Used Jeep Engine Wiring Harness

Asked by NikitaB May 22, 2018 at 09:03 AM about the 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm looking to buy a used jeep (my first as owner), and the current owner said
about 4 years ago he had to get the engine wiring harness replaced, cost
about $3500, and made the title 'salvage'. (2004 Jeep Rubicon, Automatic,
55000 miles)

Regarding the title, I'm still a little confused about it. Here is the message he
sent me in regard to why it was 'salvage':
"To put a engine wiring harness in it, it was about $3,500 so I went through the
insurance company and they had to give me a salvage title to get it fix with the

I ran a history report with the VIN, and the title is marked as 'Rebuilt', but is
this quite the same as salvage? And he didn't know exactly why it needed a
new harness to begin with?

Is this something to be concerned about? I had a mechanic briefly look it over,
and drove it around my self - no issues at all, and none in the last 4 years.

Also, I'm curious as to what causes the need for engine wiring to be replaced?
Is it just chance, or could it be because of the conditions or owner usage?
(Current and first owner never used it for crawling or much off-roading)

7 Answers


It doesn't make sense that a mechanical repair would result in a Salvage title unless it crashed and burned. And a $3500 repair bill makes me think it was on fire for a while for the insurance company to have paid the claim. A bill that high would have to be a lot of labor because a wire harness is not that expensive but hard to replace.

2 people found this helpful.

My husband has figured out why wiring harness are bad (we are Jeep owners and currently on #3 Jeep Wrangler. All brand new...1999, 2009 & 2014) the manufacturer of them are over heating the material to the level of brittleness. I hope someone else out there has discovered this also. Hint hint hint MFG!

7 people found this helpful.

I agree with Hornet, he's leaving something out. Did you check out the history yet?

2 people found this helpful.

Good to know Irene, mine is a 2008 and it's the wiring harness that I finally figured out with no help from the dealers. So red bold light comes on and I lose some power. Should be a recall but we know that will not happen. I'm waiting on mine to come in seeing they are on back order. Hmmmmmm

1 people found this helpful.

We are having our 2014 Jeep's wiring harness replaced, too. It's due to rodents chewing on it. !!!! Prior to 2016, we had our vehicles garaged. We bought a home in 2016 and it doesn't have a garage. (Well, it technically does but the former owners turned it into 2 rooms--laundry and storage.) So our vehicles have to be outside. :( This is the 3rd time we've had this problem in 2 years--once on my Toyota and now the Jeep. About 8 mos ago the dealership did a "patch job." So perhaps that's what's happened to the original poster's vehicle. It's extremely disheartening and all the folk wisdom cures do NOT work (moth balls, dryer sheets, lights, coyote urine ...] The original wiring harnesses are made overseas and soy and/or peanut oil is used to help the wires glide easily. The new ones do NOT have these oils. We hope when we call our insurance company, we're not getting a salvage title! Holy smokes!!! In addition to getting the new harness we're also investing in an light and noise device that is attached by the dealership to the engine compartment so that the dirty little b******s that are chewing the wiring will be turned off. And now we have to get a garage built.


I am a rural mail carrier in Iowa. I have a Rhd 2018 Jeep Wrangler sport. Previous to that, I had a 2015 wrangler. Both new. I was told that I had mice chewing on the wiring harness of the 2015. Traded it for the 2018. More wiring harness problems. Engine light comes on only on days that the temp outside is above 85 degrees. Haven't had a problem since the summer heat went away. The reason the harness gets brittle is because the prestone from the block is transported to the heater core and back by aluminum pipes and the heat passes directly over the harness. Chrysler/jeep ignores the problem and its customers. Too expensive for them to fix. I'm retiring in 6 months. My motto. Never a jeep.

3 people found this helpful.

I am a rural mail carrier in Arkansas. Bought a 2016 jeep wrangler and have had several issues with it including the wiring harness which was replaced about 2 1/2 years ago. Now the wiring harness is bad again and warranty for the last one was only two years. Out of pocket $1000 and I have extended warranty. Also motor being replaced now. Husband has the exact jeep and they replaced his motor last week. Another carrier in office had his motor replaced a few months ago on a 2015 model. I said the same thing, retiring soon… Never another jeep!

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