What Are Some Common Problems With the Jeep Wrangler?

by Michael Davidson

The Jeep Wrangler is the quintessential off-road vehicle. Originally based off of the military 4x4 that would transport soldiers and supplies over rough terrain in World War II, the Wrangler has become one of Jeep's most popular vehicles. The Wrangler name came about in the mid-1980s as a replacement to the Jeep CJ. While they remain a popular staple of the Jeep family, there has been a laundry-list of common complaints that have plagued the series.

Fuel Efficiency

Its size, weight and lack of aerodynamic design all combine to put Wranglers on the lower-end of the fuel economy scale, averaging between 15 to 20 miles per gallon depending on if you're driving in the city or on the freeway. Smaller economy cars can get up to 32 miles per gallon on the freeway and hybrids can get up to 50 miles per gallon. While slower acceleration, maintaining a lower top speed and use of cruise control can help maximize your Jeep's mpg, the same can be said for other vehicles as well, and Wranglers still come up short in comparison.


Jeep Wranglers from 2005 to 2008 have had multiple recalls for automatic transmission and power train problems. The transmission can start slipping or get stuck in a particular gear. While a recall means any repairs for this problem are covered by Jeep, it can still be quite a hassle to experience when you're trying to get to work or school and can be a danger if it occurs on the freeway and gets locked in gear.

Exterior Lighting

Multiple Jeep vehicles had recalls issued for aftermarket exterior lighting from 1998 to 2003. The reason was that replacement lamps on certain models did not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and did not contain the required amber side reflectors. The resulting decreased visibility when driving at night could result in a car crash. While this only applies to replacement lamps and not the originals installed in the factory, check the model number of your exterior lighting equipment to make sure the lights on your Jeep are in compliance if you are not the original owner or have had any of the exterior lights replaced.

Window Regulators

The window regulator is the device in the car door responsible for making the glass in power windows go up and down. Jeep Wranglers and other Jeep models have had multiple complaints lobbied against them for the window regulators repeatedly failing. No official recall has ever been ordered, and they can be hundreds of dollars to fix. The regulator will fail and the glass will be stuck in whatever position it was in at the time of failure, which can be inconvenient depending on weather conditions.

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