What Type of Oil to Use for a Jeep Wrangler?

Don't know what type of motor oil to use for your Jeep Wrangler? We've included a table of each model and the type of motor oil it uses. Happy readin'!

While there certainly are many critical components that allow a vehicle to run and operate smoothly, motor oil is one of the most critical.

Yeah, we know, virtually everyone is aware of that. To help avoid damage, motor oil is going to provide adequate lubrication of the moving parts in your vehicle’s engine.

Clearly, a Jeep Wrangler isn’t immune to needing oil. But it’s also not as if all vehicles will use the same type and grade of oil. Hence, that’s why you’ve stumbled across this article today.

Don’t worry, we’re going to feed you the necessary information you need.

What do the numbers mean in motor oil?

Image credits: Pennzoil

If you’ve ever shopped for engine oil before, you’ve noticed that the various oil types are classified by differing numbers or grades.

Yet, to the average Joe, what the heck do those numbers mean? For starters, the “W” that you see stands for “winter.” This number is usually sandwiched between two different numbers.

The first of the two numbers refer to the cold temperature viscosity rating of the oil. Basically, it just indicates how well the oil will perform in colder weather.

The lower the number, the better for colder climates. The second number (which proceeds the “W”) is the operating temperature viscosity rating.

What oil for Jeep Wrangler should you use?

Image credits: Hagerty

Okay, so now that you’ve got a clearer understanding of how motor oils are classified, we can now talk about the oil that’s recommended to be used for your Jeep Wrangler. In general, it’s going to come down to the climate you’re in, the driving conditions, and your engine.

Yet, with all that being said, would you believe that the answer to the question would be as easy as consulting the owner’s manual?

It almost seems like a cop-out on our part, but your owner’s manual is going to be going straight to the source. It’s all about trusting your source and when the source is literally coming from the company who designed the vehicle, we’d say that’s pretty trustworthy.

Additionally, your owner’s manual may provide you with other helpful information such as acceptable oil alternatives (as far as grades) if the recommended oil can’t be found and also the different oil recommendations depending on the climate you live in.

And even if your Jeep Wrangler didn’t come with a physical owner’s manual, you should be able to find a digital manual of your specific model online.

What your manual will say

Alright, so we still wanted to provide some insight into what you can probably expect for your Jeep Wrangler regarding what oil to use. For starters, when talking about Wranglers, it’s easy to get confused with the different model types of Jeep Wranglers.

YearModelRecommended oil
1987 to 1995YJ10W-30 or 5W-30
1997 to 2006TJ10W-30 or 5W-30
2007 to 2018JK5W-20

In general, JKs were manufactured from 2007 to 2018. TJs were manufactured from 1997 to 2006. And, lastly, YJs were manufactured from 1987 to 1995. Of course, you also have the JLs which are the modern Jeep Wranglers.

So, all these different models may have different oil recommendations. Generally speaking, YJs and TJs will probably recommend 10W-30 or 5W-30 multigrade of motor oil. JKs, on the other hand, may recommend 5W-20 motor oil.

Like we said, though, just check the owner’s manual of your current Wrangler model.

Should you use conventional or synthetic oil?

The oil for Jeep Wrangler that you use, regarding grade, is going to vary. Yet, what about the ongoing debate between synthetic and conventional oil?

Well, we’re not here to dive fully into that debate. However, we want to talk about each type as you might want to know which one you should use for your Wrangler.

The reality is that synthetic oil is better for your engine. The overall performance and protection that’s provided from this type of oil are just superior to what you’ll receive from conventional oil. With that said, conventional oil is still a suitable choice as it does provide solid lubrication performance.

Due to the higher-quality base oils that are used, synthetics will not break down as quickly, will acidify less easily, and are also more chemically stable.

However, depending on your driving conditions, you may never really see the need for synthetic oil.

If you do a lot of highway travel with your Wrangler, you may want to opt for synthetic oil. Yet, if you’re not as hard on your Wrangler (mileage-wise) you should be fine to just stick with conventional oil.

How long should you go before changing the oil for Jeep Wrangler?

Now, this question here could have a slew of different answers depending on who you ask.

Back in the day, 3.000 miles would usually be the answer for how often to change the oil in a vehicle. The thing is modern lubricants (as with pretty much everything else) have gotten much better.

It’s not uncommon for an oil change to occur every 5.000 to 7.500 miles.

Once again, it’s a good idea to consult the owner’s manual to see the recommended mileage. Depending on the Wrangler you drive, additionally, an indicator system may alert you that it’s time for an oil change.

Final thoughts

The owner’s manual. That’s literally the moral of this story. Yep, that “thing” that’s filled with what seems like pages upon pages of useless information that you’ll never have any use for. Turns out they make those manuals for a reason or two.

As mentioned before, you’ll more than likely be able to find the owner’s manual of your current Wrangler online. Plus, when you find it digitally, you can use the shortcut combination of CTRL + F to find any words you want in the manual. Just type in “oil” and find the answer to the vaunted question presented in this post.

Boy, we probably could’ve said that in a lot fewer words, huh? But then you wouldn’t have learned of all the other information you needed to, right? That’s how we’re justifying it anyway.

Ever wondered how long Jeep Wranglers hold up on average? Enjoy riding those awesome Jeep Wranglers, everyone!

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Tyler Jones

Tyler is much like a swiss knife. Even though he has a degree in Computer Science, he knows almost everything there is to know about camping. He has been writing for HeadlessNomad since 2021 and has contributed with over 100 articles. If you have an outdoor-related question, then Tyler much likely knows the answer.