Ah, the Jeep Wrangler, truly an icon of off-roading prowess and a legend among 4×4 enthusiasts. It’s also among the most popular and well-recognized vehicles anywhere owing to its versatility. It could manage to traverse rocky trails just as well as it can do the weekly grocery run. However, it’s from all that publicity where issues begin to raise, as folks wonder about how long do Jeep Wranglers last.
If you ask someone who’s been around for a while, they’ll say that the Wrangler is long-lasting. After all, it descended from the mighty Willys Jeep, an all-conquering transport car that hopped across the treacherous battlefields of WWII. But then, the Willys spawned a civilian variant that the average joe and jane could buy. This is where we start to spot problems coming about from the Jeep Wrangler.
In most recent years, this once-famed war hero faced woes ranging from violent axle wobbles, welds that didn’t hold up, the sway bar disconnecting, deadly shards from the airbags, the wrath of electrical problems, and much more. While no doubt a capable off-roader, is it worthwhile keeping it for more than just a few years at a time? Just how long do Jeep Wranglers last before you start to regret them?
- Are They Reliable?
- Maintenance Cost
- How Long They Last
- Tips On Longevity
- Common Problems
- Years To Avoid
Jeep Wrangler Reliability
Before we look into how long do Jeep Wranglers last, we can expand the question even further. Just how good or bad are the Jeep Wrangler’s reliability credentials? The Wrangler holds a special place in many peoples’ hearts, especially those who’ve owned one. Yet, while the Wrangler remains one of the most iconic cars to come out of Detroit, it does have some issues. How bad are they?
We’ll get into some of the most common Jeep Wrangler problems later on, but for now, we could say that its reliability scores are average. They’re not the most dependable vehicles on the market. But at the same time, you can’t accuse the Wrangler to be the most unreliable car ever. There are plenty of community forums and databases that’ll discuss this in greater detail, like carcomplaints.com.
Here’s the summary from their repositories, filled with actual complaints reported by owners, as well as filings with the NHTSA, showing:
- Over 1,858 complaints filed for all Wrangler model years since 1988. Though, this tally only includes owners’ comments on carcomplaints.com directly. If accounting for NTHSA reports on top of that, it would be far higher. For example, the 2008 model year alone has over 1,000 complaints in total.
- To date, owners have had to go through 64 recall campaigns involving the Wrangler. Certain model years, such as those from 2010, 2011, and 2012, were recalled nearly a dozen times.
- Using the carcomplaints.com PainRank scoring system, the Wrangler ranks as the 6th most reliable model out of 9 other Jeeps. It thus beat out the woefully unreliable Renegade, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee. However, breaking it down by model generation shows that the 3rd-generation Wrangler (2007 to 2017) is the 17th most reliable out of 18 generations (aka the second least reliable).
Are Jeep Wranglers Reliable
So far then, we can see that the Wrangler isn’t entirely reliable. We’ll see this more as we touch on the matter of how long do Jeep Wranglers last. Its reliability isn’t good once you take a step back from all those comments on carcomplaints.com, either. A recent RepairPal survey gave the Jeep Wrangler a 3.5 out of 5.0 when it comes to reliability. In other words, that’s merely above average.
Among other compact SUVs, it ranked 25th out of 26, including models from competing makes. That is bad when you consider that the probability of there being a severe problem during your ownership is 16%. This is higher than the 11% average in its class. There are other reasons and anecdotes which summarise why the Jeep Wrangler isn’t as reliable as it could’ve been:
- While unreliable, owners still love them. Consumer Reports referred to the 2022 Jeep Wrangler to be the most unreliable car. It scored just 2 out of 5 for dependability. Yet, it had a high satisfaction rate among owners, standing at 4 out of 5.
- There have been umpteen recalls issued for the Wrangler, even as recent as 2022. This dragged their reliability scores quite a bite. Lately, there were recalls over problems with the fuelling system, poor welds on the axles and control arms, as well as an overheating clutch that could catch fire.
- In-car electronics and electrical systems throughout the Wrangler are problematic. They can freeze, glitch, or break quite easily. When they do, replacements are expensive and take a long time before you can get your car back.
- Wranglers under 3 years old are typically robust. But once they age between 3 to 8 years, nearly 43% of owners noticed major issues appearing. Issues tend to appear quite early on.
Jeep Wrangler Maintenance Cost
With that in mind, running and maintenance costs for a Jeep Wrangler are also above average. This has been rounded off to about $694, according to the aforementioned RepairPal survey. Compared to the average of $521 in its class of compact SUVs, it’s relatively high. Still, that survey also shows that the frequency of repairs and visits to the workshop is comparatively low to moderate.
To provide some context, here’s what the maintenance schedule looks like for the Jeep Wrangler. It’s worth pointing out that this schedule is a generalized summary of all Wrangler models and trims. It’ll likely look very different for your particular Wrangler. So, once again, be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for a more accurate estimate of what needs servicing or changing:
Jeep Wrangler Maintenance Schedule
|7,500||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter|
|15,000||Rotate Tires, Lubricate Ball Joints, Change Oil and Filter|
|22,500||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter|
|30,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Transmission Fluid Service, Spark Plugs Replacement, Lubricate Ball Joints, Transfer Case Fluid Replacement|
|37,500||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Transmission Fluid Service|
|45,000||Rotate Tires, Lubricate Ball Joints, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter|
|52,500||Rotate Tires, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter|
|60,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Ignition Cable (Spark plug wires) Replacement, Transmission Fluid Service, Spark Plugs Replacement, Lubricate Ball Joints, Transfer Case Fluid Replacement, Change Oil and Filter|
|67,500||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter|
|75,000||Rotate Tires, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter, Transmission Fluid Service, Lubricate Ball Joints|
|82,500||Rotate Tires, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter|
|90,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Transmission Fluid Service, Spark Plugs Replacement, Lubricate Ball Joints, Transfer Case Fluid Replacement|
|97,500||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter|
|105,000||Rotate Tires, Lubricate Ball Joints, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter|
|112,500||Rotate Tires, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter, Transmission Fluid Service|
|120,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Ignition Cable (Spark plug wires) Replacement, Transmission Fluid Service, Spark Plugs Replacement, Lubricate Ball Joints, Transfer Case Fluid Replacement, Change Oil and Filter|
|127,500||Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter|
|135,000||Rotate Tires, Lubricate Ball Joints, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter|
|142,500||Rotate Tires, Cooling System Flush, Change Oil and Filter|
|150,000||Replace Air Filter, Rotate Tires, Change Oil and Filter, Transmission Fluid Service, Replacement, Lubricate Ball Joints, Transfer Case Fluid Replacement|
How Long Do Keep Wranglers Last
With all that out of the way, how long do Jeep Wranglers last, given the rather poor track record for its reliability? In short, it’s actually pretty good. According to the experiences of many owners, a Jeep Wrangler could easily last upwards of 200,000 to 250,000 miles before a major in-and-out rebuild is needed to restore it. Although, these figures are only reflective of most decent Wranglers.
For a Wrangler that’s been cared for and religiously maintained with all the servicing done on time, you could possibly get it past 400,000 miles. This is equivalent to around 15 to 20 years of ownership. For a more reasonable estimate, expect at least 10 years’ worth of driving and 200,000 miles. With that in mind, how could an on-paper unreliable Wrangler last this long, more than most cars?
Well, while Wranglers have been known to suffer many unreliability issues out of the gate, the cars themselves are built to last a long time. You’ll thus have to go through recalls and repairs. But once that’s done, it’s important that you, as the owner, take good care of it. The question of how long do Jeep Wranglers last is dependent entirely on how well you take care of and maintain them over time.
The Wrangler’s longevity is by design, as it was built to tackle rough terrain and hard driving over a set of beaten paths. Many off-roading enthusiasts regularly beat up their Wranglers, yet could keep on driving them for years and thousands of miles without issues. Moreover, the Wrangler’s focus on DIYing and modifications means that it’s also pretty easy to repair at home if you’re willing.
How To Make Your Jeep Wrangler Last Longer
Having just mentioned that, here are some tips for you to extend the lifespan of your Wrangler. This can help alleviate some of the concerns around how long do Jeep Wranglers last. Remember, with proactive and habitual behavior towards maintaining your Wrangler, you can easily get it to last a long, long time. This merely revolves around servicing your Jeep Wrangler when it comes time.
To get your Wrangler running peachy and reliably, you’ll have to:
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #1 – Change The Oil
Change the motor oil, which should be done every 5,000 miles or roughly 6 months. That scheduling may vary between specific Wrangler trims, though. You can find a precise quote somewhere in your owner’s manual. Also, make sure you choose the right type of engine oil to match the engine.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #2 – Replace The Tires
Replace the tires, especially if you’re driving it hard, such as going off-roading. Usually, the Wrangler has tires that’ll last about 40,000 miles before a replacement is needed. Be mindful of the treadwear markers to know when you’ll need to change them, as well as symptoms such as losing traction.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #3 – Rotate And Align
Rotate the tires, which is usually done with every other oil change. This is necessary to balance out treadwear across all four tires. Hence, prevents uneven tire wear. In addition, wheel alignments are crucial on a Wrangler, especially if you take it off-road frequently, which wears it out more.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #4 – Check The Suspension
Inspect the suspension system, as it’ll wear out quickly if you drive it hard. Note any symptoms such as the car leaning too much when making turns or shaking more when you drive over a speedhump. Or, perhaps you might notice vibrations or stiffness in the steering wheel.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #5 – Inspect Worn Parts
Speaking of, while you’re looking over the suspension, focus on these key components that’ll wear out more often than others. They include the universal joints, CV joints and axles, tie rod ends, axle fluids (front and rear), and more. As for the latter, the axle fluids need changing after 40,000 miles.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #6 – Shock Absorbers
Check the shock absorbers, too. On a generalized average, they tend to last around 4 to 5 years or about 40,000 to 50,000 miles. They’ll wear far quicker if you take part in off-roading, for example. If they exhibit too much wear and tear upon inspection, you’ll have to replace them.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #7 – Swap Brake Pads
Swap out the brake pads, which for the Wrangler, wear out faster in the rear. They’ll last anywhere around 40,000 miles before you’ll have to replace the brake pads (and rotors). Note any odd noises when you’re driving as a tell-tale sign that they need changing for a new set.
Making Jeep Wranglers Last Longer, Tip #8 – Check For Rust
Make sure there’s no corrosion. Event the new Wrangler follows an old-school design, which uses a lot of metal components. This is particularly so given that you’re most likely to take it off road. With exposure to water, mud, snow, rain, or foraging rivers, the underside may show signs of rust.
Do Jeep Wranglers Have A Lot Of Problems?
To sum it up quickly, yes, Jeep Wranglers tend to suffer from more issues on average than most other cars. While you needn’t have to worry much when it comes to how long do Jeep Wranglers last, you’ll have to deal with numerous problems throughout the ownership. Here’s a summary of some of those troubles that often appear on Jeep Wranglers:
Jeep Wrangler Problems #1 – Death Wobble
An instance where the front axle shakes, vibrates, and oscillates violently. That death wobble could instantly make your car challenging to control. This is most often caused by faults in the suspension, steering, and wheels. They include bad wheel alignment, unbalanced tires, worn-out ball joints, or a loose stabilizer bar. Fixing them usually involves diagnosing and replacing each one.
Jeep Wrangler Problems #2 – TIPM Failure
Otherwise known as the Totally Integrated Power Module, the TIPM is your Jeep’s central computer. Unfortunately, it’s known to glitch out and fail constantly, affecting many Jeep models. Without any reliable commands from the TIPM, your car’s electronics fail, too. For example, the fuel pump might not pump any fuel, the airbags may not deploy, the engine stalls, doors lock randomly, and more.
Jeep Wrangler Problems #3 – Sway Bar Disconnects
Certain Wrangler models have an electronic sway bar, which allows it to be disconnected for better off-road maneuverability. However, Jeep has failed to shield all those electronics which control this electronic sway bar. Therefore, the housing can let in rainwater that’ll fry the electronics. Now, the electronic sway bar could be left disconnected, which can cause a loss of control at high speeds.
Jeep Wrangler Problems #4 – Bad Welding Points
This mostly impacts later Wranglers, as recent as the 2018 to 2021 model year. The welding in these Wranglers isn’t done properly. In some cases, the welding in the steering shaft would fail. As such, leading to lackluster steering response. Elsewhere, the track bar brackets might not be welded right. Consequently, this could cause the brackets to split from the frame, leading to excessive noise.
Jeep Wrangler Problems #5 – Faulty Crash Sensors
All Wranglers are fitted with an ACU (Airbag Control Units). When a collision is detected through the crash sensors dotted across the car, the ACU will trigger the airbags to deploy. As well as, activating the seatbelt pretensioners. These ACUs can sometimes be overloaded with current or voltage, which could shut them down. Without the ACU, you won’t get airbags or pretensioners in an accident.
Jeep Wrangler Years To Avoid
To round up how long do Jeep Wranglers last, we can summarise with – quite a long time, if you take good care of it. With frequent maintenance, modest driving styles, and loving attention, you can find a Wrangler lasting for up to 20 years. And, breaking past 400,000 miles on the odometer. Though, a still half-decent Wrangler could easily last for 10 to 15 years, and at least 200,000 or 250,000 miles.
In all, the Wrangler isn’t the most reliable car that you can buy. Plus, they’re uncomfortable and not dynamically well-tuned for on-road driving. Moreover, they’re hardly the most economical vehicles out there. On the flipside, Wranglers are massively fun to drive off-road and are very friendly cars if you want to modify them. Moreover, and as we’ve seen, they’re long-lasting, rugged, and robust.
Nevertheless, there’s more than just servicing and care that goes into determining that. It’ll also be a good idea for you to opt for the best years of the Jeep Wrangler. If you’re really thinking of getting a Wrangler, then be sure to avoid its worst years on sale, as well. Now that you already know how long do Jeep Wranglers last, here are some quick dates on what model years to avoid…
Best Jeep Wrangler Years:
Worst Jeep Wrangler Years:
FAQs On How Long Do Jeep Wranglers Last
If you’re still unsure about how long do Jeep Wranglers last, our FAQs here might have the answers…
Are Jeeps Reliable
Though Jeeps are generally built for longevity, they do suffer from a myriad of reliability issues along the way. In short, they’re not the most reliable vehicles that you can buy. In particular, try to avoid a Grand Cherokee, which is regarded as the least reliable Jeep ever. Overall, common issues with Jeeps include electrical problems, the infamous death wobble, poor emissions, and airbag defects.
Are Jeeps Good Cars
Despite the reliability concerns, Jeeps are generally pretty good cars to own. Looking besides repairs and maintenance, they’re great fun to drive off road and are incredibly versatile. You can happily get some school runs and grocery shopping done, before hitting the trail with ease. Their do-it-all nature is what makes Jeeps very appealing if you need a practical, all-season, and all-terrain vehicle.
How Many Miles Can A Jeep Wrangler Last
The Wrangler is among the more long-lasting models within Jeep’s line-up. Decent examples can last upwards of 200,000 to 250,000 miles before needing serious restoration work. This equates to about 10 to 15 years’ worth of ownership. However, take good care of it and practice diligent maintenance, a Wrangler could easily last upwards of 400,000 miles. Or, around 20 years or more.
How Long Is A Jeep Wrangler
Jeep’s famed Wrangler can be had in 3 distinct body styles. The shortest is the 2-door Wrangler, with an overall length of 166.8 inches, on a 96.8-inch wheelbase. Meanwhile, the 4-door Wrangler is a bit longer, with an overall length of 188.4 inches and a 118.4-inch wheelbase. There’s also the Gladiator. It has an overall length of 218.0 inches, with a 137.3-inch wheelbase and 60.3-inch long bed.
Are Jeep Wranglers Good Cars
In general, yes. The Wrangler has a very dedicated fanbase. They’re fantastic off-roaders, with a lot of flexibility when it comes to modifications. Thus, elevating its off-road prowess even further. They look pretty distinct, as well. On the flip side, the Wrangler’s on-tarmac driving experience isn’t great, and it’s prone to suffering from plenty of reliability concerns. They’re pricey to run and maintain, too.
Do Jeep Wranglers Hold Their Value
The Jeep Wrangler is well known for its fantastic off-road performance and robustness. Plus, there’s a highly dedicated and keen fanbase built around the Wrangler. Altogether, it’s able to hold onto its value pretty well. On average, a Wrangler will retain around 70% of its MSRP after owning it for 3 or so years. After 5 years of ownership, it’ll still hold 60% of its value, which are both pretty good.
These tools have been tried and tested by our team, they are ideal for fixing your car at home.