Notes: Poor side crash test ratings from the IIHS are really no surprise.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,268 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Jeep Wrangler engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Jeep Wrangler Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Sep 032012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 6,200 miles


The engine has developed a loud ticking noise starting at about 1000 miles. The ticking is louder on the driver's side of the engine and doesn't appear to be normal valvetrain related noise. With reports of bad pentastar V6 heads making it into production Jeep Wrangler, I've taken the vehicle to two different Jeep dealers for analysis. Both dealers said that they think the noise is normal, but did admit they could hear the loud ticking. Mileage has been dropping and the engine has stalled twice. A software update was performed, but doesn't seem to have affected anything.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #13

Jun 232012

Wrangler 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. The contact stated that exhaust fumes were emitted into the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who stated that they would investigate further. The failure mileage was 125 and the current 1,474. Updated 10/3/12 updated 10/05/2012

- Easton , MD, USA

problem #12

May 012009

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
Ticking sound, sounds bad first start in the morning.

- Edmond , OK, USA

problem #11

Jan 022012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


Noticed a very prominent ticking noise coming from the drivers side of engine. Occurs at idle and gets more pronounced when increasing speed while in park. Notified the dealer and Jeep spent three days at dealership. The service advisor who had 23 years of experience told me when he heard it that it definitely was a lifter problem. So I called Chrysler Corp and received a claim number. To make a long story short, I was told that all the pentastar engines made a loud ticking noise from the drivers side and this was a normal variant. Was told that it was in the design of the left exhaust manifold and they all made this noise. After much talking between Chrysler Corp and the dealership I was told to come and pick up my Jeep, nothing would be done. I have a friend who is a Dodge mechanic and was told that the pentastar engines are having multiple problems with the left head and cam phaser are going out... I am concerned that the engine will catch fire or stall out on the freeway.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #10

May 012012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
Engine ticking coming from driver's side. Took it to one dealer and the technician confirmed the tick. Dealership refused to act. Took it to another dealer and service tech told me that Chrysler was aware of the problem but that repairs were on hold. Took it back to that dealer and service employee denied any knowledge of a problem. Ticking has gotten worse and engine power is decreasing.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #9

Jul 112012


  • 4,180 miles
Drivers side cylinder head ticking noise that 2012 pentastar based Jeep Wrangler have. Chrysler has extensive knowledge of this issue and makes you run through hoops to get resolve. This is the potential cause of fires and engine malfunction that they are aware of and refuse to fix it immediately. This is a hazard to all owners and should be seriously addressed.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #8

Oct 172011

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 272 miles


10/17/12- steering column shutters, horn pads loose- dealer retorqued bolts to horn pad and driver's air bag. 1/4/12- brake/steering concern; steering wheel has excessive play, excessive pull to right- dealer checked and adjusted alignment, vehicle steering continued to drift; dealer rotated front tires. 4/14/12- dead battery, vehicle towed to dealer, battery failed midtronics test, dealer replaced battery. 4/16/12- front brakes squealing; dealer scuffed and cleaned pads and rotors. 4/28/12- engine light activated; dealer identified #2 cylinder misfire, dealer re-programmed PCM with new update software per tech service bulletin 18-007-12. 5/31/12- engine light activated again; dealer identified low compression cylinder #2 misfire, exhaust valves leaking, replaced left cylinder head per star case #327244. Rental vehicle 2 days. 6/15/12- engine light activated again, steering pulls to right again; dealer identified bank 2 camshaft slow response, replaced both exhaust camshaft phasers, dealer rotated tires. Rental vehicle 2 days.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jun 012012

Wrangler 4WD 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I had bought my 2012 Jeep Wrangler with 2200 miles on it. I took my 2012 Jeep Wrangler to the dealership for an oil change at 3000 miles when I noticed after the oil change I heard a ticking coming from the engine. I drove it around thinking it might go away until after 1000 miles it did not. I took it to the dealership June 15th at 9:00 in the morning and spoke with a mechanic, manager, and my salesperson said, since it had only been a few weeks since I bought it. The manager told me they had 4 Jeep in there they had to do repairs on with the no.2 cylinder. He told me not to worry until it threw a code. I have been looking online at youtube and forums, and my case is not the only case. There are other people out there with these new 2012 Jeep who are having the same problem and it all has to do with this pentastar engine that Chrysler has released for 2012.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #6

Apr 022012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 3,700 miles
My 2012 Jeep Wrangler suffers from the common and well document "engine tick". I have had the tick for a least a few thousand miles. I might have had the tick since day one but never noticed it because this is my first Jeep and quite honestly didn't know how the engine was supposed to sound like.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #5

May 012012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 1,650 miles
Vehicle developed an audible ticking from the left hand side of the engine which is present at all times, increasing with engine speed. Intermittent loss of power while driving.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #4

Feb 012012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles


My 2012 Jeep Wrangler sahara 2-door with automatic transmission exhibits the following issues: 1) valve train ticking noise. This developed after a few months of ownership (bought November 2011) 2) sluggish acceleration and automatic transmission shifting when vehicle is cold. It does improve as vehicle is warmed up after driving it for 5-10 minutes, and by then the vehicle seems to operate normal. 3) I sometimes feel a thud or vibration coming up from the steering wheel. It almost feels as something is loose in the front-end. This happens sporadically. This started happening just recently. I am going to discuss these issues with the Chrysler dealership when I take it for the first oil change.

- Rocky River, OH, USA

problem #3

May 082012


  • 14,000 miles
Check engine light came on 5/8/12. Light off on 5/8/12. Light on 5/10/12. On 5/11/12 took to Jeep dealer from which purchased. Code for misfire on cylinder #6. code cleared. Cel reset. Got one mile towards home and cel illuminated again. Returned to dealership. Told to return 5/14/12. Returned 5/14/12. On 5/15/12 dealership indicated cracked/broken spark plug (#2) code. Plug replaced. Code reset. Got four miles towards home and cel illuminated again. Returned to dealership. Awaiting resolution.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Engine has ticking sound from the left side of the engine and continues to. Chrysler and Jeep complain this ticking is "normal valve noise". but, I have heard other engines of the same year and they do not have this sound. It appears to affect quite a few people from research as well. Engine also feels like it stutters when reversing.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Engine developed a ticking sound on driver's side engine bay. Sounds like engine is missing or tapping on driver's side. Loss of power/stalls more common now. Took vehicle to Chrysler and they say that my engine is just "loud" compared to all other 2012's and that it's normal. They told me to just drive it until it fails and then bring it back in because Chrysler corporate will not allow a dealership to work on the engine and fix it until a failure occurs. So, now I am stuck with a 3 month old 2012 Wrangler waiting for it to breakdown on the side of the road before the dealership will fix the known issue. Mechanic says "that doesn't sound right" when I took it in. Mind you I took the Wrangler into two dealerships at this point for multiple opinions. Both agree the Jeep will fail and to just "wait" until it does because they are told by Chrysler to not work on faulty Wrangler with the new pentastar engine until the engine completely fails. Real proactive on that decision Chrysler. I'm not looking forward to the day power is lost when I'm on the highway or crossing train tracks. Thanks a lot for putting my life at risk over a known issue yet not acting on the known fix. Both dealerships claim they know heads are being replaced when this symptom is found on 2012 Wrangler. That's all I'm looking for, fix what was not built correctly in the first place like others.

- Elgin, IL, USA

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