Jeep Renegade Problems: 7 Common Issues

Suppose you are considering a Jeep Renegade because of its small frame and offroad capability, along with the budget-friendly price. In that case, there are some common issues to consider before taking the plunge.

The Jeep Renegade suffers from excessive oil consumption, high emissions, wiring issues, jumping and lurching problems, traction control faults, squeaking brakes, and occasionally other electrical issues.

To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve broken down these issues below, as well as some Renegade recalls you need to be aware of (especially if you have one of these models).

7 Main Jeep Renegade problems to be aware of

1. Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption is the most severe issue with the Jeep Renegade fitted with the 2.4 liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine.

The culprit behind this problem is defective piston rings that let the oil seep past the piston into the combustion chamber and lead to excessive crankcase pressure that can push the oil out of the PCV (Positive Crankcase Valve) into the intake of the engine.

This can lead to unnecessary carbon buildup in the intake and the cylinder head of the engine. If you cannot top up the oil, it can lead to severe engine damage due to lack of oil and oil pressure to the many bearings inside the engine.

oil leaked onto tar

2. High Exhaust Emissions

With excessive oil, consumption comes a new problem when you need to take the Jeep Renegade to get its emissions tested.

Due to the oil being combusted and the engine not being designed to run efficiently with such a high oil mixture in the combustion chamber, the emission results are awful, and the vehicle will most likely fail the emission test.

3. Random Vehicle Shut-offs

This is a severe problem that can put you as a driver in a dangerous predicament when the Jeep Renegade just shuts off for no reason and no warning.

As a common complaint among Jeep Renegade owners, it is easy to assume that the Jeep Renegade has a wiring defect, which is most likely a problem with the vehicle’s ECU.

4. Transmission Problems

The 9-speed automatic transmission fitted to the Jeep Renegade also has its fair share of problems.

The worst one is due to a wiring harness issue resulting in the gearbox unexpectedly shifting into neutral while driving without the input of the driver.

Other problems that have been brought up were the gearbox shifting hard between the gears, as well as jumping and lurching problems.

5. Traction Control Problems

With a wiring and ECU problem, another common issue can be the random engagement of the traction control system.

The vehicle gets false wheel speed information to the ECU resulting in removing power input and, in some cases, from a standstill, won’t even start moving.

6. Squeaking Brakes

While this isn’t much of a driving hazard, it is a nuisance to hear the brakes squeak while driving constantly. 

In some cases, it is so loud that nearby people and other drivers can hear it while plowing away at full speed on the highway.

The main culprit seems to be poorly manufactured brake pads that wear out the disc at such a rate that it grooves the disc resulting in it emitting horrible squeaking sounds.

7. Electrical Problems

Because there is a problem with the wiring and ECU of the Jeep Renegade, many other electrical gremlins are reported by the poor owners of these vehicles.

One of the most costly problems is parasitic power loss, where you will just find your car with no power for no apparent reason. 

The only solution is to get a new battery or save the old one, which in most cases is only a couple of months, or even weeks, old.

Some owners even found themselves having difficulties starting the vehicle; the starter is spinning, but the engine just does not start.

2018 jeep renegade

Jeep Renegade Recalls

While many Jeep Renegades have been recalled, there are still many out there that were not repaired, so consider these problems when buying a second-hand Renegade. 

If you already own a Renegade, take your vehicle as soon as possible to a dedicated Jeep dealer to rectify these problems.

2015 and 2016 recalls

  • Cars fitted with the 1.5-inch spacer kit have improper welds on the spacer resulting in the rear axle moving while driving.
  • Cars manufactured between September 2014 to June 2015 have a vulnerability where third-party access can be made through the vehicle’s radio, giving people access to the vehicle’s control systems.
  • Vehicles fitted with the optional trailer hitch between 2015 and 2016 need more fasteners to hold the trailer hitch to the chassis.
  • Vehicles fitted with the 9-speed ZF gearbox have insufficient crimps on the transmission harness, which results in the gearbox shifting to neutral.

2017 recalls

  • Vehicles fitted with the 2.4L engine may be equipped with cracked oil pump housings that can cause the engine to stall and the oil pump to fail.
  • Due to a software issue, multiple malfunctioning lights may turn on with no real problem.
  • Vehicles fitted with the 2.4L engine driven under high power demand or high altitudes can suffer a loss of fuel pressure due to a faulty fuel pump assembly.

2018 recalls

  • Vehicles may be equipped with a powertrain module with a faulty voltage regulator chip causing a no-start condition.

2019 recalls

  • Vehicles fitted with the Upland trim package may have a faulty calibrated Occupant Restraint Controller that may deploy the airbags incorrectly in a frontal crash.
  • Incorrect software may cause certain safety features to be deactivated.

Final thoughts on Jeep Renegade problems

While it might be a quirky, budget-friendly small SUV, the Jeep Renegade is riddled with many issues and too many for my liking.

The costs of repairing the vehicles will quickly creep up on you, and reliability shouldn’t be a premium on a modern car. It should be a given.

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Article by

Jaco Schrader

Jaco is the automotive heart of our platform. Born and raised in Namibia, he began his journey in the automobile sector in 2012. Launching his own automotive repair business in Africa and fitting a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 in a Ford Sierra, Jaco brings over six years of hands-on automotive experience. He’s a self-taught expert in various mechanical and electrical aspects of vehicles.

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