1993 Jeep Wrangler Standard 4.0L from North America
A Classic, but Not for Everyone
Virtually no repairs until 40,000 miles, at which point minor problems began exacerbated by poor dealer network.
Most persistent problem is the door assemblies that come with optional hard tops. The door mechanism is poorly designed and when it wears you can be locked in or out of the vehicle. Dealers know little about this and one even assembled the mechanism back-wards.
The intermittent wipers began malfunctioning about 45,000 miles and are basically useless though the standard settings work.
The old add-on factory air unit was anemic and replaced with a $1,200 dealer installed "green" version. It developed a slow leak that no one can find and requires $20 worth of the new freon each summer.
At 78,000 miles the fuel tank filler valve broke, causing gas to gush over the floor each time the tank was filled and the whole tank assembly had to be replaced. Fuel filler is in a very poor location; better in later models.
Began leaking oil at 80,000 miles requiring front and rear seals ($900). This lasted until the dealer forgot to check the pollution control valve valve, which blew out the seal again (not their fault!).
Seems to run hot (195 to 210) with lower oil pressure (41 psi) under power. But manual indicates it is normal.
Car is great fun to drive around town and highly maneuverable. The 6-cylinder is vastly different than the 4-cylinder, which is slow and unpleasant to drive.
On the highway it is usable, but uncomfortable for long trips over 50 MPH.
Plenty of power, but as 1st is geared for off road you have to get out of it soon to get any acceleration. 2nd-5th are good performers.
Gas mileage is poor as vehicle is not aerodynamic and is geared for stump pulling.
Styling is timeless and much prefer the "YJ" style with higher ground clearance and square lights to the "kiddie car" round headlight versions now out that look like KIA. Paint lasts a long time if cared for; even in desert and salt water climates.
Under 50,000 miles there are few repairs, but over they begins to have problems. Jeep dealer service is in general very poor and work is rarely done correctly on the first try. Had to take mine to a Chrysler dealer or an aftermarket mechanic to have repairs done right. Amazing for a vehicle that has half the electronics of current models.
Shocks and brakes seem to last forever; at 83,000 miles am on the original shocks and 2nd set of front brakes.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 12th March, 2004
22nd Mar 2004, 13:11
Get a TJ they are much better.
3rd Aug 2005, 18:16
The 4 cylinder is not "unpleasant" to drive. I use one every day and I love it.
27th Aug 2008, 16:18
To the comment that said the "TJ" is much better.
I'm not in complete agreement with that statement. I guess it is what you consider "better".
More refined? Yes it is - but in a Utility Vehicle like the Wrangler, does that mean it is better??
I've owned YJ's & TJ's and I prefer the YJ. This is not to say that the TJ isn't a nice rig, it is - it has coil springs all around which gives it a smoother ride than the leaf sprung YJ, and it has a more car-like interior. However the Wrangler isn't a typical passenger car, it is a Jeep. I prefer the rugged leaf-sprung suspension, the vent windows in the doors, the simple and rugged dash layout and interior of the YJ.
Chrysler took the old AMC designed Jeep and softened it a bit for the masses. This was probably a good marketing move, but it displeased countless Jeep enthusiasts. It certainly moved the Wrangler further away from its heritage and closer to the "Cute Utes" from other manufacturers.
The new model Wranglers are even less Jeep-like with V6 engines (from the minivans) and available power locks & windows (on a Wrangler!!! Ughhh!)
But I'm addressing the YJ/TJ issue.
I actually owned a 2003 Wrangler Sahara (TJ) and while it was a very enjoyable Jeep - I actually missed my old YJ - rough riding and noisy as it was, and went back to another YJ.
The YJ does ride like an oxcart, it is loud, it is also simple and very reliable. The 4.0 liter in-line six is the engine to go with. Plenty of power & torque, and virtually bullet-proof.
Change the oil regularly and it can give you 200,000 to 300,000 miles of trouble-free service.
I guess as long as there are Jeeps this argument will continue. In fact, back in 1986 when the new 1987 Wranglers were introduced, many Jeep enthusiasts didn't feel that those "Square Headlight" Wranglers were "real Jeeps" as they were more refined than their CJ brethren. And so it goes...
15th Sep 2009, 09:32
I have had a 1993 4 cylinder since it was new, and I love this vehicle. I have had countless cool times and experiences in it. Over the years though... here is what I have experienced.
1) If you go off road, the fenders will dent themselves due to some design issue.
2) Soft top fell apart pretty quickly (after one year). I have had a safari top ever since and it works great.
3) All of the good things you said above are true: brakes, engine (never had issues), paint job, etc.
4) My fuel tank somehow became warped... dealer basically replaced entire fuel system figuring it out. It is hard to find people to work on these.
I think this is a great Jeep. It was the first year for a great deal of things, so there are issues, but all and all I wouldn't have traded this car for anything... and still haven't.
17th Sep 2009, 02:06
I'm pretty sure there was less controversy with the TJs as there was when the YJs were released.
17th Sep 2009, 10:38
"I'm pretty sure there was less controversy with the TJs as there was when the YJs were released."
What does that have to do with anything?
In retrospect the YJ is much more "CJ-like" than the TJ is.