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 1 of 5)

problem #94

Oct 262016


  • 35,000 miles


The vehicle power abruptly drops while driving losing anywhere from 100 to 500 rpms. If the vehicle is stopped at a signal or traveling at lower speeds the power drop will shut down the vehicle. The problem is random and very unsafe

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #93

Dec 152016


  • 91,000 miles
I've spent $1500 attempting to fix the wobbling in my steering wheel, and the problem still exists. I've also spent $700 on a poorly designed rear oil seal. That is a known problem with Jeep.

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #92

Oct 202016


  • 41,000 miles
While being towed by our rv on a city street, a fire started under the hood of the Jeep. The transfer case was in neutral. The manual transmission was in neutral. The ignition switch was turned 1 notch to accessory to unlock the steering. The fire was extinguished by the fire department. No police report was filed because the fire was not caused by an accident. Because of the severity of the fire damage, no cause of the fire was determined.

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #91

Jul 092016


  • 44,000 miles


Vehicle caught fire while I was driving and lost all power. Engine shut off and there was little ability to steer. As soon as I pulled over smoke started to come out from the sides of the hood. When I opened the hood, there were flames coming from the engine near the firewall. Luckily a police officer happened to be driving by. He quickly put out the fire using an extinguisher from his patrol car; had he not been there the car would have quickly been consumed. This happened a few days ago. Since that time I have done some research and I have become aware that this is an ongoing problem with Wrangler for many years now. It's disappointing that Chrysler has not figured out what causes these fires; had this happened while I was driving on a highway the lack of steering ability could have easily resulted in the serious injury or death of not just me but other drivers as well.

- Belmar, NJ, USA

problem #90

Jun 242015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. While driving approximately 55 mph, a loud ticking nose emitted from the engine compartment. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that engine cylinder number two misfired. The contact scheduled an appointment for the vehicle to be repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Jackson, AL, USA

problem #89

Feb 012016


  • 47,000 miles
The cooling system had sand in it from the factory causing the radiator to burst, the transmission cooler and heater system to plug up and not work. There is a factory service bulletin acknowledging the problem and as I was stranded when radiator blew out could be a safety issue to be stranded in nowhere.

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #88

Jan 152016


  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. The contact stated that the cooling system stopped working and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed that there was casting sand in the cooling system, which clogged up the radiator, the water pump, oil cooler, heater core, and the cooling part of the engine. The dealer stated that all the clogged parts needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue and stated that the parts were not covered by the warranty and that there was no recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #87

Jan 112016


  • 84,000 miles
Vehicle engine light came on after starting engine and driving 30 feet from initial parked location. Vehicle was stopped and explosion occurred under the hood while driver was still in vehicle. No previous indication there was any issue with vehicle. Upon driver emergency exit of vehicle, further explosions and large flames engulfed the vehicle resulting in a total loss of vehicle within minutes.

- Rosser, TX, USA

problem #86

Nov 172015


  • 23,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Jeep Wrangler. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle hesitated as the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the passenger side engine head needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 23,500.

- Mattydale, NY, USA

problem #85

May 052015


  • miles
I'm being the only owner of this unit & I had changed the oil on time. A valve lifter is sounding very hard, I want to know if there's a recall for that matter, cause I know a bunch of Wrangler with the same problem.

- Hatillo, PR, USA

problem #84

Feb 282015


  • miles


My car was manufactured wrong... my engine block is casting sand into my coolant system which then blows out my heater core and radiator. I have spent 5 months under warrenty trying to fix with issue but the Jeep dealer and Chrysler give me the run around. I was trying to get this fix under warrenty but all the run around I got from the dealers has caused my warranty to expire with no fix. I think I have bought a lamon of a car I only have 14K miles, my issue started at 7K miles. Now it is winter time and in driving my car with no heat. I have a new born baby on the way who will get sick inside my car. Jeep does not want to cover the cost of my repairs to replace the heater core and radiator also a complete flush of this sand coming from the engine. This is a hazard for me and my baby to drive around in this cold vehicle. This is a known problem but Jeep\Chrysler is trying their best to keep this quiet. Ill be trying to contact a lawyer soon or maybe a news station.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #83

Sep 032015


  • 40,000 miles
My 2012 Jeep Wrangler was being driven at 40mph when the clutch inadvertently went out. I am concerned that there might be a greater problem related to the flywheel and the related clutch assembly of these factory parts on this vehicle. I only use this vehicle to commute in the city and my driving habits are mild. I do not use this vehicle off-road and I live in the state of Florida which is incredibly flat. The clutch and surrounding assembly should not defect at 40K miles.

- Satellite Beach, FL, USA

problem #82

Jun 192015


  • 100,000 miles
I have a 2012 Jeep Wrangler unlimited rubicon, no modifications have been made to the vehicle. I bought it new and have had numerous problems with it from the beginning. The most recent problem has already been reported on this website by someone else. I was driving and the check engine and stability control lights both came on. Once this happens, acceleration is significantly compromised and the transmission continues to shift back and forth. I have a lifetime warranty on the vehicle and took it to the dealer. They replaced some sensors and told me it was good to go and come pick it up. Five minutes after I left the dealer both lights came back on. Took it back, they replaced some other parts and told me it was ready. Picked it up and within ten minutes both lights were back on. Took it back and they replaced the computer, I waited this time, they said those codes were gone although a new code was now showing up. Told me I could drive it and they would order me another computer. Yesterday, while sitting in the parking lot of the movie theater a bell started going off, the oil light came on, sway bar light came on, all of the gear position lights came on and the engine ran up to about 6000 rpms. I turned it off and it would not restart. After about 15 minutes it restarted and I was able to drive for about 2 minutes and everything came back on and the car would not go over 20 mph. I made it home and a wrecker picked it up and took it to the dealership. I am waiting to hear what they think it is this time.

- Collierville, TN, USA

problem #81

Jul 072015


  • 28,000 miles
We have had multiple times where the engine will stall at idling or low RPM's. we have had the vehicle at the dealer 4 times now and of course they cannot diagnose the problem. Yesterday, they car would simply not start at all and it only has 28,000 miles.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #80

Jun 202015


  • 60,213 miles
Parked it at 7:30 pm and woke up at 2:30am and it was on fire

- White Pigeon, MI, USA

problem #79

Jan 032014


  • 3,700 miles
Approx 4 months and 3700 miles of having my 2012 Jeep Wrangler sahara unlimited, during regular driving all dash lights came on, the warning chimes were on, all gauges dropped and continued to flash, the vehicle slowed down and the lights remained flashing and flickering for about another 20 seconds I couldn't accelerate. This has happened over 30 times since then and almost caused a serious accident on the interstate. This still continues to happen regularly and after showing them 2 videos on separate occasions dealership says they can't duplicate the problem so there is nothing they can do. Now at 47000 miles my warranty is gone and this time when it happened the check engine and airbag remained on. I don't know if the two issues are related or are separate, but now it kind of "sputters and put-puts" when its in park and won't accelerate properly. Dealership wants $150 just to look at this issue again and tell me they can't duplicate the fault. This is a serious safety issue; it has never been driven off road, is garage kept, and not used everyday. I don't want my Jeep to catch fire or continue to put me and my children in a position where when could get hurt because of these issues. If anyone else has had these issues any help would be appreciated.

- Southaven, MS, USA

problem #78

Aug 312012

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
I have had at least 100 times where my Jeep has stalled and just stopped running. It has happened when I have slowed down, and has stopped in intersections. It has stopped when starting from a stop etc. I have had numerous manual transmission cars and this has never happened. It scares me, and makes me fear for my life. I have changed the way I drive because of it, with the fear of worrying my Jeep will just stop running, when I pull out into traffic. I have had the switches in the car not work, and function erratically. Lights stay on, when turned off, after turning them off numerous times, they finally go out. I have had my breaks respond oddly, and get weak. I have had the heater not come on, then turn switch again and it works. Have had defrost some on when defrost was off. Numerous electrical functions, malfunction. I don't bother with Jeep, as my mileage is over 36,000- no more warranty, but these things began, about a month or two into Jeep ownership. These problems used to be infrequent, but now this power failure happens often. Some days it happens 4-5 times. Please help me with this matter, I do not want to be injured or killed, due to this problem. I also do not want my family or someone else's hurt, because of it either. I started doing research about these issues and find I am not the only one, it is common. I also have a whistle in the brake line, vacuum I think"?" it causes the breaks to not be strong at times. I have had my brakes completely replaced and this condition persists, it also seems many with my model of Jeep experience this as well. All of the hinges on the doors are rusting from the inside out, as well, I see the paint bubbling up.

- Tuckerton, NJ, USA

problem #77

Mar 102015

Wrangler 6-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
On or about the 10th of March 2015 I took my vehicle to the dealer because the check engine light came on. The dealer turned the light off and I made apt for a separate problem which was a recall notice. The dealer said they would take care of the engine light problem when I brought the vehicle back for the recall. When I took it back the dealer said the vehicle is now out of warranty as of the 14th of March. I advised I understand the date however I brought the vehicle in and you turned the light off now you are telling me I have to pay $180 to check the problem because warranty is over. Turns out there is a problem with the left head of the engine and the #4 cylinder is experiencing a misfire. I called the dealer where I bought the Jeep, it is 400 miles away, I moved since the purchase, they advise there is a problem with the engine, they describe it and said it would be a warranty item which is covered for 6 years. I can not drive the vehicle 400 miles to have the repairs done and I need help with getting sahara Chrysler Jeep Dodge in las vegas to repair the problem. The problem is (X56) 3.6 left cylinder head.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #76

Feb 082015


  • 49,800 miles
2012 Jeep Wrangler sport 3.6L vehicle does not start at random. Vehicle has stalled at highway speeds. All electrical will turn on but Jeep will not crank over or make any attempt to start. Wipers turn on, their own. Battery, and starter have both been checked. Evidence leads to faulty tipm sensor but because the Chrysler dealership can not duplicate the error after 5 tries they said they can not replace the tipm. Dealership states they can not just throw parts at it to fix the issue even with hundreds to thousands of other Chrysler products having the same issue.

- Wareham, MA, USA

problem #75

Feb 262015

Wrangler 4WD 6-cyl

  • 12,400 miles
Bad left head, known problem with pentastar engine. Check engine light came on. Codes indicated misfire on cylinders. Inspection revealed a bad left head.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

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