Your old car broke down; your family is getting bigger and needs more space, or you just want to upgrade to something a little newer. Whatever the reason, you have found yourself in the market for a new car and now you have to decide—which car do I want? If you want something that is good in the snow, holds its value, and offers the cargo space you need for your weekend adventures, then there is a good chance a Jeep Wrangler will end up on your considerations list, but how long do Jeep Wranglers last?
Drivers can expect to get anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 miles from their Jeep Wrangler, with most vehicles easily reaching 250,000 miles. However, maintenance is a major factor in the vehicle’s longevity.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Wranglers’ reliability, including the most common problems to plague Wrangler owners.
What Is a Jeep Wrangler?
Classified as a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the Wrangler is a series of four-wheel-drive vehicles manufactured by Jeep. It first became available to the public in 1986, and although some people speculate that the Wrangler is a descendent of the earlier military Jeeps, this has never been confirmed. Because of its aggressive look, go-anywhere attitude, and powerful engine, the vehicle quickly gained popularity among off-road and adventure enthusiasts.
Although the Jeep Wrangler has undergone several revisions, it has not strayed far from its original rugged look, making it one of the most recognizable vehicles on the road. Today, the Wrangler is sporting some serious upgrades and drivers can enjoy advanced technology such as keyless entry, 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot capability, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen featuring Uconnect technology.
Are Jeep Wrangler’s Reliable?
According to RepairPal (an organization that scores vehicles based on the cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs), the Wrangler has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 25th out of 26 for compact SUVs. Additionally, they go on to say that the Wrangler has an average annual repair cost of $694, which is about average for vehicles in this class. However, the probability of a repair being severe is 16% which is a bit high when compared to other compact SUVs, whose probability of a serious repair is only 11%.
Similarly, J.D. Power (an organization that bases its score on the unbiased reviews of real drivers) has given the 2021 Jeep Wrangler a reliability score of 83/100, which places the vehicle as #6 in Compact SUVs.
|RepairPal||3.5 out of 5.0||25 out of 26 in Compact SUVs|
|J.D. Power||83/100 (for the 2021 model)||#6 in Compact SUVs|
Additionally, you can find J.D. Power’s reliability ratings by year below.
|2022||N/A||2017||71/100 #8 in Compact SUVs||2012||69/100 #11 in Compact SUVs|
|2021||83/100 #6 in Compact SUVs||2016||73/100 #7 in Compact SUVs||2011||70/100 #8 in Compact SUVs|
|2020||81/100 #7 in Compact SUVs||2015||78/100 #7 in Compact SUVs||2010||70/100 #11 in Compact SUVs|
|2019||66/100 #8 in Compact SUVs||2014||74/100 #7 in Compact SUVs||2009||72/100 #9 in Compact SUVs|
|2018||N/A||2013||72/100 #7 in Compact SUVs||2008||63/100 #11 in Compact SUVs|
Source: J.D. Power
Although the Jeep Wrangler is not topping the charts in terms of reliability, it is not the worst vehicle in its class either. One of the reasons the Wrangler has gotten such a bad reputation is because of its off-road capabilities. The Wrangler is designed to be driven under conditions that most vehicles would never face, but because it does not have much in the way of competition, it is compared to vehicles that are not driven as harshly. Additionally, people often romanticize the idea of a Jeep, and the Wrangler has a tough time living up to these expectations.
Are Wranglers Expensive to Maintain?
Repair and maintenance costs can fluctuate depending on where you go, but according to CAREDGE, the average Wrangler driver can expect to spend around $10,397 on maintenance and repairs during the first ten years of owning the vehicle. Edmunds breaks this down a bit more, saying that drivers can expect to spend $3,682 on maintenance and $1,181 on repairs within the first five years of ownership.
Below, you will find a list of suggested maintenance as well as the average cost of that service for a Jeep Wrangler. Please keep in mind that these prices can vary depending on where you live and where you have the vehicle serviced.
|Maintenance/Repair||Mileage Intervals||Average Cost of Service|
|Rotate Tires||Every 7,500 miles||$35 – $44|
|Oil Change||Every 3,000 – 7,500 miles depending on the oil you have used.||$133 – $142|
|Air Filter Replacement||Every 30,000 miles||$64 – $70|
|Spark Plug Replacement Wire Replacement||Every 30,000 miles||$229 – $302 $133 – $168|
|Coolant Flush||Every 30,000 miles||$118 – $149|
|Transmission Fluid Change||Every 15,000 miles||$145 – $167|
|Tire and Wheel Assembly Rotate and Balance||N/A||$79 – $100|
What Are the Most Common Problems with a Jeep Wrangler?
Like any car, the Jeep Wrangler has had its fair share of problems over the years, with older models having some significant issues. For example, the 2005 model had some serious transmission problems. Not only did the problem occur early in the vehicle’s life (around 30,000 miles), but it was also frustratingly expensive to fix. The 2007 model had problems as well with drivers reporting a “death wobble” that was linked to suspension issues, and several recalls.
Below you can find a list of some of the most common services completed on Jeep Wranglers as well as the estimated cost to repair those issues.
|Common Repair||Average Mileage Problem Occurs||Average Repair Cost|
|“Death Wobble” This can be a result of several issues such as the sway bar system, bushings, and steering shocks.||72,900||$880 and up depending on what is causing the problem.|
|Sway Bar System Disconnect||Can happen anytime||$1,500 – $3,000|
|Throttle Position Sensor Failure||105,278||$70 – $89|
|Engine Front Cover Gasket Replacement||113,672||$546 – $661|
|Exhaust Manifold Stud Failure||108,748||$793 – $907|
If you’re considering buying a used Jeep Wrangler it’s worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.