Ahh, the Jeep EcoDiesel — what a great SUV! It brought fuel economy that was never seen before in a Jeep. Too bad it’s had so many problems.
Here are some of the common Jeep EcoDiesel problems:
- Oil cooler failure
- Leaking exhaust couplers
- EGR cooler failure
- Slipping camshaft gear
- Turbo lag
- Water in the fuel
- Oil separator problems
- Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) problems
- Expensive parts
This article will look at each Jeep EcoDiesel problem in more detail. I’ll also share some tips on how to avoid or fix them.
1. Oil Cooler Failure
Oil cooler failure is one of the most common Jeep EcoDiesel problems. The oil cooler is responsible for cooling the engine oil, and if it fails, the oil can overheat — leading to engine damage or even a fire. The main reason for oil cooler failure is a build-up of sludge in the cooler, which happens when the oil isn’t changed frequently enough or if the wrong type of oil is used.
To catch this problem early, it’s important to check the engine oil level frequently and change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You should also use high-quality synthetic oil. This job can set you back a few thousand dollars, but it’s cheaper than replacing an engine.
2. Leaking Exhaust Couplers
A leaking exhaust coupler is another common Jeep EcoDiesel problem. The couplers are responsible for connecting the exhaust pipes to the turbocharger and manifold. If they leak, exhaust gases can enter the cabin. This isn’t only dangerous for the occupants of the vehicle: It can also lead to turbocharger failure. The exhaust gases can overheat the turbo and cause it to fail.
A turbo replacement on the EcoDiesel isn’t easy or cheap. You’re looking at a $2500 part plus labor. This is why it’s important to spot the problem early and have the couplers replaced.
A build-up of carbon deposits is usually the culprit behind the problem. You can remove them with a good cleaning in a pinch, but it’s usually best to replace the couplers.
I’ve also seen this problem caused by an aftermarket exhaust. If you’ve added an aftermarket exhaust to your Jeep, ensure the couplers are high quality and up to the task.
3. EGR Cooler Failure
The EGR cooler is responsible for cooling the exhaust gases before they’re re-circulated into the engine. If it fails, the exhaust gases can overheat the engine and cause damage. A soot build-up is usually the problem when an EGR cooler fails. This can happen if the vehicle isn’t driven often or it only goes for short rides.
Therefore, taking your Jeeps on long drives can help avoid this problem. This will help clean out the soot and keep the EGR cooler working correctly.
You can also have the EGR cooler cleaned or replaced if it’s already failing. This isn’t a cheap fix, but it’s much cheaper than replacing an engine or ending up with a fire.
I’ve seen this problem cause an engine fire on a Jeep EcoDiesel. The fire was put out quickly, but it caused significant damage to the engine. I’m talking about a $10,000 repair bill.
4. Slipping Camshaft Gear
The camshaft gear is responsible for timing valve function. If it slips, the engine will run rough and may eventually stall. This problem is usually caused by oil build-up on the transmission. This can happen if the oil isn’t frequently changed or if the wrong type of oil is used.
It’s also worth noting that EcoDiesel uses 9 quarts of 5W 40 oil. That translates to $100 for the oil alone. You also need to use a good quality cartridge-style filter that will set you back $92. This brings the total cost of an oil change to just over $200.
So, preventing the camshaft problem is not cheap, but replacing the camshaft is even more expensive. A new camshaft will set you back around $2000, plus labor.
If you’re lucky enough to still have your Jeep under warranty when this happens, the repairs will be covered. But if it’s out of warranty, you’ll be on the hook for the entire bill.
5. Turbo Lag
This is another common Jeep EcoDiesel problem. The turbocharger is responsible for providing extra power when needed, but it can take a few seconds to spool up — which can be frustrating when trying to drive past someone on the highway or merge into traffic.
There are a few things you can do to reduce turbo lag. First, you can upgrade the turbocharger. This isn’t a cheap fix, but it will eliminate the problem.
You can also add an aftermarket exhaust. This will help the turbocharger to spool up more quickly.
You can also drive more carefully. This means avoiding hard acceleration and sudden stops. Both of these can cause the turbocharger to work harder than necessary and lag.
The best part about the turbo on the EcoDiesel is that it’s highly efficient. It doesn’t use a lot of fuel, so you won’t see a significant drop in gas mileage when towing or hauling a heavy load.
Once the turbo kicks in, the power is impressive. The turbocharged engine provides more than enough power for daily driving and even light towing.
Read: Does Jeep Make a Hybrid?
6. Water in the Fuel
This is a common problem with all diesel engines, not just the EcoDiesel. This is because water can get into the fuel tank in a couple of ways.
- Condensation: This is the most common way water gets into your fuel. If the fuel tank isn’t kept full, you are leaving room for water to condense. This is especially true in cold weather.
- Bad Fuel: Water can get into the fuel at the refinery, pump, or somewhere in-between. This isn’t a common problem, but it does happen from time to time.
To avoid this issue, you should only buy fuel from reputable dealers. You should also keep the fuel tank as full as possible. This will minimize the amount of condensation and will help prevent water from getting into the tank.
If you suspect there’s water in the fuel, you should drain it out immediately. Do not try to drive the vehicle. Water can damage the fuel injectors and cause other expensive problems like corrosion.
7. Oil Separator Problems
The oil separator is responsible for keeping oil and water away from the engine. If these fluids get into the combustion chamber, they can cause expensive problems. This problem is most common in cold weather. That’s because the oil is thicker when cold and doesn’t flow as easily, causing the separator to clog and fail.
To prevent this problem, you should change the oil regularly and use a good quality synthetic oil. This will help keep the oil flowing freely and minimize the risk of clogs.
You should also consider installing an aftermarket oil separator. These are relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
The only issue is that not all brands are super reliable. You might get lucky and have one that works well, or you might end up with one that causes more problems than it solves.
8. Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Problems
The DPF is responsible for trapping soot and other particulates from the exhaust gas. These particulates can build up over time and cause the DPF to become clogged. When this happens, the engine will go into “limp mode” and lose power.
The only way to fix the problem is to have the DPF cleaned or replaced. This can be a costly repair, so it’s important to prevent the problem in the first place. The best way to do this is to use good quality fuel and change the oil regularly.
You should also avoid extended idling and driving at slow speeds. These can cause the DPF to become clogged more quickly.
If you end up with a clogged DPF, you can use a DPF cleaning kit or have the DPF professionally cleaned.
You can also try driving at high speeds for a while. This will help “burn off” the particulates and clean the DPF. However, this method isn’t always practical — not to mention it’s potentially dangerous.
9. Expensive Parts
The EcoDiesel engine is a complex piece of machinery. It has a lot of moving parts, and those parts aren’t cheap. If something goes wrong, you can expect to pay a premium for the repairs. This is one of the biggest complaints about the EcoDiesel engine.
To avoid expensive repairs, you should do your best to maintain the engine. This means changing the oil regularly, using good quality fuel, and avoiding extended idling and slow driving.
You should also probably invest in an aftermarket warranty. This can help cover the cost of repairs if something goes wrong.