Jeep owners are a unique species. Their dedication to the Jeep brand is remarkable. Through thick and thin they will stick with their Jeep and overlook any flaws that Jeeps have, even if it is a part wearing on their vehicle. The issues overlooked or ignored could be minor, or they could be quite serious.
Mechanics get to see every one of these problems first hand. It is extremely rare to find a Jeep that has all 20 problems that are in this article unless the owner has a well-developed skill of ignoring problems with their jeep. A response mechanics get often when telling the owner about these issues is “I’ve known about that for a while, don’t worry about it.” With all the puddles left under the jeeps while they are inside the shop, I can’t even imagine what their driveway looks like. The BP oil spill was probably nothing compared to the mess an ignored Jeep can make.
Each of these problems can be ignored to an extent, but jeep owners can be known to roll the dice on how long they can go without getting the problem actually fixed. A figurative band-aid can be put on every one of these problems, making them really easy to ignore them.
Most vehicles over time will build up with carbon inside the throttle body, but Jeeps are particularly bad for it. A small amount of build up doesn’t affect the way the vehicle runs, but when it becomes excessive, that’s when problems occur. Luckily it doesn’t require a journeyman's knowledge to clean the throttle body, although it can become a tedious task for Jeep owners. For this reason, Jeep owners tend to push the limits for how long they can go without cleaning the throttle body.
No that is not some kind of Dijon mustard, that sludge on the oil cap is actually the cause of condensation, or the result of coolant getting into the engine. The second option usually requires taking the heads off or rebuilding the engine entirely. This can be quite expensive to get done and can be tricky to do on your own, that is why most jeep owners will just choose to ignore it and hope it is just condensation. They will simply just wipe it off after every oil change or just leave it sitting there, like the chips that fall into the cracks of a couch.
A power steering leak is easy to push off to the side because it often is a slow leak and it's extremely easy to top up the fluid. I personally have been ignoring my power steering leak for months now. As long as the system isn’t completely drained of fluid, it is not the end of the world. The only downsides are the puddles of power steering fluid every time the Jeep sits for a while, the howl from the power steering pump if the level starts getting low, and potentially burning out the pump if the level is too low for a long period of time.
The leaky transfer cases can result in an expensive fix if not monitored or fixed, yet jeep owners still tend to ignore it. And the reason is simply that a lot of people don’t like to crawl under their jeep all the time to check the level of their transfer case. “It’s only a small puddle it’s not bad yet.” “It hasn’t been leaking long enough to be low yet.” “Maybe it is just power steering fluid that has blown back.” All of these are excuses that Jeep owners tell themselves when they see a puddle under their Jeep.
When a Jeep starts burning oil it usually isn’t an easy fix. The easier option is to just continue to top up the oil every so often in between oil changes. Some even like to roll the dice and see if they can make it to the next oil change without topping up the oil between services. I myself have been one of the people that roll the dice to see if I could make it to each oil change without topping up the oil, but in my defense, it definitely was for a beater. And part of me was hoping the engine would blow just to have a better reason to buy a new vehicle.
The Jeeps radiators are known to leak in two places. Right from the filler cap at the top, which is what is more commonly ignored, and a leak lower down that is harder to ignore. A coolant leak can be easily ignored because it is one of the easiest fluids to top up in a vehicle, and can even be noticed from inside your Jeep by watching the temperature gauge on the dash. And if you are in a complete bind on the side of the road and the level is too low, water can just be added until actual coolant can be added.
This issue generally won’t affect the driveability of the vehicle unless it’s in an area with scorching heat and the driver needs that constant AC. As long as you don’t plan on taking a road trip to the sun anytime soon, you should be okay. Most of the jeep owners that have this issue just don’t leave the AC on at full blast for long periods of time and they don’t seem to have it occur that often. Most Canadians, for example, find it is more important to have good heat in their vehicle, instead of having good AC.
The hood supports can wear out and become loose and therefore can rattle after every bump. This has no impact on the vehicle's safety or performance, so it often gets ignored. They could be replaced with new hood supports and the problem would be fixed for relatively cheap. The simplest fix, however, is just to turn up the radio and then the rattle disappears. I personally would fix this immediately, but then again I can’t even keep loose change in my vehicle because the rattling it causes drives me crazy.
Just like the hood supports this can be fixed by increasing the volume of the radio and having a jam session by yourself. This easy fix is the main reason why people just slap a band-aid on it instead of actually addressing the issue itself. Again I’ve been guilty of doing this myself. When I broke a couple of exhaust manifold studs on my vehicle I ignored it until I wanted to sell it.
Although these cracks are not all that appealing to the eye, they don’t do any harm to the drivability of the vehicle. For that reason, this problem rarely gets addressed. This issue may not affect every Jeep owner, but the ones that live in areas that experience a lot of heat and sunshine know what I’m talking about. The interior cosmetics like a cracked dash have never bothered me on my vehicles. If it doesn't do any real damage to the vehicle, there's no reason to fix it immediately.
This pesky ordeal can be a really easy fix, yet we still put it off. A couple squirts of WD-40 and it can magically move again. You might be asking why someone wouldn't just take the two minutes to take out the WD-40 and fix the problem, and I have the answer for that. It is simply not a major issue and it just gets pushed aside and forgotten about until the next time you go and open the tailgate. It will get progressively harder to open until eventually it is too corroded to even open anymore and you have to replace the hinges.
The rear main engine seal can be a costly part to get replaced when it starts leaking. The problem can be glossed over by topping up the oil regularly and just generally keeping an eye on the oil level. This is an easy task to prevent a massive bill from the local mechanic shop. This issue can’t be completely ignored, or else the engine with be starved of oil eventually. It is a lot more expensive to replace an engine. If there are puddles under your Jeep, it might be a good idea to at least make sure the levels are topped up.
Fuel mileage is one of the things that people tend to look at when researching for a new vehicle. It is common knowledge that Jeeps do not have the best fuel mileage, yet owners still love them. It’s no surprise that a square box with wheels gets bad fuel mileage. Aerodynamics is definitely not one of Jeep's strong traits. Now because of the body design, it doesn’t leave the owner with many solutions for the fuel mileage. For that reason, jeep owners end up just ignoring the issue and spending more at the pumps.
When filling up their Jeep with fuel, some owners find that the gas shoots back up like a broken fire hydrant. This will leave the driver with a soaking wet arm that will have them reeking for hours. This can be fixed by not filling the tank in small increments, using the lock on the handle and standing back a couple feet, or paying very close attention while filling up and stopping it when you can hear the fuel backing up. There is a replacement part that can be purchased, but isn’t necessary if you just pay more attention while fueling your Jeep.
Some Jeep models have been known to warp slightly, causing the tank to press up against the level sensor. It can either cause it to stick in one position or break entirely. By the time this happens though, the owner of the Jeep probably knows the average distance they can get on a tank of gas and can just keep track of the trip monitor. I did this with my first vehicle. I knew I could get around 800 kilometers to a tank, so I filled up every 600 kilometers just to be safe.
This problem can be alarming at first because a puddle randomly appears under the vehicle and that can be a scary sight at first. It isn’t until it is recognized as water that a sign of relief occurs. Since the result is a puddle of water under the vehicle, or sometimes water gets on the carpet on the passenger side, it can be hard to notice. If there are rubber floor mats it can be hard to notice a wet carpet on the passenger side, especially if there aren’t many passengers in the Jeep.
Due to constant abuse from the elements, the zippers on soft tops become too corroded to move. If caught soon enough it can be prevented, but lots of Jeep owners just ignore the fact that the zippers are getting harder and harder to open. Eventually, they are faced with the fact that their soft top zippers no longer move and can’t be taken off on that beautiful day. The regular greasing these zippers require to remain in pristine condition can be a tedious task, and therefore they often get skipped or forgotten entirely.
The leaking water can be annoying, but doesn’t affect the driveability of the jeep. For this reason it often goes unfixed because it really isn’t a big issue. Only if the doors are letting in copious amounts of water can be an issue to electrical components and the quality of the interior fabric or leather. But then again any of the problems should definitely not be ignored if they get to their extreme level.
Just like the broken manifold studs, it is very common to hear a vehicle driving down the road with an exhaust leak from a cracked manifold. The bill to get a manifold replaced can be expensive or time-consuming, so a lot of Jeep owners choose the option where they just turn the volume knob up on their radio and drown of the noise from their cracked manifold. For some people, the noise really isn’t enough for them to justify spending the money to get it replaced immediately.
The deathwobble has become a well-known problem with jeeps and trucks. It occurs when there becomes a lot of play in the suspension and loose steering. For most people, this can be a scary occurrence when you’re driving at highway speeds. It would seem logical to get this issue fixed immediately, but the internet has shown that a lot of people don’t fix it and end up bragging that they can easily handle the effects of the death wobble. In fact, there have been a lot of memes and jokes created around the deathwobble.
Sources: Repair Pal, Jeep Problems