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Jeep Wrangler



  • My husband and I want to get a used Wrangler. We have a 7-month old and our concern is the "high center of gravity", "unsafe", etc. that we hear whenever we mention wanting a Jeep. We will go off-road rarely; this'll be mostly a city/fun vehicle.

    Any advice on the safety issue and general buying advice is appreciated.

  • Dave, without checking kelly blue book's site ( I'd say that's a great deal. I'd take it to a local garage to have it checked out first but it's certainly less than you would pay at a dealership. Check Kelly's site and right here at edmunds.
    Stefanella, I wouldn't be too concerned about rollovers. Yes, they do have a higher center of gravity but so do all suv's. As long as you aren't taking corners like a race car driver you'll be fine. I think the rollever thing is a major misconception on the non-driving Wrangler public. Maybe some other's here will have an opinion as well.
    If either of you would like to chat live and ask more q's your welcome to come to Gill's, there's alot of knowledge in there....I think?! :)
  • Hello Gang,

    I have been traveling for work a lot lately and just got back to catching up on all your new Wrangler posts. I am still waiting for the day when I will actually be able to get my new 2003 Rubicon. However, in addition to the Rubicon link from Jeep that I posted in April, I have gotten the following information on 2003 Wrangler changes.

    The biggest story is that the 2.5 liter Power Tech inline-four will no longer be available. The engine is now used exclusively in the Wrangler. Jeep will switch to the 2.4 liter Power Tech inline-four used in the Liberty (and other Chrysler vehicles) as the base engine for the Wrangler. This will mean better power for four cylinder Wranglers. In addition, as some of your recent post have noted, the Wrangler will finally be available with a four-speed automatic. Absolutely no change is planned for the Wrangler 4.0 liter inline six.

    Also, the Wrangler will have new front seats have more travel and higher seat backs. The rear seat is redesigned for easier folding. It now has a high center-mounted handle on the seat back instead of the current side mounted latch release. A new lever on the side of front passenger seat will make it easier to fold the seat forward. There is also some new corner pods to be located just behind the B-pillar on both sides of vehicle to house interior lamps providing "theater lighting" and a location for speakers.

    I hope this is helpful to anyone considering a 2002 versus a 2003 Wrangler.

    God willing I will be driving my new Rubicon to later then April of next year.

    Jim Fletcher
  • I have been wanting a Jeep Wrangler for a few years now and I have found a 1998 Wrangler Sahara Edition with only 15000 miles on it in perfect shape. It was female driven in a city and it has seen no gravel or dirt roads. It has the upgraded tires and wheels, soundbar, 1/2 doors, softtop, but no hard top. It is white in color and the owner is asking $17500. Do you think that this Jeep is worth that? I was thinking more like $15000 max.Has anyone had any problems out of their Sahara? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • yellowmanyellowman Posts: 209
    Hey James

    Thanks for the info on 2003 - any word on whether or not they'll be keeping the Solar Yellow color option on SE, X, and Sport models?

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Being an owner of a '98 Sport, there are a couple of things to check out. First, the exhaust manifold fails often and it expensive to repair (I know - I had mine replaced about 2 months ago). I've also had an intermittent problem with my dash gages. There is a TSB out on it, but I just haven't quite gotten mine to a dealer to get it done. Since my Wrangler had too many miles on it when it started happening, I'll end up paying for the repair, and since it is so intermittent, I haven't bothered with it.

    Check out the value quoted here on Edmunds and on kbb's web site (the last time I looked at values for my Tacoma they were different). The bottom line, though, is you personally. Would you rather have the car than the money? I wouldn't buy a new CRV for 2 cents, and many CRV drivers wouldn't give 2 cents for a Wrangler.

    Thanks for the info about the 2003s. I like the idea of additional spot lighting - I often read on the way to work (my other half drives mornings, I drive evenings) and have to use a book light. The map lights in the Tacoma offer enough light for me to read by, but don't disturb the driver (at least not my husband). Maybe it will still be that way when we get around to replacing our Wrangler in a couple of years.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    "I am in the market for a Wrangler and I came across a 99' Sport with: 4.0L, 30000 miles, both tops, A/C, Cruise, Nerf Bars, plus some other things. It is still under factory warranty. The guy is asking 15,000 for it and needs to sell it because he has parkinsons disease and can't drive anymore. He said it has never been off the highway and looks in great condition. I would appreciate everyone's thoughts.

    Like Bigkahuna said, take advantage of the price guides here in Edmunds and in other sites. Check your local papers for similar vehicles to compare prices.

    Without going through the steps myself, I can tell you right up front that the price the guy is asking sounds pretty good. Getting both tops is a biggie. The mileage is really good for a '99, since the '03s are almost out now. The time must be nearly out on the original warranty, even though the miles are still below the 36K. You can buy an extended warranty on it, if that would give you some peace of mind.

    Welcome to the group, and I hope you will stick around. Ask any questions you may have. You can only come here once as a stranger, so now that you've been here, you are one of us. This is a very friendly group of people who help each other all they can.

    Feel free to email me if I can help you. I am not an expert on used Jeeps, but I can tell you about my experience with my Jeep.

    If you have never owned a Jeep before, you are in for a real surprise as to how much fun they are!

    Please keep us posted on your progress in buying a Jeep.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    "My husband and I want to get a used Wrangler. We have a 7-month old and our concern is the "high center of gravity", "unsafe", etc. that we hear whenever we mention wanting a Jeep. We will go off-road rarely; this'll be mostly a city/fun vehicle.

    Any advice on the safety issue and general buying advice is appreciated.


    Stefanella, ANY vehicle has its limits. Probably the best cornering American car would be the Corvette. They have great suspension systems and low center of gravity. They have a test for cornering ability called the skid pad test (I think that's the name of it anyway), and a Corvette would have a very high rating. But, I would venture to guess that more Corvettes lose control and roll over in corners than Jeeps do. Why? Because ANY vehicle has its limits, and when the driver exceeds those limits, accidents happen.

    A Jeep must be driven like a Jeep, and when it is driven within its limits, it is as safe as any vehicle. Since the limits are at lower speeds on a Jeep, a Jeep gets driven slower than other vehicles, and I think that actually makes them safer! Speed is a factor in almost all accidents.

    Hope this helps.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • Yellowman -

    I do not have any information on color offerings for 2003. However, by next month dealers should have visibility to the colors and new options from Jeep. I believe that the future of colors like Solar Yellow typically depends on how well they are selling.

    Do you have any idea of how popular Solar Yellow is?

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Welcome to the board. I'll give you the same advice that I gave Dave3463... use the pricing feature here in Edmunds and see what you come up with on that Sahara. It only has 15K miles, which will add a good amount to its value, but the 03s are soon going to be out, so that Jeep would be considered five years old.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • yellowmanyellowman Posts: 209
    I know that yellow as a color for vehicles is becoming popular, particularly with SUV's, at least here in Los Angeles. I see a lot of yellow Nissan Xterras and Ford Escapes, and even a few Solar Yellow Jeep Cherokees! Of course, there's always the occasional Solar Yellow Wrangler twin of mine driving around as well. I wouldn't think that Solar Yellow was one of the more popular colors, but I have heard from this board that it's been the MOST popular color choice in 2001 and 2002. I also notice that Jeep uses Solar Yellow as the color on a lot of demonstrations and photos - the online Flash walkthrough demo at comes to mind.

    Personally, I always liked yellow as a color for a vehicle. It seems to stand out a little from the standard car colors of black, red, white, and the occasional dark blue or dark green. (not that there's anything wrong with those!) I also always thought Jeeps were cool, so when I saw that I could get a yellow Jeep and read about all the improvements on the TJs in recent years, I was sold.

    And I can honestly say I haven't had even one second of regret since April 4, 2001 when I picked it up off the lot. The negatives (road noise, bumpiness, poor gas mileage) have either been acceptable or had far less of an impact than I anticipated.

    You know, I've gotten a number of comments from total strangers saying things like, "Hey nice Jeep!" One girl even mouthed those words at me from a few lanes over the other day. Man...I'm going to go get this thing washed today! :-)

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    It's a day late, but....



    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • White Pride,

    The best information I have seen is that the next redesign of the Wrangler would appear as a 2005 in either October 2004 or April 2005. Some of the information I have read says that it may borrow heavily from Jeepster and Willys concepts. I am not sure that sets very well with me but that is just my 2 cents worth.

    As for the 2003 Wrangler, I do not know of any good comprehensive Web sites. My information has just come from little readings and a little bit of insight at Jeep in Michigan.

  • dwranglerdwrangler Posts: 127
    Better late than nothing at all...thankyou Tomster :)

    Hug your Jeeps for me...til I get my own ;)

  • quikkagquikkag Posts: 24
    Deb, happy birthday! (Tom, where did you get that info? I don't recall Deb mentioning it.) I know you're a Cardinals fan, and I want to say how very, very sorry I am for the tragedies suffered this last week by the Cardinals organization. I quite literally grew up listening to Jack Buck broadcast baseball games through the good years and the bad. While Buck's declining health over the years really prepared us for his passing, the loss of Darryl Kile was a sad and terrible shock.

    Tom et al, sorry I have not been posting lately. I've been very busy with work, then have been pretty sick since Thursday. Getting better, though. I'll be back at work tomorrow. I am soooo glad I sold the Tribute (which is really an excellent vehicle) and bought the Wrangler. Like you all told me, it is more fun to drive than words can describe. I don't ever want any vehicle other than a Wrangler. I've received all kinds of compliments on it. I'm surprised to say that I haven't had it open-air since the day I drove it home from the lot, but I don't mind that at all, contrary to my expectation. I'm quite happy with the soft top, even though I have a bikini top and tonneau ready to go on when I have the time and inclination.

    I'll post again when I'm able. Happy Jeepin'!

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Good to hear from ya, pal, and I hope you're feeling better. You sure seem to be a happy camper with that Wrangler, and now you can see what we were talking about. There would just be no way to make someone understand how great they are until they experience it for themselves.

    Hope to see posts from you in here and to catch you in Gill's once in a while.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tluketluke Posts: 52
    To all who may remember me from my few postings. I listed in meet the members on June 2, 2001(post # 68) and told of how I would be ordering the first '03. Well, I did it 1 hour ago. I should have my VON tomorrow. Here is what I ordered,

    2003 Sport
    4-speed automatic (the wife won that one)
    30" tire and wheel group
    4 wheel disc brakes
    dual tops
    auto dimming mirror with compass and outside temperature
    sentry key
    side steps
    7 speakers and sub woofer
    deep tint windows

    I ordered the Inca gold which will have the gray interior and black tops. They don't have any prices yet. I was glad to see that the 4 wheel disc brakes were available to order on models other than the Rubicon. I also was hoping that you could order the 4.10 gears, like the Rubicon, but the 3.73 are as low as you can go. The '03's will start production July 22 according to another site so it will still be a while. Already planning a 4" Skyjacker lift and 33 x 12.50 tires. It's been a long time coming! Now the wait. Tom
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    Sounds fantastic. The waiting is the hardest part. I hope you can get the Inca Gold; my local dealer said is was only offered on the Rubicon ( but we know how much they know)! Keep us posted after you get the new baby.
  • smoomaw2smoomaw2 Posts: 4
    Hello. I'm new to the board. I am looking for a used '99 Sport and I am getting some conflicting price info from the usual sources. Can anyone shed any light?

    For a '99 Wrangler from a dealer with 4.0 liter, factory CD, 28K miles, AC, alloy wheels, manual, cruise, glass windows, and everything else stock, Edmunds TMV shows $15,123. Kelley's Blue Book shows $17,795. The dealer wants $17,800.

    I can understand some price differences but the gap is a little too large. Anyone have any ideas why the two are so far apart, which is more right, and where else I can look to triangulate?
  • quikkagquikkag Posts: 24
    That is going to be one sweet ride. You're gonna love it! How much off-roading do you plan?

    Trey beat the rest of us on the mandatory "keep us posted" request. :-)

  • Hi everyone! I'm looking to buy a Wrangler because they just look like so much fun to drive. Everyone I seem to talk to though tells me its a waste of money do to the reliablity. My question is to everyone that is willing to answer is how much maintenance do your Jeeps really need?
  • huckhillhuckhill Posts: 20

    I too have little ones to taxi around. My main concern is the side impact protection, or lack or it. I just weighed the risks and the amount of time that they will spend in the Jeep and found it acceptable. At least with the higher ride height, a side collision will more likely meet with the frame rather than with the side windows (unlike my current econo-box). In either case, it will be far safer than my CJ.

    You may also want to consider the effect of the wind. It was not until my kids were about 5 that they could stand the buffeting and blowing. If you do not plan to take the top off, you may want to consider the Liberty as an alternative.

    Good luck.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Lots of new people and new jeeps. I'm no expert on used Wranglers, I bought mine new. I do know that there are lots of variables when pricing cars - mileage being the one that always hits me whenever I think of trading one of my cars in. My '98 is now worth more than I owe on it. I wish I could say the same for the '00 Tacoma (which is worth less than the Wrangler!). Also, there are often aftermarket modifications that may have been done to take into account.

    As far as maintenance - my completely stock '98 has only had one non-routine maintenance problem (well 2, but I haven't bothered getting the second one fixed yet). It needed a new exhaust manifold - a common problem through '99 (I understand they redesigned the manifold for the 2000 model year). The second one is an intermittent dash gauge problem that has a TSB out on it. One of these days I'll get it taken care of, but at the moment it isn't a big deal, because it seems to happen mostly when it is cold outside. I definitely need new brake pads and rotors and an air conditioning service, but at 102,000 miles, that is to be expected, and part of routine maintenance.
  • tluketluke Posts: 52
    I also thought the Inca gold was only available in the Rubicon but the dealer said that it is available also in the Sport. He said it is not available in the Sahara. I sure hope he is right because I like the Inca gold. He said he will call me tomorrow with my VON. I imagine when he submits the order it will be rejected if he is not right about the Inca gold. That would be very disappointing. I like different colors. When I ordered my current truck, a 99 Dakota, I ordered the yellow. I still love it but my wife still hasn't stopped complaining about my color choice. So this time I let her win on one item, the transmission. I got the automatic so I would not have to hear it again for 4 years.

    At this point I do not plan any off-roading. We will see. I told myself that if I was getting a Wrangler I definitely wanted a lifted one. I think that really looks sharp. This will be my daily driver. It has already been ordered for 6 hours. I think this will be a long wait!
  • mtngal,
    Thats pretty impressive. 102,00 miles and not much maintenance. Never had any problem with the axle seals or suspension?
  • goducks1goducks1 Posts: 432
    Mtngal's Jeep is my "canary in the coalmine," as she has the same year and model that I have, but I only have 42K miles vs her 102K. I figure that any problems she encounters, I will probably hit eventually.

    So here's the repair tally for my 4.25 years of owning my 1998 Sport:

    Summer 2000: Toe-in out of alignment(my own fault, received off-road): $60

    Summer 2000: The intermittent gauges that Mtngal suffers from now: fixed under warranty

    December 2001: New rear differential seal needed because the guys at the quick-lube goofed up the fluid change: $60

    May 2002: new coil needed because Jeep kept stalling: ~$200

    In addition, I've probably spent around $1000 in maintainence via oil changes (every 3K miles) and other fluids (coolant/transmission/differentials/transfer case) every 20K miles, and of course the maintainence job (new spark plugs & wires/distributor cap/fuel & air filters/tune-up) that I had done when they replaced the coil last month.

    SO that's two owners' experiences with the same make & model year. The only thing that has really gotten me angry at my Jeep was the coil last month, because it did leave me stranded. I'm dreading the day the exhaust manifold starts making noises but so far I've dodged that bullet.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    WAY TO GO! Congratulations, and good luck in surviving the wait. (Just hang out with us here and in Gill's and talk Jeep. Maybe that will help.)


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I have been in this group for about two years now. During that time I have seen VERY FEW posts concerning problems people have had with their Jeeps, and the few that I have seen are usually just for minor things.

    My Jeep has 18,000 miles on her now, and I have had a couple small problems that were taken care of under warranty. I am very happy with the reliability of my Jeep, but she just has 18 K miles, so I will just have to see how she does as the miles accumulate over the years.

    I had a water leak that turned out to be a poor seal on the heater box where it goes through the firewall. This was fixed in one visit to the dealer.

    I also had a problem with the turn signals not working, and this was taken care of with a new stalk under warranty.

    Take a look at a bunch of the old posts in here, and you will see that no one is complaining about their Jeeps. Almost without exception, we are all thrilled with our Jeeps and very glad that we have them.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I haven't had any problems with the suspension or axle leaks. I do have a front diffy seal with a very slight leak, but not yet bad enough to do anything about right now.

    I have done the usual maintenance (diffys, transfer case, oil changes, plugs, air filter etc.) which does add up over time.
  • dwranglerdwrangler Posts: 127
    Thanks for the birthday wishes...tom got the info cause we've chatted on Gill's for a long time at least a year or more. I wasn't surprised about Jack Buck because since he first was reported to be having problems I had a sense that he probably wouldn't make it out of the hospital. Kyle was definitely a shocker, but the comforting thought is that he most likely didn't suffer. I hope that the weather stays nice for the memorial service. I didn't get to go for Jack's service, it looked really moving when I replayed the tape...guess I'll have to tape Kyle's service as well. I hope the team can recover...this year was looking promising.


    Need more details. If you don't mind I am going nuts trying to save money for someday to be Jeep :) , just want to see what will be offered and what I can afford. If I don't have enough money by the end of August or September I'll go for a used but I really am working towards new. If you can, post all details i.e. options cost etc. on Gill's site. I'd give ya my email address but I'm debating about switching my ISP, but I wanna be sure that it is the right decision.

    Hug your Jeeps for me til I get my own ;)

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