1997 Jeep TJ SE 2.5 from North America


There will always be a place for a Wrangler in my drive way


These problems are not listed in order of their occurrence.

The oil sending unit went out twice. This was a real scare the first time it happened.

The radiator rotted through.

The gas gage never really worked right.

The oil pan rusted through from the outside.

A ground wire to the power control module broke in the wiring harness causing a tow truck ride to a repair shop.

The oxygen sensors did not last long.

The catalytic converter broke up inside clogging the tail pipe.

The tires do not seem to wear as well as the other four wheel drives I have owned in the past.

The air conditioning system was always leaking refrigerant until the compressor finally locked up. I seen no point in repairing this with the past reliability of the entire system. I just pulled the compressor off and purchased a smaller belt.

The soft top proves to be very trying at times. Some times it takes a real effort to get it back on just right without damaging it. The zippers are a real pain, especially if they are not well cleaned and oiled. I usually use a pair of pliers to pull them.

The bolts broke off in the frame while changing the rear shocks. I can understand this happening being an older vehicle, but, the design made it very tough to fix.

There are a lot of other items that I will only contribute to abuse or normal wear and tear.

General Comments:

I am the third generation of Jeep owners in my family. The family has run Jeeps since the early 1950s. I have had an old Willy's and a CJ5 but the TJ is my over all favorite. It rides a little rough, makes a little noise and is a little sluggish at times, but when I turn the key it gets me where I want to go no matter where I want to go or what the conditions. It is a Jeep and that is why I have it. The TJ is just like its predecessors and is not for everyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th October, 2004

6th Jan 2005, 15:51

Yeah, the bolts that hold the shock mounts in jeeps will break if you don't oil them up for a few days. I had to tap mine out when I broke one in my XJ.

...live and learn..., it's a Jeep thing...

1997 Jeep TJ Sport 4 Banger from North America


My six month old son will probably have this as his first car!


Manifold warped and snapped a bolt off just after warranty.

Brakes at 50K

New Shocks at 50k

Control arm Bushings around 60k.

New radiator at about 70k

New Water Pump around 80k.

New Exhaust and Cat at 95K

Windshield wiper mortar at 100k

New Plenum Box at around 110k. A plastic arm broke off clean that the vacuum operated push rod hooks to. The heat would not come out of the dash which is important in a soft top Jeep in Vermont.

General Comments:

While looking at the long list above I realize I have put some repair money into this thing. It has had mostly highway miles and rarely has gone over 60 miles at a time in the last 2 years. It has been paid off for 3 years and most of the repairs have happened after I paid it off. My Jeep still looks great. Very little rust which is good for Vermont. Every other year or so I buy 2 cans of rubberized undercoating and touch up the frame. Taken out of context these repairs look excessive. The plenum should have been a life timer I concede. But every thing else is a ware item meant to be replaced. Molly, my Jeep, is still a pretty strong runner and hasn't been to the doctor in about 7 months. Today she is getting a tune up and new tie rod ends and her third set of shocks. I paid 17k for it in '97 and can still get probably 6k for it today. I figure I have about 3k in repairs through the years. That puts me at about $2500/year over all cost with out oil and gas. $208.00 / month. NOT BAD AT ALL.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2004

13th Feb 2008, 16:34

Where is the wiper motor located in a 97 jeep tj sport? The motor blew...

28th Jun 2008, 22:24

There was a recall on the exhaust studs that would break on the TJ. However unfortunately when I got my 2.L, TJ the recall was up so I had to replace it. I have also had to replace the top part of the fuel sending unit, new power steering pump, waterpump, radiator, shocks, rims, steering stabilizer. It's a great vehicle so far. I have not had any problems.