resetting oil life on a jeep wrangler

How to Fix Oil issue on jeep wrangler Old and new model?

Most modern vehicles including the Jeep wrangler have an oil warning light on the dashboard that alerts the driver whenever there is a problem with the vehicle’s engine oil. In this article, we are going to see some problems and solutions related to the Oil issue on jeep wrangler.

For some vehicles, there are two oil lights, one for indicating low oil pressure and the other for indicating that the engine oil is bad and you need to change it. 

Every time the oil warning light on your wrangler comes on there is usually an issue with your oil and you probably need to change it before it becomes worse.

If the oil in your engine is bad, the engine cannot cool down and you might end up blowing a gasket which will cost you even more than replacing the oil but not all the time that the oil light comes on means that the oil is bad. Below are some issues that might lead to the oil light alert and solutions on how to fix them?

  • Low oil pressure 
  • Dirty oil 
  • Oil leakage 
  • Incorrect level of oil 
  • The engine oil pump is not working
  • Faulty oil pressure gauge 

Let’s take a look in deep at how each factor affects your engine and drains its power.

Low oil pressure in engine

Oil issue on jeep wrangler

Low oil pressure warning light even after an oil change is a sign that the oil pressure is low and that the oil is not reaching several joints and frictional surfaces on the engine hence these parts overheat.

When you see this alert, these are the steps that you should take to solve this. It is not good to drive a car with the oil light warning is on as this might lead to replacing expensive engine parts. 

Things that cause low oil pressure in the engine

  • Not enough oil in the engine – You must not that engine oil usage increases as the engine ages and older wranglers tend to use more oil than new wranglers. 
  • Too high or too low viscosity – Low viscosity oil does not flow properly to the engine components and high viscosity oil flows quickly to the engine components that need cooling. Both situations lead to insufficient cooling thus the sensors detect this as a low oil pressure problem. 
  • Clogged oil filter – If the oil filter becomes clogged with contaminants and the oil bypass valve does not operate correctly, engine components that need cooling or lubrication receive insufficient oil. 

how to fix Low Oil pressure in engine

Fixing low oil pressure problems has a common procedure in all jeep wranglers and below is a simplified yet working solution to fix this.

  • First you need to switch your engine off and pop open your hood. Ensure that the hood strut is in good condition to keep the hood open to avoid any accidents. 
  • Then locate the dipstick and pull it out. The dipstick usually has a colored handle thus it will be easy to locate. 
  • Wipe the dipstick, dip it in and then dip it out, If the oil mark is at or below the “add oil” mark then it is time to get an oil change.
  • Mixing new oil and old oil is not recommended as this will cause “watering” down of the new oil. This simply means that that you’ll reduce the life span of the new oil as by mixing it with old oil, you have reduced its quality. 
  • Putting in new oil will most likely fix this and if it doesn’t then the oil pressure pump is not working and needs fixing or replacement. If it’s the oil filter with an issue, cleaning it will resolve the issue 

Low oil pressure leads to too much friction between engine parts and this causes overheating. This reduces engine performance and will eventually destroy engine components and you’ll have to replace these and some are very costly. Putting in new oil will help you avoid such problems. 

Dirty oil 

This is completely normal at times and is mostly caused by proper usage and indicates that the oil is being utilized properly. However, if the oil gets dirty quickly there is a problem with the oil filter or old oil stuck in between engine parts as goo.

Oil filters get dirty with time and when it reaches its maximum usefulness it tends to contaminate new oil with dirt from previous oil changes thus the new oil gets dirty quickly and can’t serve the required purposes anymore and the oil light goes on to alert you that you need an oil change.

When oil becomes dirty due to usage for a long time without being changed, it gets thick over time and tends to stick in between joints and other engine parts so when you put in new oil, it mixes with the old thick oil and becomes dirty and over time becomes useless very quickly and the oil light alerts you that you need an oil change.

The solution to this is to change the oil immediately after the oil light comes on to avoid the oil becoming too dirty as this might wear out engine parts very quickly.  

Oil leakage 

This is caused by degraded gaskets, leaks from the oil pan, and sometimes improper or worn-out seals. Sometimes it can also be caused by a loose or missing oil drain plug or worn-out valve cover gaskets.

You can measure your oil quantities by measuring the level of oil using the dipstick in between periods. You can also park your car in a particular spot if you are not using it and check beneath the car for oil spots after a few hours.

If the mark on the dipstick goes down or you spot oil spots beneath the car you need to take your wrangler for an overall check. 

Incorrect level of oil 

When putting in new oil, you need to make sure that it is filled up to the required level. Failure to this will lead to insufficient oil to cater for all the needs it is supposed to cater for i.e., some engine parts will overheat due to friction which is caused by lack of enough oil and this will lead to the oil light alert. 

The engine oil pump is not working 

resetting oil life on a jeep wrangler

The engine oil pump should be one of your least concerns since it does not get spoilt or damaged very easily but when it does it can get messy. An engine pump must be replaced right away when it starts showing any signs of damage.

A damaged oil pump can lead to low oil pressure which can lead to severe engine damages. Oil pump damage signs include the following 

  • Valvetrain noises.
  • Oil pump noise especially when your wrangler is idle.
  • Engine overheating.

Faulty oil pressure gauge 

If the oil light is on and you have confirmed that there is nothing wrong with your oil and other associated components then it must be a faulty oil pressure gauge.

An oil pressure gauge is a sensing unit. If everything i.e., oil temperature and pressure check out to be fine then the oil pressure gauge probably needs replacing since oil pressure gauges are hard and almost impossible to fix and they do not last when fixed. 

resetting oil life on a jeep wrangler

All the situations stated above will lead to replacing the oil. It is recommended that you do this at a service station with the help of a mechanic or if you’d prefer to do it yourself, below is a procedure on how you can do it. 

The following applies to all jeep models including the ones with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6

Removing the plastic engine cover 

The engine cover is not usually bolted so this will be easy. You just grab the front end of the cover and pull up. Removing the plastic cover will expose the oil filter and the oil cap which you’ll both need to get the job done. 

Draining the old oil 

Place an oil drain container underneath your jeep to collect the old oil then loosen the drain bolt using a 13mm socket ratchet. Make sure not to open the drain bolt completely as you might spill the oil on yourself.

From a distance stretch out your hand and then remove the drain bolt slowly. You can hold the oil drain close when doing this to avoid splashing and then gently set it down. 

Changing the oil filter 

While the oil is draining out of your wrangler you can start removing the old oil filter and replacing it with a new one. Loosen the oil filter using a 24mm socket and remove it by hand.

You should always have a rag or a work towel while working on your wrangler and in this situation, you can use it to clean the oil cap in case oil drips from the filter and onto the oil cap then gently pull the cap to separate it from the filter.

Remove the O-ring on the cap by rolling it off or by pushing it off using a flat head screwdriver as the new filter you are going to install will come with new O-rings.

Roll the new O-rings into place then dip your finger into some new oil and rub around the new O-ring and the plastic threads of the cap. Push the oil cap into position 

How to reset oil life on older jeep wrangler?

  • With the engine off, turn on the ignition switch halfway. This will not turn the engine on. 
  • Push the accelerator pedal all the way down slowly 3 times within 10 seconds. You can do this by counting 3-second intervals between every pedal push. 
  • Turn the ignition into the “Loc” position mark.

How to reset oil life on new model jeep wrangler?

  • Turn the ignition switch halfway, this will not start the engine.
  • Use the navigation buttons on the steering wheel to navigate to “vehicle info” and press “Ok” on your steering wheel. 
  • Scroll to where “Oil life” is positioned, press and hold the “ok” button until the oil life is reset to 100%.

Tightening the drain plug in jeep wrangler

Go under your wrangler and place the drain plug into position then tighten it according to the torque requirements in your owner’s manual. Torque tightening requirements are different for every jeep model year as shown below.

Types of Jeep Wrangler Engine

Amount of Torque Required

3.8-Liter Engine

20 ft-lbs

2.8-Liter Engine

40 ft-lbs

3.6-Liter Engine

20 ft-lbs

4.0-Liter Engine

20 ft-lbs

5.7-Liter Hemi Engine

25 ft-lbs

 2.0-Liter Turbo Engine

 20 ft-lbs

2.0-Liter Engine with E-torque

20 ft-lbs

3.0-Liter Engine

25 ft-lbs

The above torque requirements are solely based on the engine trims that different wranglers have. There might a slight difference in specifications so it is recommended that you check from your owner’s manual or consult a jeep specialist.

Putting in new oil in jeep wrangler

Locate the oil filter cap which is located on the driver’s hand side and remove it. It is easy to remove the oil filter cap so you can do this by hand. Use a funnel to put in your oil. Different jeep models have a different amount and viscosity requirements.

Types of Jeep Wrangler Engine

Oil Required (In Quarts)

3.8-Liter Engine

2.8-Liter Engine

3.6-Liter Engine

4.0-Liter Engine

5.7-Liter Hemi Engine

 2.0-Liter Turbo Engine

2.0-Liter Engine with E-torque

3.0-Liter Engine

For 3.8l, 3.6l, 4.0l, 5.7l, 2.0l, and 3.0l engines you can use the following types of oil 

  • 5W 20.
  • 5W 30.
  • 10W 30. 
  • 0W 20.

Pennzoil oil is the oil recommended by Jeep® for its vehicles. The types of oils mentioned above are all available from Pennzoil’s website. There are also other good brands and you should consult a specialist in your area for the best recommendations.   

After all, this cleans up your tools and check if everything is in place, and check the oil level using the dipstick. Also, check deep into the engine bay if everything is in place. After doing all these, you have to reset the oil life on your wrangler.


You should always check your oil if the oil light goes on. Most of the time there’s an issue with your oil but at times it’s nothing major that needs serious attention. It is recommended that you seek help from an authorized technician if you are doing your oil change by yourself for the first time.

Always make sure to use the recommended amount and viscosity as recommended by either your technician or the owner’s manual as different wranglers have different oil requirements.