How to Improve Jeep Wrangler Performance

Written by david mcguffin
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How to Improve Jeep Wrangler Performance
Installing aftermarket performance options will help to tweak your Jeep to get the power or efficiency you want. (jeep image by Andrea Riva from

Improving the performance of your Jeep Wrangler can be a relatively easy job or an extremely difficult job, depending on what type of upgrade you are wanting to install. Some upgrades may improve the engine's horsepower while others can increase the fuel economy. Often, performance features of horsepower and fuel economy have an inverse relationship, where increasing one will cause a decrease in the other. According to US News, the Jeep Wrangler lacks in both power and fuel economy, allowing much room for upgrades all around. Knowing what type of performance upgrade that you want for your Jeep Wrangler will help determine which upgrades to install.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Performance ECU chip
  • Performance air filter
  • Performance fuel exhaust
  • Socket wrench
  • Spark plug puller
  • Penetrating oil
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Catch pan
  • Performance oil filter

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  1. 1

    Write out the specs for your Jeep on a sheet of paper. Decide the performance upgrades you want to achieve and how much money you want to dedicate towards upgrading your Jeep Wrangler. Some upgrades will improve the fuel economy while others may impact the power and throttle response of the system.

  2. 2

    Install a new performance engine control unit (ECU) to your Jeep Wrangler's computer. There are a variety of ECU performance chips available, ranging from those that will specifically improve fuel efficiency or horsepower. ECU chips change the engine's standard air-fuel mixture, timing and idle speed. Although ECU chips are widely available through retailers, it is recommended to have them installed by a professional mechanic. A new ECU chip can cost several hundreds of dollars depending upon which chip you purchase.

  3. 3

    Install a high-flow performance air filter into your Jeep Wrangler by removing the air intake assembly, along with the air filter box, and clamp the new intake onto the throttle body. Not only can high-flow air filters improve the quality and quantity of the air coming into your engine, but it can also reduce the energy put into pulling in air through the use of fans. As a result, performance air filters increase the horsepower, throttle response and fuel economy. Many performance air filters also can save on long-term maintenance costs due to the filter's washable and reusable design. Some performance air intake systems are designed as cold air systems, which increases the amount of oxygen introduced to the combustion process. These types of performance air intake and filter parts typically cost a few hundred dollars.

  4. 4

    Install a performance exhaust system, which utilises a large-diameter exhaust pipe, allowing for a more efficient outflow of exhaust byproducts from the engine. As a result, the engine does not have to work as hard expelling exhaust, saving on fuel economy. Remove the old exhaust system by loosening the bolts, pipes and clamps from underneath your Jeep Wrangler. Be sure to replace each bolt along as you install your new system.

  5. 5

    Change your spark plugs. Misfiring spark plugs can reduce gas mileage due to a reduction of the cylinder's power output by as much as 25 per cent according to AA1. Changing the spark plugs usually involves a socket wrench with a spark plug adaptor to pull the plugs out. Lubricate the spark plugs with penetrating oil before trying to remove them.

  6. 6

    Use an oil filter wrench and remove the old oil filter. Place a catch pan to catch any oil that falls out of the filter nozzle. Replace the oil filter with a performance, thick-walled filter, which has more protection from rocks, scrapes and projectile debris while off-roading with your Jeep Wrangler.

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