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The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular American vehicles, but not every model year is a hit. Although the SUV is known for its ruggedness, Jeep dropped the ball on some model years and created problematic vehicles. Below are a few Jeep Wrangler years to avoid.

The Jeep Wrangler years to avoid

While the Jeep Wrangler is known for being rugged, durable, and long-lasting, some model years aren’t all that and a bag of chips. Models with the most reported issues are a bit older, as Jeep has been steadily improving its reliability rating.

The Jeep Wrangler years to avoid include:

  • 2007 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2008 Jeep Wrangler
  • 2012 Jeep Wrangler
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler on a  dirt road
2012 Jeep Wrangler | Jeep

The 2007 Jeep Wrangler’s problems

One of the first Jeep Wrangler years to avoid is from 2017. The 2007 Jeep Wrangler experienced issues on multiple fronts. In addition to facing 10 recalls affecting millions of Wranglers, this model year had problems ranging from the steering to the fuel system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that steering problems were the most frequent issue this model year faced. The NHTSA also noted many airbag issues. In fact, the airbags were the source of a major recall.

The so-called death wobble, which notoriously occurs on Jeep Wranglers, was a primary complaint reported on CarComplaints. The average repair cost for the death wobble is about $880, which was the most common complaint made by the site’s users. 

Drivers also reported plenty of engine issues. According to owners who faced total engine failure, the repairs cost them about $4,400. Furthermore, the NHTSA also shows numerous braking problems with this Jeep Wrangler year.

The 2008 model failed to fix the issues

The 2008 Jeep Wrangler experienced the same issues as the 2007 model, including faulty airbags that caused a major recall. Although the 2008 model has slightly fewer recalls, with nine, it also has far more complaints than the 2007 model.

Once again, these issues affected the entire vehicle, but the notorious death wobble was among the more significant. The death wobble was the second most common issue, and repairs cost about $800. 

However, the worst issue for the 2008 model was a Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) failure. Repairing the TIPM set owners back about $960, and it was a frequent problem.

One of the costlier issues with the 2008 Jeep Wrangler was excessive engine oil consumption. The problem cost owners about $5,050 to repair.

In addition, the NHTSA reported numerous steering and fuel system problems and drivetrain issues.

The 2012 Jeep Wrangler was voted the worst model year to avoid

Last but not least, the 2012 model is the worst out of all the Jeep Wrangler years to avoid. Though newer than the 2007 and 2008 models, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler is the worst-rated Jeep Wrangler year to avoid overall. With 10 recalls, it ties for the most, including one of the largest of its kind.

As with the older models, issues with the airbags were the main culprit. However, a new issue with the 2012 Jeep Wrangler’s airbags also caused another recall that affected millions of vehicles.

The death wobble isn’t as common in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. However, the 2012 model still experiences many of the same issues as the 2007 and 2008 models. 

For example, its TIPM was also prone to failure, and repairing it costs an average of $1,300. Furthermore, a common engine problem forced many drivers to cough up $4,400 for a total replacement. 

Many owners also had heater issues, requiring about $1,000 to fix. A lot of these issues occurred with relatively new Wranglers too. On top of that, the NHTSA reported numerous drivetrain problems that affected new models. 

It’s important to keep in mind that every vehicle is different, and overall, the Jeep Wrangler has enjoyed high owner satisfaction. But be sure to do your research and know the signs of trouble when looking at older models.