Jeep Wrangler oil change expert guide

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According to the manufacturer’s owner manual, the Jeep wrangler oil change should be done once the indicator lights are “ON” (15% oil life), and you should not exceed 12 months or 16,000 kilometers whichever comes first.

We always follow the owner’s manual during fluid changes, Jeep engineers and experts’ knowledge regarding fluid and oil changes is shared with us on the owner’s manual and that’s is King!

How often should Jeep Wrangler engine oil be changed

Jeep Wrangler Oil Change Indicator system is built in the Jeep Wrangler, and that’s what you should follow, it will alert the driver through dashboard lights, sounds, and messages, Jeep Wrangler oil change indicator is an algorithm-driven system that takes into account operating conditions of the Jeeps engine and determines when your Jeep needs an oil change.

Looking forward to changing your Jeep Wrangler Fluids? Learn more on how to change your Transmission Fluid in our Jeep Wrangler Transmission Fluid Guide.

Jeep Wrangler Oil Change Interval Case Study

Jeep Wrangler Engine Oil Change Interval may fluctuate depending upon your driving style, and driving conditions. We collaborated with our friends to take note of each time we would need an oil change on our Jeeps, to measure the mileage based on various terrains and using habits.

Light driving conditions.

The first experiment was on my wife’s Jeep, the Jeep is a 2019 Jeep Wrangler Sport S 4×4, she used her Jeep in very light conditions, going to work, and no off-roading at all, she doesn’t tow or that much into Jeep heavy loading her Jeep. Occasionally she is stuck in traffic now and then.

On light driving conditions the Jeep Wrangler oil change indicator did light on after 8,750 miles.

Moderate driving conditions.

The second experiment was on our family Jeep, a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, We use the Jeep when we are on a family trip, visiting friends ad families, and on family adventures.

The Jeep is always loaded with family belongings, and camping gear and mounted with accessories we would need such as bike racks, we also tow a camper now and then when visiting our favorite camp in the mountains. It’s worth mentioning, that we use our Jeep to charge our camping equipment and light up our camp, for this reason, we keep our Jeep idle for extended hours.

The Jeep Wrangler oil change indicator did light up in moderate driving condition at 6,250 miles.

Extreme driving conditions.

We did use a friends rock crawler for this experiment, the Jeep is a  customized Jeep, The rock crawler frequents mountainous and off-road, the engine is always on four-wheel drive, and we estimate the engine to be at a higher load due to the heavy aftermarket customization done to the Jeep, the heavy load includes steel safety bars, steel bumper – the Jeep is used during the summer on rocky mountains where the temperatures are favorable for rock crawling.

In extreme driving conditions, the Jeep Wrangler oil change indicator on extreme driving conditions did light up after 4,000 miles.

Learn how to reset your Jeep Wrangler Oil Indicator System – The post is a step-by-step process to clear your change oil message and reset your oil life to 100% on 2007-2021 Jeep Wranglers.

Jeep Wrangler Oil Change Case Study – Summary of Results

Jeep Driving StyleJeep Wrangler Oil Change Intervals
Light Driving Conditions8,750 Miles
Off-roading Jeep6,250 Miles
Rock Crawling Jeep4,000 Miles

Jeep Wrangler Oil Change Schedule

Jeep Wrangler oil changes are vital services for your Jeep Wrangler, that’s why Jeep has also recommended getting your oil and filter replaced after the following miles:

Jeep Wrangler Oil Change Schedule
Miles accumulatedJeep Wrangler Oil Change Recommended Services
3,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
8,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
16,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, inspect engine air cleaner, and replace if necessary.
24,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
32,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, Replace engine air cleaner filter.
40,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
48,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, inspect engine air cleaner, and replace if necessary.
56,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
64,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, Replace engine air cleaner filter.
72,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
80,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, inspect engine air cleaner, and replace if necessary.
88,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
96,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, Replace engine air cleaner filter.
104,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter
112,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter, inspect engine air cleaner, and replace if necessary.
120,000 MilesChange engine oil and filter

How do you know if your Jeep needs an oil change?

This is the Jeep Wrangler Engine Oil Change Interval recommended by the manufacturer, however, certain conditions might prompt you to change your Jeeps engine oil earlier than the recommended timelines, as we have mentioned earlier, the indicator you should change your engine oil is the Jeep Wrangler oil change indicator system and now, we will follow up with more signs that it’s time to change your Jeep Wrangler engine oil.

On your regular oil checks with an engine dipstick, you might find that the color of your engine oil has changed from bright yellow or amber to a darker color caused by contamination in the engine, there are also other signs you should look for that are straight forward signs of aged oil and they include:

  • Granular deposits on the oil/ Rubbing of the oil between two fingers feel like an abrasive texture.
  • Oil is too thick due to contamination with dirt.
  • The oil smells bitter, soapy, or like rotten cheese. The oil smell might be higher during higher engine temperatures.
  • Your Jeeps engine might also have some engine whining sounds and your Jeep will start shaking due to a lack of proper lubrication.
  • Checking on the sounds produced by the oil pump sound can also give you an idea if your Jeep needs an oil change, for example, if your oil pump starts producing a humming or whining sound it might indicate it’s time to change your Jeeps engine oil, this is because when the engine oil is too old, it becomes thick and causes stress to your Jeeps oil pump resulting to the sounds. The sounds are common in cold starts and settle when the engine is hot.
  • Interfacial tension test on oil by dropping a drop of oil into the water and checking how the oil spreads, if the oil spreads over instead of beading up, it’s time to change the oil.
  • Another sign that you might need an oil change is when your Jeeps start to consume a lot of gas, to improve your Jeeps gas mileage you will need to check if the culprit is old oil.
  • You can also get an idea you will need to inspect your Jeeps oil levels and conditions when your Jeeps oil pressure lights in your dashboard light up, we have noted the oil pressure light can illuminate immediately after you start your Jeep engine and go off after a few seconds, or it can also light up intermittently. Jeeps oil pressure gauge is used to indicate the pressure in your engine oil, when your engine oil is old, the oil becomes thick and this causes your oil pump to build pressure slowly.

What Type of Oil for Jeep Wrangler?

The type of oil for Jeep Wrangler is dependent on the type of Jeep you have and its engine specifications. Other factors that can determine your engine type are your driving conditions and your climate which affects the temperatures of your engine 9eg cold climates and hot climates need different types of oil.

Below is the recommended engine oil for your Jeep Wrangler, we have narrowed down on the engine type, engine oil quantity, and the engine oil type:

Jeep Wrangler JK

Jeep Wrangler JK Engine TypeJeep Wrangler JK Oil QuantityJeep Wrangler JK Engine Oil Type
3.8L​ Engine6 Quarts of Engine Oil5W-20​
3.6L Engine6 Quarts of Engine Oil5W-20

Jeep Wrangler JL

Jeep Wrangler JL Engine TypeJeep Wrangler JL Oil QuantityJeep Wrangler JL Engine Oil Type
2.0L Engine5 Quarts5w-30
3.6L Engine5 Quarts0w-20

Jeep Wrangler YJ

Jeep Wrangler YJ Engine TypeJeep Wrangler YJ Oil QuantityJeep Wrangler YJ Engine Oil Type
4.0L       6 Quarts of Engine Oil10W-30 or 5W-30
2.5L ​​      4 Quarts of Engine Oil10W-30 or 5W-30
2.4L4 Quarts of Engine Oil10W-30 or 5W-30

Jeep Wrangler TJ

Jeep Wrangler TJ Engine TypeJeep Wrangler TJ Engine TypeJeep Wrangler TJ Engine Type
4.0L       6 Quarts of Engine Oil10W-30 or 5W-30
2.5L ​​      6 Quarts of Engine Oil10W-30 or 5W-30
2.4L4 Quarts of Engine Oil10W-30 or 5W-30

What is better conventional or synthetic?

Most of our clients ask if they can use conventional or synthetic oil in their Jeep Wrangler, and the answer to this is determined by your driving habits and the type of Jeep you have: for example, an old Jeep with high mileage will benefit more from synthetic oil than conventional oil, brand new Jeeps used as a daily driver in urban centers can benefit more from using conventional oil.

We have included a video below detailing how to change your Jeep Wrangler oil at home and how to reset the Jeeps oil change warning light.

James Ndungu - Jeep Runner Writer

Author: James Ndungu

James is an Automotive Service Writer, I4WDA certified trainer, Jeep enthusiast, and shop owner specializing in Jeep parts, accessories, and Electric Vehicles Charging Station Installation services. His interest and first-hand experience in electric vehicle charging technology motivated him to achieve certification through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP).

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