23rd Apr 2001, 20:38

I own a 1997 SE edition. A 4 cylinder. I bought it brand spanking new in June of 1996. I have just experienced my first problem- an oil pressure sending unit. I too have experienced the mirror paint peeling off for the last year. If you ask me, I am very happy with my Jeep. It has taken the abuse of a 4" lift and 33" tires quite well. Not to mention the numerous hours spent on trails and ripping through muddy fields. Sounds to me like you got a lemon for sure.

19th Jul 2001, 11:27

You bought the 4cyl, automatic. this is the worst combo. Buy an I-6 next time with a 5-speed.

31st Jul 2001, 11:59

If your reply was in reference to the 4 cylinder with the 33" tires- it's a 5 speed manual. As far as the 4 banger- I bought it before the 6 cylinder models were even offered. But it's all good. There's an LT-1 sitting in my garage waiting on some parts from advance adapters. Thought about getting the supercharger from Rimmer- but hey I love my Jeep so I might as well go all out. See your 6 cylinders on the trails...

27th Feb 2002, 15:53

To all of you who think the 6cyl/5 spd combo is the greatest thing since sliced bread:

1997 Wrangler Sport bought new. Two days after I took delivery the transmission began to leak. A few months later the gas tank had to be replaced. It continued to snowball into: leaky passenger compartment (AC evaporator dripped through firewall), broken manifold, broken catalytic converter, a seeping steering gearbox, fuel level sending unit (I've run out of gas several times though the gauge reads 1/4 full), driver seat tilt broke, fading fender flares, and my most recent problem... a very poorly designed radiator that has been leaking for the past year is finally about to give up the ghost.

I love owning a Jeep. It is tough and as rugged as they get. But in 1997 Jeep put out a ton of lemons. And I was lucky enough to buy one.

I hope it was because 97 was a transition year for the Wrangler (in that it was the first year for the TJ). I would like to own another Jeep, but not any time soon.

28th Jun 2002, 07:40

I have nothing but good things to say about Wranglers and Jeeps in general. I love my Jeep. My 1997 Sport (6-cyl. engine) has not ONCE given me any problems. It's by far the best car I've owned.

My guess is that the horror stories I'm reading here, with endless repair bills and headaches, are just freak incidents, or maybe even embellishments (one guy said he spend $600-$1000 a month?? Why would someone continue doing that?).

Every car has these freak stories. I know a woman that bought a brand new Toyota Camry that had countless problems right away, including a transmission replacement. Her horror story was the same as the ones on this forum. But the Camry is without question a great car. If I heard ten stories like my friend's, it still wouldn't convince me that the Camry is a piece of junk, and this is coming from a Jeep fan.

As for the idea that the 6-cyl. is better than the 4-cyl., I owned a 1990 Wrangler with the 4-cyl. and it was just as bullet proof as my current Jeep. One thing that I have heard many times is that the automatic transmission on Wranglers is a waste, and is only offered for the sake of offering it. Most folks want a manual on a "real" 4x4 (?) If that's true, it would be a pity. I would hate to think that Jeep would create anything with that mentality.

Several members of my family own various Jeep models, and the only bad story was a 1987 Comanche, which had many trips to the mechanic. But then again, this truck had been in two wrecks before it was bought used.

I strongly feel that Jeeps are built rock-solid. I feel for these folks who've had such horrible luck with theirs, but I wouldn't say Wranglers are like this in general. All the Jeeps I've driven have been superb.

My buddy read an article about lemons in general that you might find amusing. He read that when you buy a car, new or used, check with Carfax which day of the week it was built. Apparently, the best cars are built on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The idea is that on Fridays the crew at an automobile plant looks forward to getting off work, so they cut corners, they do a half-hearted job. And on Mondays, they just got back from the weekend and are tired and groaning about getting back into the work week, and do an equally half-decent job.

It sounds corny, but according to the article, a majority of lemons (severe cases like the ones on this forum) of any car are built on Monday or Friday. I can believe it, considering how our psychology can weave it way into our productivity in a million ways.


10th Jul 2002, 17:38

A jeep was always my dream vehicle, but now after a year of ownership it's the biggest nightmare of my life! It's just not reliable despite my best efforts at preventative maintenance, it does stop the seals from going out and the manifolds for busting the bolts off in the head. Run away from this vehicle. Run!

12th Nov 2002, 17:18

I have a 97 Wrangler SE. I had problems with it not long after I purchased it in 98. It had 13,000 miles on it and was slightly used. The exhaust manifold bolts broke several times, but was a different one each time. Jeep always replace them and after the 3rd one broke, I called Jeep. They said they knew this was a problem and the warranty was extended to 80,000 for this problem. My catalytic converter has gone bad 3 times. Even though each of these situations was an inconvenience, taking it to the dealership for repair, I still love my Jeep and glad I bought it. I am now looking at trying to get into a Jeep club close by me to start trail rides.

13th Nov 2002, 13:57

I own a 97 Jeep Wrangler Sport.

I have had some problems.

1) Mirrors with paint peeling off.

2) Water leaking into passenger side.

3) Oxygen Sensor

4) Starter

5) Temperamental turn signal lever (sometimes it just doesn't want to move)

6) Front & Rear Differentials (small leaks in both)

7) Passenger side door lock stuck. Took some grease in the right spot to fix it

8) Fuel Gage not right (fixed and still not right). Thankfully it says I'm empty before I am.

9) Right and Left Stabilizer Links.

Sounds like a nightmare, but I love my Jeep and at 123,000 miles it still doesn't look old. It's only left me stranded once (starter under warranty). Of the 123,000 probably 50,000 miles were spent driving some of worst roads in the world (New York City) and it has held up well. Easy to park and fun to drive. Looking to get 200,000 out of mine.

25th Nov 2002, 22:33

HI. I have a 97 Jeep TJ SE and its been awesome. There have been a couple problems with it in the 5 years I've had it though :

Twice the catalytic converter went (both under warranty)

Mirror paint started peeling.

But other than that its been awesome. Other than the battery and windshield wipers I just put on, its been solid as a rock. I've heard that the catalytic converter problem on jeeps is a common problem, but the dealer seemed more than happy to fix it.

The peeling paint is VERY common. I thought it was just mine until I started looking. I'd be hard pressed to find one without! But if the worst thing that happens is some paint and stuff covered under warranty I count myself lucky.

I love my jeep. That's why I'm going to get another one this week! Upgrade to the 2003 Sport!

Buy a jeep! You'll love it!