Which Jeep TJ Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

People love adventures and Jeep TJ is one of the many sources of them. When you are driving in a forest or hilly area or on a rough road the TJ will be a great companion for you.

TJ is reliable and durable for rough uses. Even when it rains or it’s a rocky road or mud all over TJ jeep can take you everywhere. It is durable and does not break down easily. With powerful engine it can run without a break for hours making it a dependable jeep.

In this article, you will know about the best and the worst of the TJ jeep years.

Jeep TJ Years to Avoid (List of Years)

There is nothing new that can be said about TJ Wranglers. These jeeps are one of the best runners on the road with great designs and superior performance. 

This doesn’t say all of the stories. Some of the models from some specific years came out bad unintentionally due to some technical fault or maybe poor materials.

Here are some Jeep TJ years that you should avoid:

  • 1987 Jeep TJ
  • 1988 Jeep TJ
  • 2007 Jeep TJ
  • 2008 Jeep TJ
  • 2012 Jeep TJ

The 1987 and 1987 – these two old models have some serious problems on the design and engine. They also have oil leaking issues and some other minor problems to deal with. 

Among the newer models, the 2006, 2007 and 2012 are the bad one having engine problems, bad interior, problems with the suspension, poor performance, etc.

What is The Worst Model of Jeep TJ?

The 2008 model has the highest number of complains in Carcomplaints website. Thus, it is the worst model of TJ jeep. It has plenty of problems including electrical system failure, bad suspension, engine breakdown, etc. which are costly to repair.

What Makes These Jeep TJ Years Worth Avoiding?

Now, let’s take a look in detail at why you should avoid the above-mentioned years of the TJ jeep. What are the underlying reasons that users of those years TJ found unworthy about them?

1987 Jeep TJ Problems:

This model is old and maybe no one is buying one again. However, if you find a second-hand TJ 1997 you should avoid it. 

This model was one of the failures of TJ which didn’t show much stability that a jeep should be capable of. It was very uncomfortable for people to drive it due to the rough movement.

There were oil leaking issues that were reported by some users. This was so unexpected and the oil economy was hampered massively for some users. This kind of problem can be dangerous at times.

The body of this is one of the main issues for you to avoid this model. If you get something wrecked it will be very difficult to find a replacement.

There are some issues that you should also know about. Some users who bought this old model found that it has a rough idling problem. Fuel pump going bad or engine going dead or electric issues are something that is common in this model.

1988 Jeep TJ Problems:

Just like the previous model of the TJ jeep, the TJ 1988 was a failure for the company. It could not improve the stability. The engine problems were still found in this model.

The dead engine on the road while driving or knocking sound from it was something the users could not go on for so long.

There is something about the appearance of this model that may push you away from this model. TJ tried to improve the design and yet failed miserably. And it became one of the worst designs ever. 

Other than that, the TJ 1988 has uncomfortable seats and the driving experience is not good as the newer versions. 

Thus, this model should be avoided.

2008 Jeep TJ Problems:

You should not buy this updated 2008 model of TJ jeep. Although this is a new version of 2007, it could not keep the promises to be a better jeep. 

The cooling system not working properly or oil leaking is quite common in this model. Sometimes it gets stuck while people are driving. The engine of this TJ 2006 model is quite unstable.

Overheating issue is another downside of the jeep. If you are running it on a summer day, it can cause serious damage to your engine.

The electric problems are the most common for the users of this model. Electric system going bad or may be the appliances used by the electricity keeps failing one after another. 

The suspension does not work properly as many have reported about it. And they had to repair it many times.

2007 Jeep TJ Problems:

TJ made many good jeeps throughout the years till it made the 2007 model. It was such a letdown for the fan base and customers. They did not expect to get a bad engine from this model. 

Users of this jeep reported that when they tried to go off-road the TJ 2007 could not run smoothly and steering became harder because of the shaking.

The airbags were also faulty in this model. This was a risk to the safety of the drivers and other passengers.

Engine failures like other previous models of TJ jeeps were found in this model as well which was costly and people did not like how it turned out.

Loud noises while driving this jeep is somewhat a disturbance for many but others liked how this jeep roared on the road. 

However, this TJ 2007 is not the worst if you take a look at the build quality, seats, and interiors. 

But if performance is your priority you should avoid this 2007 model.

2012 Jeep TJ Problems:

If you want to rank the worst of them all, the 2012 TJ jeep should be taking first place in it. This model got a massive number of complaints and reports about various sections of the jeep.

It will not give you any comfortable driving experience. Rather you will feel very uneasy with the seats and the movements of the vehicle will not be as smooth as they should be.

Steering is hard in this model. People also faced many problems related to the steering such as steering shifting to one side, hard to move to steer, etc.

The engine is also unreliable in this model. The sudden death of the engine, engine sounds, overheating, etc. are some common issues reported by the users.

Problems with the suspension are another drawback for TJ 2012. It made the jeep uncomfortable on off-roads. 

The frequency of reports was greater than in other years of TJ which makes it a bad choice for anyone looking for buying a jeep.

Which Years of TJ Jeep are Safe to Buy?

Most of the TJ jeeps are very reliable and provide great performance. But I want to mention two of them which are by far the best picked by people and loved by the users.

2018 Jeep TJ:

The newer version of the TJ jeep has more power packed in it. The 2018 model has fresher look with excellent build quality with newer technology included.

It is easy to drive and comfortable to sit in. It has great fuel economy. The control and handling of the car are smooth which people loved both on-road and off-road driving.

If you want something new with great features and performance with a mix of technology that will give you an amazing driving experience then this jeep is for you.

2019 Jeep TJ:

The TJ 2019 is a newer and upgraded version of the previous 2018 model. This upgrade not only improved the build quality and engine efficiency but also developed the technology of this jeep.

It has a touch screen display for a more convenient driving experience. It also provides a great outlook that feels premium and gorgeous.

The power seats make it more comfortable for the drivers and passengers.

The interior has improved as well with more easy interaction with Bluetooth systems. For entertainment, it has a nice sound system.

If you want something with more tech-packed, then the TJ 2019 is the one for you.


TJ is something people want to experience both on-road and off-road with a more comfortable and convenient driving experience. These come with outstanding features and long-lasting durability.

However, there are some models that you should know about which can ruin your expectation and waste your money. Hence, grab the best one that you can afford and enjoy the ride.

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