The Jeep Wrangler has been in almost constant production since 1986. It is one of the most popular vehicles in the Jeep range. Of course, when a vehicle has been around for this long, and with technology rapidly improving, there is bound to be a couple of slip-ups here and there.
While most model years of the Jeep Wrangler are tremendous vehicles that will give you many, many years of happy use, there are a few model years that you need to steer clear of.
These are the ones that you will often find in the bargain basement of used vehicle trading websites. This is a very good reason too.
Let us introduce you to the three Jeep models that you shouldn’t touch. Well, at least not if you do not want to be dealing with years of problems.
2007 Jeep Wrangler
Do you enjoy your steering wheel shaking rather aggressively when you hit a speed bump or a pothole? Love losing control of your vehicle because of that? Great! You will love the 2007 Jeep Wrangler. This vehicle was a death trap.
The Jeep Wrangler has a solid front axle. It always has done. This means that when you go over a bump, it does cause that steering wheel to shake. It is known as the ‘death rattle’.
Now, in past Jeep Wrangler models, this was easy to deal with. You never really lost control of the vehicle. The 2007 Jeep Wrangler turned this on its head. The rattle was worse than ever, and if you didn’t have proper control over that vehicle, it wouldn’t be a fun experience.
The 2007 Jeep Wrangler also had a wealth of problems with the airbags. These airbag issues resulted in several recalls of the model.
As will be a common theme with each of the vehicles discussed on this list, the 2007 model was also prone to engine failure. If you have a 2007 Jeep Wrangler with an engine due to be replaced, and almost will need it done eventually, you are going to be enjoying a hefty $5,000+ replacement bill.
We are sure that you do not want to be lumbered with a repair bill this hefty. This is why we suggest that you steer clear of the 2007 Jeep Wrangler, particularly if there is no evidence that the engine has ever been replaced.
If the fact that you could potentially lose control of your vehicle while having an airbag not deploy is not enough to put you off, the 2007 Jeep Wrangler is the most recalled model in the Jeep range. It dealt with 10 product recalls over its short lifespan.
2008 Jeep Wrangler
Jeep had a real challenge on its hands when it came to the 2008 Jeep Wrangler. The 2007 model was doing major harm to their brand, and they really had to hit the ground running with the 2008 model.
The problem? There were so many issues with the 2007 Jeep Wrangler that it was almost impossible to fix them all with the 2008 model.
An even bigger problem? It seems as if Jeep didn’t even bother to attempt to fix the problem. Almost all of the problems that you could find in the 2007 model were back in the 2008 model. However, Jeep managed to throw in an extra issue, just for good measure.
The major problem with the 2008 Jeep Wrangler was the total failure of the TIPM. While we are sure that there were many 2008 Jeep Wrangler owners that were completely happy with their Jeep Wrangler, it seems that the majority of the complaints over the years have been focused on that TIPM.
We wouldn’t be surprised if almost all of the 2008 models that are still active on the road have had the TIPM replaced at some point.
The engine in the 2008 wasn’t that good either. It was an oil guzzling machine. This often resulted in a complete replacement of the engine. You would be looking at a hefty bill for that.
Again, we reckon that many of the 2008 models that are still on the road will have had an engine replacement at some point. If they haven’t, then you can bet your bottom dollar that they will need one soon.
What does this all mean?
Well, if you pick yourself up a 2008 Jeep Wrangler, you are going to be looking at a vehicle that could die on you at any minute. it isn’t worth it to get one of these machines repaired, and we doubt that there are that many mechanics that are looking to deal with them either.
2012 Jeep Wrangler
It is now 4-years after the ill-fated 2008 Jeep Wrangler. You would think that Jeep would have managed to have finally sorted out the issues that plagued the 2007 and 2008 models. You would be wrong. The problems came back with a vengeance. In fact, they actually ended up being a lot worse than the previous models.
We think the major problem with the 2012 Jeep Wrangler, and something that many Jeep owners seem to agree with, is that Jeep tried to incorporate far too many technological upgrades at once.
While most other vehicle manufacturers will make a couple of changes to their models each year, Jeep decided that the 2012 Jeep Wrangler would be a massive push into improving the vehicle across the board.
The problem is that the more bits and pieces in a vehicle you change, the more likely there are to be issues. It also seems as if Jeep were so focused on dealing with new issues that appeared on the Jeep Wrangler, they didn’t even bother to check that they had dealt with the old issues.
For example, remember that TIPM issue on the 2008 Jeep Wrangler? Well, that was present in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. This was a rather hefty repair bill if you had to deal with that.
On top of this, you have drivetrain issues. You had stability issues. You even had issues that would necessitate the replacement of the whole engine, and many 2012 Jeep Wranglers that have been driven any sort of distance have had that.
There were even safety issues with the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. There was a mass recall of the vehicle because the airbags didn’t deploy. In fact, there was a whopping 9 recalls for the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. Not the most recalls for a Jeep, but some of the most extensive.
If you ask any Jeep Wrangler lover, they will tell you that the 2012 model is the worst to be made. Avoid.
We know that the issues that we talked about here may put you off of the Jeep Wrangler a little bit. However, we do want to point out that the Jeep Wrangler is still a tremendous vehicle. It has been on the road for decades for this reason.
As long as you steer clear of these vehicle models, and do your research before purchasing other model years, then we are confident that you are going to end up with a vehicle that you genuinely are going to love. Remember; every car company makes mistakes at times.