You might have finally got your hands on that dream Jeep of yours, but that’s not the end of it. As a proud owner of a Jeep, your symbol of pride should shine through the years ahead of its lifetime irrespective of whether you drive it in the city or take it off-road. The key to achieving this is proper maintenance. Know that maintaining your jeep at its best comes with its challenges but it's worth investing your time.
This is why we have decided to pen down the article on seven golden tips to keep your jeep pristine. These seven tips will save you from getting stranded in the middle of nowhere and ensure you are having an amazing time with your Jeep.
Tip 1: Check your engine oil level
Jeep engines need an oil change every 10,000 km on average. Though the exact kilometers depending on the model you own, ideally you should be changing the oil in a year. If you are thinking of compromising, let me tell you, it will cause dirt clogs which will raise the engine room temperature by a greater margin. You won’t feel it in urban rides but if you hit hard, your Jeep will hesitate to react to the gas you pump.
It’s normally easy to change the engine oil of a Jeep. The larger ground clearance makes it a DIY task. If there is something tough, it’s locating the drain nut. Check your owner’s manual or the internet to locate the exact location of the drain plug. Once you locate it, remove the drain plug and collect the used oil into a tub. Make sure you dip the new oil filter and the gaskets in fresh oil for some time just to make all parts wet.
Tip 2: Lubricate the jeep frequently
There are many parts in your jeep that need lubrication other than just the engine. The power steering hub, transmission, radiator, brakes, suspension joints, are some among them. While some parts require you to apply lubricants manually, some others have their reservoir of lubricants.
Keep a track of these reservoir levels for smooth functioning. These replacement intervals may vary depending on a variety of factors, playing by the book can be the safest bet.
Note: if you are someone who checks the water wading capacity of your Jeep quite frequently, make sure your differential fluids are intact and the reservoir has a sufficient quantity of fluid left.
Tip 3: Check the tire pressure
Tire pressure should be monitored regularly, say in every 500 miles or every month at the very least. While you can take your machine off-road with low tire pressure, you shouldn’t do the same on roads. If the pressure is low on the tarmac, it might grip more causing faster wear & tear on your tires. Also, proper tire pressure is imperative for better handling and traction helping you gain better fuel economy.
Tip 4: Check the brake pads
You can’t ever predict the life of a brake pad because its wear & tear depends on your driving style and the patches you drive. On average it should last you around 2500 miles at the worst. Practicing progressive braking is something that could fetch you double the miles.
Brake pad changes shouldn’t be your only concern when it comes to checking the brakes. Brake fluids should be changed as well.
Note: If you have an engaging braking style, change the pads and fluids together. If you have a progressive one, change the pads once in two fluid changes.
Tip 5: Air filter replacement
The air filters have a normal life of 20,000 miles. By that time dust and dirt would start blocking the engine breath. Changing them will clean the respiratory intake, easing the rest of the system to function well. You can expect a dip in the filter life if you are into off-roading. Expect half the life from the filters in dirty patches.
Tip 6: Check the wheel alignment
Have you ever noticed your Jeep pulling to a side when you take your hand off your steering wheel? If yes, you have a problem with the wheel alignment. A sudden drop in mileage is also another symptom of improper wheel alignment. Ideally, an alignment check is recommended every 10000 miles and those who take off-road trails will have to check the alignment after every 5000 miles.
Even after working in the alignment, if these same problems persist, then the problem can be something serious. For instance, you will have to check the rear control arms.
Tip 7: Lubricating upper rear control arm
Rear control arms are nothing but the portion that connects the body frame and the suspension to the chassis. When they have taken a hit or their bushings aren’t lubricated properly, you likely hear a knocking sound from the rear. This is due to the bushings struggling to hold the control arms in place.
The bushings replacement is ignored by most jeep users which ultimately leads to busted control arms. In that case, there is no other way but to replace those control arm units altogether. The upper control arm is the most important considering its contact with the body frame, which has to be replaced at the earliest.
In case you end up with these noises, wheel pulling, or uneven tire wear, you should take your car to a mechanic and consider replacing the upper rear control arm.
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To Sum Up
Know that the key to prolonging the life of your jeep & avoiding costly repairs is proper maintenance. While DIY maintenance like checking the lubricant level, fluid level, taking your jeep for wheel alignment checks, and changing the engine oil & oil filter can help you, it is recommended that you take your jeep to an authorized service center or an expert for a thorough evaluation once every six months.
Always remember that while periodic maintenance would cost you a few hundred dollars, trying to save this would lead to costly repairs that can cost you thousands of dollars.