Contamination of coolant can lead to overheating of the Jeep Wrangler. It can contaminate when tap water is used instead of distilled water for refilling or simply degraded for long-term use. Overheating is also possible for Jeep Wrangler when the radiator malfunctions due to dust and debris occupying the surface or the fan not working. The coolant gets hot in the radiator and it cannot absorb the heat properly.
The Jeep Wrangler overheating can often be caused by a defective thermostat. Coolant flows through the engine and the radiator is restricted by the defective thermostat which fails to open. Also, a bad water pump will not circulate the coolant from the radiator to the engine causing the Jeep Wrangler to overheat.
What Are the Signs of an Overheating Jeep Wrangler?
The signs that will indicate the Jeep Wrangler is overheating are provided below.
1. Temperature Gauge Moves to Red
The temperature gauge shows the current temperature of the engine. Usually, it stays in the middle between cold(c) and hot(h) when the temperature reaches an optimal level. The gauge gradually moves according to the temperature level. When it is on red or hot(h), it clearly means that the Jeep Wrangler’s engine temperature is overheated, and it is time to stop the vehicle to save the engine.
2. White Smoke Will Appear From Under the Hood
White smoke will appear from under the hood when the coolant is boiling hot and comes in contact with the hot components. It signals that the Jeep Wrangler is overheated and needs to take immediate action to pull over the vehicle until it becomes cool.
3. Engine Power Will Dropped
The engine of the Jeep Wrangler will start losing power and would make a hissing noise when it is overheated. It can also backfire during acceleration and a risk of damaging the engine if not stopped instantly.
What Are Common Causes of Jeep Wrangler Overheating? – Fix Now!
The common causes of the Jeep Wrangler overheating due to contaminated coolant, a faulty radiator, a broken thermostat, a bad water pump, and insufficient engine oil.
1. Contaminated Coolant
The coolant can contaminate when tap water is used to refill the radiator rather than distilled water or it is used beyond its lifespan. When it gets contaminated, it becomes thick and cannot keep the temperature of the engine at an optimum level, and as a result, the Jeep Wrangler gets overheated.
Solution to Contaminated Coolant
It is advisable to use the recommended coolant, such as Prestone and Zerex, for the Jeep Wrangler, and the use of coolant should not exceed the given deadline of the manufacturer. After flushing, mix the coolant with distilled water in a 50:50 ratio for better engine performance.
The coolant of Jeep Wrangler comes within a price range of $13-$20.
2. Faulty Radiator
The Jeep Wrangler can overheat when the radiator is faulty, and it can happen due to various reasons.
First, it can go faulty when dust and debris accumulate on the fins because of lack of maintenance.
Second, when it is aged, coolant starts leaking from it.
And last, when the coolant is low on the radiator or the radiator fan motor is not working.
Solution to Faulty Radiator
You should clean the radiator at least once or twice a month by spraying water directly on the radiator with minimal force to get rid of dust and debris. Also, refill the radiator when it gets low before taking it outside and the engine is cold. Check the fan motor of the radiator if it is rotating with force or not.
Replace the radiator if it is leaking. You can follow the process below to replace it.
- Remove the front grill of the Jeep Wrangler by unscrewing the bolts and caps that are attached to it.
- Drain the coolant from the radiator and the reservoir by removing the drain nut under the radiator.
- Remove the air intake hose, transmission cooler, radiator fan and the radiator cover from the radiator. Pull the radiator up by holding it with both hands.
- Place the new radiator and attach all the things that are removed. Refill the new radiator with new coolant for better results.
Replacement of the radiator can be tough for DIY repairs, so take it to a professional mechanic who can assess the problem quickly. The cost of a new radiator for a Jeep Wrangler comes between $130-$250.
3. Broken Thermostat
A thermostat can be broken due to corrosion or when its operational life is exceeded. A broken thermostat cannot monitor the engine temperature and it will remain closed. The coolant will not flow through the engine and the radiator leading to overheating of the Jeep Wrangler.
Solution to Broken Thermostat
You should replace the Thermostat of the Jeep Wrangler immediately when it is broken. You can follow the steps to replace it.
- Drain the coolant from the radiator, and remove the hose and the engine cover from the engine.
- Remove the thermostat from the thermostat block by unscrewing the bolts which are attached to it.
- Place the new thermostat in the thermostat block and screw it with the bolts.
- Attach all the components back to their places and refill the radiator with coolant before starting the engine.
Jeep Wrangler thermostat price comes within $10-$50, which is not that expensive.
4. Bad Water Pump
Jeep Wrangler can overheat when the water pump goes bad because the water pump is responsible for circulating the flow of coolant to the engine block and the radiator. It can go bad when there is an insufficient amount of coolant in the radiator or the components of the water pump corrode over time.
Solution to Bad Water Pump
The bad water pump needs to be replaced as it is an important component of the cooling system of the Jeep Wrangler. You can follow the procedure below for replacing the water pump.
- You need to loosen the serpentine belt off the pulley by holding down the tensioner with a socket wrench. Pull the serpentine belt by using your hand from it.
- You have to remove the pulley of the water pump once the serpentine belt is off from it. To do this, unscrew the bolts that are attached to the pulley with a wrench and the pulley will come off on its own.
- After removing the pulley from the water pump, unmount the bolts that are attached to the water pump with a socket wrench and a hammer. Before removing the water pump, drain the coolant from the radiator and store it so that you can reuse it.
- Remove the old water pump from the engine block and clean the surrounding surface of the old gasket. Then, replace the old gasket with a new one and install a new pump into the engine block.
- Attach the bolts of the water pump and the pulley. After that, hold the tensioner again to attach the serpentine belt of the pulley.
- Refill the radiator with coolant which you have stored and run the engine to see if everything is working or not.
However, replacing the water pump can be complicated for beginners who do not have sound knowledge and tools for DIY repairs. It is better to take your Jeep Wrangler to any authorized shop if you are not confident enough. The price of a water pump for a Jeep Wrangler comes within $40-$200.
5. Insufficient Engine Oil
Insufficient engine oil can overheat the Jeep Wrangler as the engine will have more friction between them. It mainly occurs when the engine oil is leaking from the gaskets and seals, engine pan, or drain plug.
Solution to Insufficient Engine Oil
You have to identify the exact problem for the insufficient engine oil in your Jeep Wrangler. When there is a problem with the drain plug, you can easily solve the issue by replacing the old drain plug with a new one. But if the problem arises due to the engine pan or gaskets and seals, you have to take the vehicle to a professional mechanic. These tasks are complex and need advanced tools and techniques which only a professional mechanic can able to do.
How Do I Stop My Jeep Wrangler From Overheating?
To stop your Jeep Wrangler from overheating, you can follow the measures given below.
- Keep the coolant in the radiator always full and if it gets low, refill the radiator by mixing a 50:50 ratio of coolant and distilled water. When refilling, make sure the engine of the Jeep Wrangler is cold.
- Keep an eye on the temperature gauge while driving, if it is moving to the red(h), pull over the vehicle at once and do not start until the engine gets cold.
- Ensure the radiator and the cap is in good condition. Clean it once or twice a week with a water pressure gun so that dust and debris cannot accumulate on the surface.
- Check for any leaks from the hoses, water pump and radiator. Replace them if there are any leaks from any of them.
- Maintain your vehicle properly by cleaning air filters regularly and keeping adequate engine oil in the vehicle. Always use the recommended manufacturer engine oil.
- Always follow the guidelines of the manufacturer and service your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s protocols.
- Avoid driving at high rpm(revolutions per minute), this puts pressure on the engine and as a result, it can overheat the engine within a short period of time.