Jeep Wrangler JK: Top 5 Regretful Modifications

The Jeep Wrangler is a highly modifiable vehicle, which means there will be good modifications as well as regretful ones. This guide will shine some light on the modifications our forum users regret the most.By Bassem Girgis – November 12, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

The Jeep Wrangler is a vehicle that you can change completely. With exterior components that can be removed in a matter of minutes, interior room for extra things, or numerous aftermarket parts being sold, modifying the Jeep is not an issue, and you will never run out of options. However, there are some modifications that owners can confidently say they regret getting. People always say the cheap mods are the regretful mods, but that’s not always true. There are some pricy modifications that people regret, while others loved their cheap modification. Think twice before modifying your Jeep and be sure it is something you will use. Try to avoid modifications that take up unnecessary room, unless you need it of course. We searched the forums for some of the modifications that Jeep Wrangler drivers regret the most; read on to see the mods you should avoid.

Top 5 Regretful Modifications

Tuffy Overhead Console

DIY Cost – $272.99

Professional Cost – $500

Difficulty – Moderate; this job requires mounting the console.

This modification is designed to give you that extra security in your Jeep to store things. It is bolt-on, which means you have to drill in your beloved Wrangler to mount this storage unit. Even though this might sound good for a second, at least until you see the price tag, there are a few things that come to mind. If you want to store something valuable and lock it with a key, you might want it hidden. Extra storage with a lock screams “break in and take as a whole.” Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, a number of forum members complained they hit their heads on it numerous times doing numerous things, meaning they could hit it while trying to get into the Jeep, or while trying to give the wife on the passenger side a kiss on the cheek. All in all, if you want safety, buy extra storage that goes in the trunk, not above the driver’s head. If this was safe, Jeep would’ve incorporated one themselves.

Teraflex Quicker Disconnect

DIY Cost – $160

Professional Cost – $250-300

Difficulty – Moderate; this job requires the removal of various components.

The quick disconnect allows for more front wheel travel to create better traction when off-roading. What is expected from these types of disconnects is a quick release when you get out of the road, enjoying free traveling in front wheels; When you’re done, you connect it back the same easy way you’ve disconnected it and get back on the road. However, the reality is slightly different. Forum members complained that their bushings were extremely tight, so tight that they needed a sledge hammer to disconnect them. That’s not all; when you use a sledge hammer to disconnect it, or if you are extremely strong, their bushings tend to get damaged in the process. So, you may have to find new bushings for them after one use. If that’s the case, then these fall under our most regretful modifications.

Lange Side Mirrors

DIY Cost – $120

Professional Cost – $250

Difficulty – Moderate; this job requires the removal of the old mirrors.

The Lange side mirrors are the closest thing to a time machine. They bring the look of your Jeep Wrangler back in time to the days of simplicity. They are rugged-looking and give the Jeep a unique look. However, back then, safety was not as much of a concern. This is one modification that will give your Wrangler a good look, if you’re into it, but it is a completely useless mod. These mirrors make it very tough to see behind you as they cover such a small area. It’s like putting motorcycle mirrors on a tank. So, if you want to change the look of your Jeep, try to think of something else that won’t make you cut everyone off.

50″ Light Bar

DIY Cost – $130-500

Professional Cost – $500-1,000

Difficulty – Moderate; this procedure requires some electrical skills.

A 50″ light bar might sound like a good idea, and it could be rather useful when you’re off-roading. However, the common complaint is that it makes a lot of noise. Let’s face it: the Jeep Wrangler is not designed to go fast, but 50 miles per hour isn’t asking for much. Some owners even went as far as saying that it hurt their gas mileage. This is a modification that can go either way. If you need it and use it on a daily basis, then it could be worth it. However, if you’re like the rest of most owners and you use your Wrangler off-road on occasions, then there are plenty of other types of lights that will give you the same shine while not affecting the aerodynamics of your car.

Rough Country Lift

DIY Cost – $500

Professional Cost – $1,000

Difficulty – Difficult; this procedure requires the removal of various heavy-duty suspension components.

The Rough Country lift comes in a variety of heights, shapes and prices; if you know what you want and need, you could end up with a great modification. However, the problem occurs when drivers get the lift, install it, and use it. The lift by itself without different tires or other suspension components tends to eat the bushings extremely quickly. These kits will require a lot of research to make sure it is compatible with everything on your car, including the tires and the type of off-roading you will be doing. The Jeep Wrangler is designed for ultimate off-roading; any more lifting and it becomes very unstable. However, if you insist on going up a few inches on the road, be sure to do a lot of research instead of just buying the kit and installing it.

Related Discussion

Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Change Programming Features

Control the features on your Jeep Wrangler using these easy-to-follow programming sequences.By Charlie Gaston – November 11, 2015

Materials Needed

  • Valet key

Step 1 – Disengage the seat belt reminder chime

  • Start with the ignition switch in the “OFF” position and your seat belt buckled.
  • Switch the ignition switch to the “ON/RUN” position, but be careful not to start the engine. The seat belt reminder light will disappear from the dashboard at this time.
  • You will have 60 seconds to perform the following steps, so move swiftly and correctly: Start your vehicle, and then buckle and unbuckle your seat belt three times within a 10-second period. Your seat belt should be fastened by the third pass.
  • The seat belt reminder chime is now disengaged.

Step 2 – Control the automatic door lock feature

This feature is an important one because it automatically locks your doors as soon as your jeep begins traveling at least 15 miles per hour. Here’s how to enable or disable the feature:

  • With the driver and all passenger doors closed, place your key in the ignition.
  • Turn the ignition switch for four passes, cycling between the “LOCK” and “ON” positions.
  • The final pass should end with the ignition switch in the “LOCK” position.
  • Lock your vehicle doors using the power door switch, which is part of your driver-side front door controls.
  • Listen for a chime.
  • When you hear the chime, programming is complete.
  • Repeat the above steps to enable the feature again the future.

Step 3 – Set your clock

  • Locate the “TIME” button, then press and hold it.
  • Continue to do so until the hours begin blinking on the display.
  • Using the right-side “TUNE/SCROLL” knob, set the current hour.
  • Press the knob once more to set the minutes, and begin making adjustments as needed.
  • Once the minutes and hours are set and saved, which is done by pressing the knob for a final time after each entry is made.
  • Wait five seconds for programming to end.
  • Alternately, press the “SETUP” button, and then select “SELECT HOME CLOCK.”
  • Set the hour, and then minutes for the current time, and save the entry by pressing the “TUNE/SCROLL” knob after each pass.

Step 4 – Seek professional assistance

If you continue to experience with one or more features you wish to either engage or disengage, it’s highly recommended that you visit a trusted mechanic or local Jeep dealer for further assistance. Avoid continuing to engage your vehicle, as there could be a larger mechanical problem that you are not trained to diagnose.

Step 5 – Check the Related Discussions section below

For more programming sequences, check the Related Discussion link located at the bottom of this guide. It contains 11 additional programming sequences that you are sure to enjoy, including how to program your key and how to turn off flashing turn lights.

Related Discussion

Jeep Wrangler JK: Top 5 Inexpensive Modifications

Everyone wants to modify their Jeep Wrangler, but no one wants to spend the money. This guide will shine some light on some inexpensive modifications.By Bassem Girgis – November 11, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

Modifying the Jeep Wrangler is an endless cycle. You can spend $50 to make it look different, or you can invest thousands upon thousands of dollars to make it unique. Every Jeep owner would love to modify their Wrangler completely, unfortunately, modifications can be rather costly. Just like there are a lot of expensive modifications, there are also cheaper ones that can change the looks of your Jeep. We did the research, and this guide will shine some light on some of the inexpensive modifications that can make your Jeep look different from the ones you see on the road.

Inexpensive Modifications

LED Lights

DIY Cost – $50

Professional Cost – $80-1,000

Skill Level – Easy; this job requires simple bulb swapping.

Nothing says unique like a different night presence. A simple LED bulb swapping will give your Wrangler a whole different look among other Jeeps. The most common LED color is blue or white, which not only gives the car a special look, it also shines a lot brighter. This is a great modification if you like to go off-roading. The good LED bulbs have been known to be 30% brighter than the stock, while lasting a few years longer. These bulbs will make nightly off-roading feel a lot safer, which will allow you to enjoy more and worry less. Unlike HID, the LED bulbs are a direct replacement. This means you just need to twist the factor bulb to remove, remove the electrical harness, and install the LED bulb in place.

Blacked Out Lights

DIY Cost – $20-60

Professional Cost – $70-100

Skill Level – Easy; this job doesn’t need special skills, only attention to details.

When it comes to small modifications, blacking out headlights and tail lights takes the lead. This simple, inexpensive upgrade changes the look of the Jeep Wrangler completely. You just may have to check your state law to be sure you can do this upgrade without paying for it with a ticket.

This modification can be accomplished by replacing the light assembly with a tinted one, which is the more expensive option; or you can buy a tinted film, which goes over the assembly and within minutes changes the look of the whole car. If you want a cheap modification that will get the most attention, black out your lights.

Aftermarket Fuel Door

DIY Cost – $60-120

Professional Cost – $100-170

Skill Level – Easy; this job requires basic skills and tools.

Nothing screams “tank” more than a rugged, aftermarket fuel door. Although it is such a small area when looking at the big picture, sometimes that’s all you need to emphasize the ruggedness of your Wrangler. There are tons of aftermarket fuel doors, all of which come in a variety of shapes, colors and prices. Based on your taste, you can add that extra touch that will complement the exterior of your Jeep. Aside from the great look these fuel doors add, some of them come with a key to avoid gas stealing, and with today’s gas prices, that’s an investment.

Installing these fuel doors can be easy depending on the one you buy, so read up on the specific brand that interests you. If you feel like you’re up to the task, take your Jeep to the next level with this mod.

Painted Interior Freedom Top

DIY Cost – $30

Professional Cost – $150

Skill Level – Moderate; Painting the hardtop is not easy and requires previous painting skills.

The freedom top comes from the factory in a white color, which makes the interior look a bit cheap. Painting it changes up the stock look of the interior. Some people like to add some texture to it, while others like basic paint. If you feel more creative, you can paint it any color you want.

Even though painting with a spray can might look easy, the inexperienced painter can make the final product look cheap and sloppy. Since there is a technique to good painting, it’s recommended you take it to a shop. However, if you decide you are up to the task, don’t forget to remove the top and paint it far away from the Jeep; you don’t want to inhale the paint and/or get it all over your car.

Air Compressor

DIY Cost – $80

Professional Cost – $200

Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires fitting an air compressor under the hood.

Adding an air compressor under the hood may not change the looks of your Jeep, but it is the most beneficial modification on this list. This $80 compressor allows you to add air or get rid of air from the tires, depending on your off-roading needs. So if you need to get rid of air to do some sand dune off-roading, you can feel free to do so knowing you will be able to fill it back with air for the drive home.

This job requires some skills to get the compressor into the engine compartment and running; however, once it’s in, you will feel safe knowing you always have air when you need it.

Related Discussions

Jeep Wrangler JK: Electronic Throttle Control Warning Light

Learn what information the electronic throttle control warning light in your Jeep Wrangler JK reveals about your vehicle.By Charlie Gaston – November 11, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

According to reliable industry reports, those Jeep Wrangler owners most often affected by issues pertaining to the electronic throttle control warning light are owners of the 2007-2008 Jeep Wrangler. These owners complained that the warning light persistently appeared on the dashboard of their vehicle and would return even after they’d cycled through the ignition multiple times. Let’s examine a few key points affecting the electronic throttle control warning light in your Wrangler, as well as go over some important questions and answers related to this technology.

Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Warning Light

What is ETC?

Electronic Stability Control, or “ETC” as it is often shortened, is a type of technology that identifies and warns a driver that his or her vehicle has started to skid or is about to skid due to poor traction. It improves traction in order to protect the vehicle from losing control and overall stability while in motion. The technology can be enabled or disabled at any time by the driver.

Figure 1. ETC warning light.

ETC Light Displays on the Dashboard

It is common for the check engine light to display alongside the ETC warning light when poor traction is an issue. It’s a good idea to run your diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) to get a clear picture of what’s wrong with your Jeep. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Use an on-boarding diagnostic scanner or run the codes manually.
  • Place your key inside the ignition cylinder and turn it to the “ON” position.
  • Do not start your engine.
  • Turn the key to the “OFF” position.
  • Repeat for three passes without stopping.
  • End with key in the “ON” position.
  • Write down your DTC, which will display on your odometer after a series of dashes.
  • Notify your local Jeep dealer or mechanic about the results of your reading.

The Relationship between ETC, Lift Kits and Larger Wheels

If you’ve recently added a 2-inch (or higher) lift with 33-inch (or higher) wheels, you might need to disengage the ETC technology on your Jeep Wrangler. Otherwise, you might notice the ETC warning light persistently appearing on your dashboard, without a clear way of how to resolve the issue once and for all.

Jeep advises Wrangler owners who have added a lift, in combination with larger than normal (e.g., 30 inches) wheels, to disable the technology on their own or visit a local dealership where a mechanic can do so free of charge.

Common Questions

How do I remove the check engine light?

Perform five key cycles to remove the light from your dashboard.

Is it normal for my engine to drop in power when the light is on?

Yes! Don’t panic; simply cycle your ignition or disable the technology if you’ve added a lift kit to your Jeep recently.

Does severe weather impact ETC?

In some cases, severe weather can impact ETC, particularly when there is a drastic drop in temperature. For an easy fix, regardless of weather conditions outside, it’s highly recommended that you add a full can of injector cleaner to your fuel tank every 10,000 miles. Next, spray out your throttle body using a high-quality cleaning solvent. Finish the job by taking your Jeep for a drive to release any trapped odors (e.g., carbon buildup). This simple DIY tip will save you a great deal of money and frustration.

Related Discussions