Jeep Wrangler High Mileage Problems

To get the most out of your vehicle investment you want to buy an automobile that can be driven for a lot of miles before you start to experience high mileage problems.

High mileage problems occur at different times for different vehicles depending on the vehicle quality and the maintenance done on it.

What is Considered High Mileage?

The average vehicle is driven 14, 263 miles per year so take the number of miles and divide them by the number of years the car is old to determine how many miles were driven each year. 

If a vehicle is driven more than 15,000 miles per year it is considered to be a high mileage car and that reduces the resale value. High mileage cars are more prone to engine malfunctions.

Most people purchasing a used Jeep do not consider a vehicle with less than 200,000 to be high mileage because Jeep engines are built to last longer and built to be driven more.

Common High Mileage Problems With Wranglers

When a vehicle reaches a certain number of miles the probability of problems increases. The issue is not will my car break down it is when will my car break down. Some of the most frequent problems Jeep Wrangler owners talk about when their vehicles reach a high mileage point include, but are not limited to the following.

Leaky Gaskets

Your Jeep Wrangler has four types of gaskets. The problem with gaskets is that over time they tend to dry rot with age, or simply wear out. Leaking gaskets are the number one problem of high-mileage vehicles.

Your gaskets are:

  • The head gasket stops coolant and oil from breaching the cylinders of the engine
  • The oil pan gasket helps prevent oil leaks and loss
  • Manifold gaskets
  • Pump gaskets that create a seal between components like the water pump and the engine

If the engine smokes, is losing antifreeze, or has noticeable liquid dripping from under it one of the gaskets may be the problem.

The prevention of gasket failure is regular maintenance. Always ask a seller when the gaskets were inspected or changed in the vehicle. Most gaskets have a lifespan of about 50,000 miles so if the last change was more than that you might want to consider an immediate gasket change if you buy the vehicle.

Door Seals Leak

Door seals tend to crack and become brittle as they age. When they begin to crack and become brittle they no longer create a tight seal between the vehicle door and the rest of the body.

This results in the wind getting into the vehicle, or rain and water entering the vehicle. Inspect an older model Wrangler for visible signs that the door seals have started to succumb to age.

Seat Belts Stick or Fail

Seat belts are one of the most important items on your vehicle. When your seat belt starts to stick or becomes difficult to fasten then you potentially have a serious problem.

With age, the fasteners and connectors on these items will start to wear out and stop functioning properly. If you are looking at a used vehicle with high mileage check all of the seat belts and make certain they function properly.

Totally Integrated Power Module Failure

A TIPM module takes the commands that the various switches and modules in the vehicle send and turns those commands into voltage to make whatever needs to happen to do so efficiently. These modules are in place in the majority of all vehicles.

When the TIPM starts to fail your vehicle will start to act up. Some of the things people report that are related to TIPM failure are:

  • Power locks failing to work so doors lock and unlock themselves
  • The horn honking
  • The windshield wipers malfunctioning
  • The radio sporadically shuts off on its own
  • Reverse light malfunctions
  • The air conditioner malfunctions
  • Whining noises
  • Engine failure may cause the engine to not start or cause the engine to stall while you are driving
  • ABS problems

It really pays to have vehicles with high mileage amounts thoroughly checked out by professionals certified in that particular make and model of vehicle. These professionals can use their diagnostic equipment and their experience to check for failures that may be occurring in the vehicle or failures that may be going to occur very soon.

Throttle Position Sensor Failure

Throttle position failure happens when the vehicle ages and the sensor starts to get weak or fail. The throttle position sensor regulates the air to fuel ratio so the vehicle can give you optimum performance.

In high mileage cars that are experiencing a failure of this magnitude you can notice things like:

  • When the car is stopped the engine may backfire
  • The engine may stall
  • The vehicle may accelerate on its own while you are driving
  • The engine may not accelerate properly when you depress the pedal
  • The car may use a lot more fuel than it should
  • You may be unable to accelerate over about 30 miles per hour

The sensor has to be replaced before it causes severe damage to the engine or the transmission.

This is another one of those items that a professional that is certified to work on Jeep Wranglers can discover if you let them inspect the car.

Oil Leaks

crude in hand due to oil leak

Oil leaks are often the result of bad gaskets. When you look at a high mileage vehicle make certain you pop the hood. You are looking for signs of oil leaks and extensive oil burning.

  • Pull the dipstick out and check to see if the oil level is correct.
  • Ask the seller when the oil was last changed
  • Smell the oil on the stick to see if it has an odor of being burned
  • If the oil looks cloudy or milky it may have water in it
  • If the oil is dark it may be old or burned
  • The oil on the stick should feel smooth and greasy, if you slide your fingers down the stick and feel grit there may be some real problems.
  • Under the hood, look to see if there are any signs of oil blowing onto the bottom of the hood
  • Is the engine clean? 

When you are buying a high mileage vehicle be sure to ask as many questions of the owner as possible.

When you own a high mileage vehicle be proactive and do regular oil changes, fluid checks, and maintenance to belts, hoses, and gaskets so your engine will go farther before starting to show signs of age.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The High Mileage for a Jeep Wrangler?

This depends on the age of the car. A properly maintained Jeep may reach 400.000 before it stops working.

At What Mileage Can I Expect to Start Having Engine Problems from My Jeep Cherokee?

Normally if the Cherokee is maintained properly, you will not experience a lot of issues before you reach 250,000 miles.

At What Mileage Does A Jeep Wrangler Usually Develop The Death Wobble?

The death wobble happens to vehicles with solid front axles that are normally driven down really rough roads. This can actually occur at any time and is not just a Jeep condition.

Final Thoughts

With a Jeep Wrangler, the mileage can often go as high as 400,000 before the vehicle starts to show obvious signs of wear and tear, Do regular maintenance, pay attention to unusual sounds, and enjoy the fact that a Jeep is designed to go farther and last longer than most vehicles.

About Brendan Burnett

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