I have been researching the Wrangler as I am in need of a vehicle and have always considered one. I have been a subscriber of Consumer Reports for decades now and always had good luck following their advice. They rate every single Wrangler as having very very poor reliability. Now it seems that a vehicle that is THAT prone to break down and fall apart would never have the following that the Wrangler has.
So my questions are this, is this severely over stated? Is there a series or model that is more prone to problems than the others? Is there a series that is less prone to issues?
I'm looking to be in the under 100k mile category which puts me in the early 2000 model years mostly.
i've never really seen any jeep wranglers break down unless it was seriously wheeled or if they did rediculous mods to it and didn't install them correctly i own a 1993 YJ and the owner before me killed the motor by hydro-locking it, i replaced the motor from the same year with about 120k on it and it runs like a champ, it starts up EVERY TIME, even in the cold weather. i would recommend a wrangler to anyoe and everyone, they are the coolest vehicles to have, 4x4 in the winter with a hard top, and a rear wheel drive convertable in the summer time. GOTTA LOVE THE WRANGLERS!!!!!
I had a 2001 Wrangler and had zero trouble with it; however, I hadto trade it in 2003 with only about 18,000 miles. It was garage kept and never taken off road*.
*Does the part in bold describe the typical Wrangler?
My hypothesis about Wrangler reliability ratings is they are not comparable to vehicles that are never taken off road. If you only surveyed owners that did not off road the Wrangler, then the survey findings would be more comparable to other Dodge / Chrysler vehicles (like the Caravan / Grand caravan).
Warning, off topic: When I started looking for my current Wrangler, I was considering a 2007-08 model with less than 50,000 miles. I actually looked at a 07 model that the dealership described as "clean as a tack". I drove about 90 miles only to know within seconds that I wasn't at all interested. The center console showed extreme wear and the seats were stained. My 03 truck was in showroom condition compared to that. I started looking online again at 2008 models with 40,000 or less miles and they were typically asking about $5,000 less than the sticker price of my 2010 Unlimited Sport. My wife of 20+ years said just buy a new one or you will never be happy. She was right. Although the used models may have had more options, my base model has the things I wanted. If I bought used I would have constatntly worried about whether oil changes were done on time, how hard it was driven ect... For me the intangibles are worth the extra money. My 2010 Wrangler will be garage kept, fed synthetic oil, and likley never go off road.
I would assume that, if you can find a Wrangler that's been serviced regularly, driven like a minivan or other regular vehicle, it would likely be as reliable as any other Chrysler / Dodge vehicle. The 3.8 V6 in my Wrangler is a lot like the 3.8 V6 in my wife's 07 Grand Caravan.
2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Oil changes at 6,000 miles? No way! My goal is for the motor to last as long as possible, not the oil.
I would have to say that YES, it is well over-stated. I feel that my Jeep is more dependable than any other vehicle I have owned. Take a moment to read some of the threads here and see how actual Wrangler owners feel about the reliability.
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I agree with the other posters that a Wrangler is a reliable vehicle. But just like with any other enthusiast vehicle, people tend to spend more time working on them. Modding them, upgrading them and also if used as designed, an off-road vehicle will need more maintainance than one that never sees dust, rocks, tree branches etc. Make the plunge. I have never had as much driving any other car/truck or what have you that my Jeep brings me.
Honestly, what vehicle does this magazine compare them to? Jeep Wranglers are in their own class altogeher. No other vehicle that I know of can take the abuse and punishment that I've thrown at my Jeep TJ and still be able to drive it to work come monday.
I have seen those reports too. The 4.0 engine in these things are rock solid, heavy duty transmissions, and besides i have had very little problems, in fact no probems. When i work on it, its for maintanence. stuff you should be doing anyway.
I have heard the 4.0 is comparable to the 350 small block as far reliability.
They both run forever
2001 TJ 4.0L Automatic, D35/30, both hard and soft top, full doors,JKS quicker Disconnects, 31" discoverer ATR, American racing 767 offset 15" wheel. ProComp Genuine steel bumpers front and back. glass pack muffler, Rugged Ridge extended fender flares, 130w KC daylighters, motorcycle light for reverse lights. 86,000k miles (11-7-2012)
Im pretty sure everyone beats there wrangler to some degree whether they offroad or not... and I have seen very few problems that people had, that were not from their own ignorance of how to drive/operate a vehicle. yea it has its fair share of problems, but so does any car. I feel safe and confident in my jeep anywhere I take it. I would take it over any other vehicle anyday.
Ryan - A good eye, a light foot, and a smart rig. Bolt-ons are boring
As to CR, well, I have followed their advice on most purchases since 1990 and been pretty satisfied with them.
As to Jeep being a Chrysler, well, in my book that is strikes 1 and 2. I had a 1987 Plymouth Sundance with the 2.2 L Turbo engine. That one had all new CV joints at 40k, new head at 60k and at 70k the turbo was going out and would require the head be replaced AGAIN. Sold it instead. Then I had an 84 Plymouth Voyager. That one did make 100k, but then would lose antifreeze, but compression was great, and nothing in the oil, and nothing on the ground. So it was intermitently burning it. Also had the tranny rebuilt at 80k. So Chrysler has been a "four letter word" to me for years.
I have a 1993 Wrangler, 2.5L, 5-speed manual, 132,000k. It's not pretty, it doesn't go very fast, she's topless 24/7 365 (yes I get wet if it rains), I beat the ever-living crap out of it every single day - I've flipped her, sunk her, rolled her, and theres not a straight piece of metal left on her, but when I go to start her every morning she starts and gets me where I'm going; compared to my neighbors 2005 Nissan Maxima which weekly I have to do something to it just so it runs. Jeeps are just like any other car (only in the maintenance department though) when it comes to maintenance - you take care of her chief and she'll take care of you.
'97 Sahara TJ
-4.0L manual on 35's
-4" Teraflex lift, 4.56 gears
-Dana 30 w/ OX locker up front, Dana 35 w/Detroit in the rear (for now)
I think my jeep is pretty reliable. You maybe calling Chrysler a four letter word, but atleast you aint calling it the horrid 6letter word that starts with an H. Anyways im at 90k and nothing went wrong yet, only a seeping radiator but that isnt to bad, just refile the rad every 3k miles. I dont understand what could go wrong, i dont have windows, i dont have an A/c, and i dont have no gagets like heated seats, or power chairs, power windows, pretty soon im going to lose my doors also, my jeep is in a-okay condition
Although I do not own a Jeep Wrangler, I do see my fair share of them here in NH. Whenever possible, I will speak with the owner of a Wrangler ; I am always told what a great vehicle it is and how many people have owned previous Wranglers and have always had great luck with them!
Like any other vehicle on our roads, if it is well maintained and not abused, it should provide its' owner with many years and miles.
I saw a couple of days ago the Jeeps again got a poor reliability grade from CR.
I wonder if its because the statistics are reflecting the Wranglers' high incidence of such things as deep-water hydrolocking, big-rock bashing and deep-mud damage. Such defects are much higher than, for instance, the Prius or those new-age all-electrics that are designed to save the planet.
I wonder if CR has looked into how many of those "unreliable" vintage Jeeps are still on the road (and off-road) compared to the average "reliable" vintage sedan.