restricted the sale of the Grand Cherokee 2022 model for electronic glitch issues.

Other recalls come up because of the fuel supply part issues. For instance, Jeep engines with 3.0L diesel may exert high pressure on the fuel pump, making it fail prematurely. Once the fuel pump fails, component debris enters the fuel system, causing stalling or starvation.

Some 2020 Jeep Wrangler models also got recalled because of an improper weld issue. As a result, the Jeep’s Lower Arm tends to separate from its axle, posing a crash danger.

In some models, the outboard weld doesn’t touch the frame; instead, it’s attached to the track bar. This particular problem makes drivers doubt the vehicle’s integrity.

This improper weld issue, especially those that lead to track bar failure, suggests an inability of Jeep manufacturers to honor their warranty. As a result, some users opt to file a Jeep lemon case and claim buybacks from Jeep.

Some Jeep models also received recalls because of dangerous Takata airbags. It explodes with a high force, ripping the inflators into tiny pieces and shooting them in the vehicle occupants’ direction.

Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable 1 1 Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable? (Jeep Guy Weighs In)

Too Exhausting for Its Price

With the high Jeep prices, you’ll expect to experience comfort when driving the vehicle anywhere. However, that isn’t always the case with a Wrangler since it’s incredibly workable in off-road drives. However, you’ll pay top dollar for it and still struggle to drive it on the highway.

It has a slower steering rack, solid frontal axle, and heavy tires that make it wander in its lane at highway speed. So, drivers feel drained when on long highway drives.

Compared to other vehicles like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which costs 53 cents per mile, the Jeep Wrangler costs 77 cents per mile.

This vehicle also requires expensive maintenance and care compared to other cars. It may have lower unscheduled maintenance rates per year, but most of the issues discovered by mechanics are usually severe.

For instance, a Jeep Wrangler’s wheel replacement can cost between $763 and $775 on average, whereas the exact service costs between $654 and $665 on average in a Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Another reason this vehicle seems exhausting is its rear hatch design, making it challenging to access the cargo area. If you own a soft-top wrangler, you’ll need to pop off the whole fabric panel and pop it back on again. This design makes loading things in the cargo area a bit of a hassle.

In addition, the Wrangler’s fuel economy varies widely depending on external conditions because of its un-aerodynamic shape. For instance, its highway fuel economy goes from a self-reported 14mpg over a fuel tank on windy days to 12mpg with a tailwind.

So, route planning around fuel for adventure and long road trips is frustrating because of its fuel economy fluctuation.

Not the Safest in Accidents

Car owners prefer to spend money on value and safety. However, this safety also entails the ability of vehicles to protect passengers and drivers in accidents.

Jeeps aren’t safe in accidents. So, as usual, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration subjected the new Wrangler to front impact tests. But, unlike other SUVs that scored five stars, it received a four-star for both the front seat passenger and driver.

In addition, Europe also tested the Jeep’s partial offset front and full-frontal crashes. The vehicles scored an overall of 50 percent. This score reflects 5.7 out of 8 possible full frontal points and 3.9 out of 8 partial overlap points.

The body of the Wrangler is also deemed not to offer enough structural integrity, hence the various recalls for improvements. For instance, the vehicle can easily crumble on contact in any crash despite it having a big chassis.

In addition, the Wrangler’s propellent Takata explodes with excess force in low-speed accidents with little impact. Such a vehicle airbag explosion quickly injures the passengers and leads to fatal deaths.

Several Transmission Issues

Transmission issues have remained consistent throughout the Jeep Wrangler’s generation. The most common ones are harsh shifts and slipping.

The 42RLE transmission issue usually causes these extreme shifts and slipping. It also illuminated the check engine light with odd codes such as F0871, F0755, and F0760.

Some drivers also experience delayed or difficult 3-4 gear changes where the transmission refuses to go into particular gears. It is difficult to identify this issue since it doesn’t trigger any odd check engine light codes. So, they continue to drive, and the transmission issues cause fatal damage to the vehicle.

Your Jeep can also experience a transmission pan problem that leads to fluid spillage. In addition, since this vehicle goes on off-road drives, the debris can crack or dent its transmission pan.


Jeep Wranglers are common because of their durability and stylish look. Many vehicle owners buy them to handle harsh environments. For instance, you can easily enjoy driving on icy roads during the winter.

However, these SUVs are highly-priced, and since their reliability is low, car owners doubt it’s worth the price. Moreover, it’s less reliable because of the numerous transmission issues and safety concerns.