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Jeep Wrangler 2.8 Diesel Problems

Asked by Jane

What are the most common Jeep Wrangler 2.8 diesel problems/issues that a potential buyer should be aware of?

Answered by CarsGuide

11 Dec 2020 David Morley

The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine fitted to the Jeep Wrangler (and some Cherokee models) in the earlier part of this century seems to be a decent proposition in terms of reliability and ability to go the distance. The engine is made in Italy by VM Motori, a diesel engine specialist that was owned by Jeep’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler (as it was then).

A large capacity four-cylinder engine, the basics seem well engineered and inherent problems are uncommon. As such, Jeep Wrangler 2.8 diesel problems are more likely to come from the engine’s ancillaries including the turbocharger unit, intercooler and some of the emissions-control equipment.

Turbochargers have a shelf life in pretty much any vehicle and, depending on how hard a life the vehicle has had, these can require replacement when the bearings begin to wear or the internal components become damaged by carbon deposits.

Intercoolers can fail over time, and the car’s emission controls, which see it consume a proportion of its own exhaust gases as well as its own crankcase fumes, can lead to black, sticky deposits in the intake system which can require manual cleaning.

The engine is also a common-rail design, so injector and fuel-pump life can be shorter than for older, conventional diesel-engine designs.

The key to any engine’s longevity, of course, is its service history. Even the best design will be a source of ongoing grief if a previous owner has not followed the correct servicing regime. A complete service history is an absolute must when buying any second-hand turbo-diesel.

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