Jeep 3.8 Engine Problems – Detailed Guide

Jeep 3.8 Engine Problems

You may have heard a lot of complaints about the 3.8 engine problems. Unfortunately, they are all true. This engine is not one of the best however, it does not mean that all these problems are the manufacturer’s fault. Most of these problems stem from the rough use the users put it to. I don’t see the point of unduly forcing your jeep to do something that it does not have the capacity to do. It is just a very reasonable explanation to why most of the problems occur in this engine.

However, if you are not aware of the common problem that might occur in the jeep 3.8 engine then you should read out the following article because I am about to tell you everything down to the solution to avoid these problems. So, if all this sounds interesting to you, then keep on reading the following article!

Jeep 3.8 Engine Problems

Jeep 3.8 Engine Problems

Jeep 3.8 Engine Problems

1. Dislodged Throttle Body Plug-in Clip

One of the most common problems that you will face with the jeep 3.8 engine is that it will keep shutting down. This happens due to a manufacturing fault. It has a small plug-in below the drive-by-wire throttle. This plug-in easily gets dislodged. And when that happens, the engine shuts down. This problem may get a little hard to detect partly because other jeep engines do not have this plug-in and partly because it is so small and hidden underneath the engine.

If the problem persists, you might even get desperate enough to swap the entire engine. However, don’t take such a step immediately. Look under the engine to reposition the throttle plug-in. This will definitely solve your problem. You may also get it properly tightened through a professional mechanic. You can also check out, the Jeep Wrangler engine replacement cost.

2. Makes Strange Sounds During Start-Up

The engine makes very sharp and weird noises when you start it up. You can literally feel the engine revving to life under you. It makes the jeep shake like a tornado under your feet. And the bad news is that you can not do anything about it. You will just have to get used to that horrible sound of the engine. And if you think about it, it’s not so bad either, over time, you will stop being bothered by it.

3. Oil Burning

This is yet another bad news for you, After covering 100,000 miles, the 3.8 jeep engine starts burning oil. This will increase your overall fuel consumption. In fact, it will keep increasing to an unbearably high number. So, to avoid that, you would have to get your piston rings replaced.

However, before you spend money on buying a new set of piston rings, make sure that you check out the valves. It is possible that there is some fault in the valves. The malfunctioning valves also increase your fuel consumption considerably through oil burning.

4. Engine Leaks

If there is one problem that I specifically despise about the jeep 3.8 engine, it is the engine leaks. It is a complete nuisance, I tell you! You will constantly have to get your garage cleaned up. It is not the petrol that leaks, it is also many other weird liquids that flow out of the engine and onto your squeaky clean garage floor.

5. Engine Recalls

I have had many engine recall issues with the 3.8 engine. The last time I checked the number of engine recalls was somewhere between fifteen to eighteen. After that, I lost track of the numbers. In any case, I have not been successful in pointing out the main reasons why this happens. I even tried to contact the manufacturers. But they don’t know the reason why this is happening either.

6. Bad Idling

Bad idling is yet another pervasive problem of the 3.9 engine. The tachometer is a little shaky and the engine does not idle smoothly. However, you can fix this problem by checking out all the sensors and wording of the engine. You will definitely find the problem with one of those. You don’t even have to consult a mechanic for this issue. You can do it all by yourself.

Do All 3.8 Engines Have The Same Problems?

No, not all jeep 3.8 engines encounter problems. It also depends upon the driver’s ability and the kind of use you put it to. In simpler words, it is not the manufacturer’s fault. These problems develop when you roughly use the engine or use it to its maximum capacity (Here is the towing capacity of a Jeep Wrangler). Just make sure that you are careful about this and use the jeep with some caution.

However, it is true that most 3.8 jeep engines end up developing the same aforementioned problems. Maybe, it is because this engine has a specific limitation beyond which it malfunctions. Maybe, some of the components of the engine are so fragile that a little bit of pressure breaks them apart. So, I would recommend you to use your jeep with care. And do not put too much pressure on it.

What About Longevity

On average, the 3.8 jeep engine has 200,000 miles of longevity. However, this is not an exact figure. The longevity of this engine and any other engine depends upon the kind of terrain you travel on. For instance, if you drive your jeep in rocky mountainous areas, then the longevity of your engine would be somewhere close to 120,000 miles.

Whereas, if you drive your jeep on asphalt roads, then this will take a lesser toll on your engine life. Hence, it will increase the longevity of your jeep from 200,000 miles on average to 250,000 on average. I hope you are understanding what a huge impact the terrain makes on the longevity and lifespan of your engine.

If you want to know the reason for this then let me explain it briefly to you. The engine provides all the power to the tires to make them move and take you places. Now, the more rough and treacherous the terrain is, the more power the engine will need to push the vehicle forward. As a result, it will lose a part of its own life in the process.

On the other hand, asphalt has a very smooth texture which is why the engine does not require too much power to push the vehicle forward. Hence, its life is preserved. Also, check the common issues in the Jeep 3.7 engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the 3.8 v6 a good engine?

Yes, a 3.8 v6 is definitely a good enough engine for all those looking for an engine with a reasonable price. However, it does come with some problems such as fuel burning after a certain mileage, harsh revving noise when you start up the engine, and complete shutdown when the throttle plug-in gets dislodged.

Is the 3.8 jeep engine reliable?

The reliability of the 3.8 jeep engine depends upon the kind of terrain you drive your vehicle on. If you drive it on rough mountainous terrain, you will notice reduced reliability as compared to driving it on plain asphalt roads. This is because treacherous roads require more engine power so that the vehicle can travel the same distance compared to the distance covered by the vehicle on plain terrain.

How bad is the jeep 3.8 engine?

The jeep 3.8 engine is not bad at all however, it is not intended for mountain hiking. So, if you want a jeep for hiking purposes then the 3.8 engine is the worst option for you. This is because the terrain will burn the engine out making it lose all its efficiency. This is when you will start to face other problems such as oil burning, engine shutdown, and so on.

Final Thoughts

So, this was all from my side. I gave you all the relevant information relating to all the possible and most common defects that you may face with a jeep 3.0 engine. I tried my best to give you very comprehensive information relating to this topic. And I also refrained from using any technical jargon so that each and every one of you could understand what we were actually talking about.

In any case, let me summarize all the possible malfunctions quickly here. So, first off, you must prepare yourself for the harsh revving sound the instant you startup your jeep. Secondly, you will face a petrol leakage problem in your garage. So, you will have to clean up the space constantly. Thirdly, there is this oil-burning problem. For that, change your pistons or get your valves checked and cleaned up. After that, comes the bad idling and engine recalls.

Hi! Roy Penny here, a passionate adventurer who has been driving jeeps all his life. My passion for the thrill of off-roading has allowed me to learn what modern-day jeeps have to offer. Exploring the popular trails and seeking thrills in the unexplored terrains allowed me to discover the true intimacy nature had to offer and become an avid learner of Off-roading with Jeeps. Hence, I decided to create this blog to share my experiences of jeep riding and off-roading with the world. My only goal is to provide the readers with quality reliable information about jeeps.