All cars, including jeep wranglers, need to be maintained regularly. Failure to do so will lead to some significant issues, which will cost you more to replace or repair, and such costs will cost more than the maintenance schedule you skipped.
So, it is always good to have a jeep wrangler maintenance schedule preplanned, as it may help you immensely to plan accordingly.
Importance of maintaining your wrangler
- Ensures the durability of your wrangler
Some parts on your wrangler have a lifetime guarantee, but this depends on how well you serve them. Some parts, such as the engine and transmission, are meant to last longer than every other part on your wrangler. Since they are in constant use, they require regular maintenance more than other parts in your wrangler.
Failure to maintain such parts will lead to your wrangler stalling and costly repairs, exceeding the maintenance costs you had ignored. Sometimes components cannot be repaired, and you’ll have to replace them if you still want to drive your wrangler.
- Regular maintenance ensures peak performance
When driving with an unmaintained engine, transmission, or driveshaft, you diminish your wrangler’s performance. Even the tiniest details involving engine maintenance, such as oil and coolant change, will increase fuel consumption.
Lack of transmission fluid, and you’ll have trouble shifting gears due to the friction on the transmission’s internals. You will fill a decrease in throttle response, and cornering will be hard if you don’t grease the drive shafts and the axle shafts.
Failure to change your tires and brake calipers when worn out will decrease handling, which might lead to a severe accident. These are just but a few to mention, but if you want to keep your wrangler’s performance at its best, ensure you follow a proper maintenance schedule.
- Reduces the depreciation rate of your wrangler
Like other cars, jeep wranglers depreciate with time as cars are assets that depreciate with time. However, when you decide to sell your wrangler, the asking price is determined by how well you have maintained your wrangler.
The condition of some major components such as the shafts, engine, suspension, and transmission are also considered. A well-maintained wrangler with good maintenance records will sell for more than a wrangler which has been poorly maintained and has no maintenance records.
- Regular maintenance ensures the safety of your wrangler and its occupants
By regularly checking that your wrangler is in good shape conducting regular maintenance schedules, you reduce the risk of an accident. Such accidents can cause heavy damage to your wrangler or an accident that might harm its occupants.
Such issues include brake failure, engine blowing, or fuel leaks. You should inspect your wrangler for such problems before you set out or when you notice signs that might lead to such issues.
- Car maintenance is good for the environment
This is usually not a concern when you maintain your wrangler. Still, suppose you fail to maintain your wrangler, especially the engine. In that case, it will smoke a lot, and that smoke is not environmentally friendly. In some states, you might get a ticket or get your wrangler impounded if it does not pass the fumes test.
When your wrangler smokes too much, it is mostly because of a blown head gasket, a cracked cylinder, or the engine block has cracked. All these cause engine oil to leak into the combustion chamber.
When this happens, the air, fuel, and oil mixture burn at high temperatures while producing heavy amounts of smoke. These high temperatures might lead to an engine blow if not attended to.
There is a recommended regularity at which you should do maintenance checks on your wrangler. Either according to the distance driven or the time, you have driven your wrangler.
If you got your wrangler with very low mileage (below 7500 miles) or zero mileage, you’d start its maintenance schedule from around 10,000 miles.
But suppose you got your wrangler with higher mileage. In that case, you’ll have to continue its maintenance schedule according to the maintenance records you were issued with.
That is why a maintenance schedule is important when buying a high mileage used wrangler. This proves that the wrangler has been well maintained and assures you there will be none or very minimal issues with it.
But it is good to check the condition of the drivetrain to assess whether there are replacements or repairs to be done. But, in most cases, the seller will inform you if anything is to be done on the wrangler.
This provides a base for negotiations. If the seller is willing to repair or replace the worn-out components, negotiating, the price will be hard. Still, if you cater for the repairs and replacements yourself, you have the upper hand during negotiations.
maintenance schedule for jeep wranglers
Per 10,000 miles:
- Change the engine oil and the engine oil air filter. This keeps the engine’s internals lubricated, thus preventing it from wearing out due to friction.
- Change the engine coolant and the thermostat’s condition as these two works together to keep the engine at the recommended operating temperature by preventing it from overheating.
- Depending on your driving habits, check the tires for irregular wear and rotate the tires depending on your wrangler’s drive system. This promotes even tire wear, and you can replace all the tires at once or in short intervals.
Per 20,000 miles:
- Replace the cabin air filter and inspect your AC. The cabin air filter is responsible for cleaning the air into your cabin. The AC regulates the air getting into the cabin, among other functions.
- Check the transfer case fluid level and add more according to specifications. The transfer case oil lubricates the internals of the transfer case, preventing them from grinding each other.
- Check the axle fluid as it is responsible for lubricating the ring and pinion gears which transfer power from the driveshaft to the wheels.
- Inspect the CV joints and U-joints for cracks, rust, and dents. Test drive your wrangler and listen for any noises and vibrations coming from these joints.
- Check the front suspension and the tie rods end by listening for vibrations and creaking noises, especially when you go over a bump or cornering. Also, check for rust which promotes dents and cracks.
- Check the brake pad linings and the emergency brake for any signs of wearing out, as these help slow down your wrangler and keep it still when parked, respectively.
Per 40,000 miles:
- The tires are probably worn out at this point. You should change them or rotate them depending on the condition of the tires and how often you drive your wrangler. The type of tire also matters as some tires wear out quicker than others. For example, road terrain tires will wear out quicker than mud-terrain tires.
- Change the engine oil and the engine oil filter to keep the engine internals lubricated with good clean oil.
Per 60,000 miles:
- Change the transmission fluid for manual or automatic wranglers as transmission oil lubricates the transmission internals. Failure to do this might result in a transmission failure.
- The transfer case fluid will need to be checked and filled up again, especially if you often off-road your wrangler or use it to tow heavy loads.
- Check the brake pad linings and the emergency brake once more and replace if need be.
- Replace the spark plugs for petrol engine wrangler as driving with misfiring spark plugs may cause damage to the catalytic convertor leading to more expensive repairs.
Per 80,000 miles:
- Change the engine oil and the engine oil filter once more, especially if you have been doing some long-distance driving or often offroad your wrangler.
- Check for tire wear. If you had rotated the tires at 40,000 miles, you need to replace them, but if you had replaced them, you could just rotate them depending on the degree of wear on each tire.
- Replace the cabin air filter once more.
- Check the condition of the engine air filter to decide whether you need to clean it or replace it. If you use the factory air intake instead of a snorkel, you should replace the air filter as cleaning will damage it. This is because the factory air intake collects more pollutants than a snorkel due to its lower position.
- Replace the engine coolant with a new coolant while checking the condition of the thermostat and the temperature sensors. You can remove the thermostat and inspect it. Check the temperature readings after adding a new coolant and reinstalling the thermostat.
- If you have been off-roading your wrangler, listen for water sloshing sounds and check for rust on all parts beneath your wrangler
Per 100,000 miles:
- Check your wrangler’s exhaust system. Suppose there’s smoke coming out when you rev the engine, or there is excess soot settled on the tip of the exhaust. In that case, it shows that there is engine oil leaking into the combustion chamber of the engine.
- Replace the spark plugs once more.
- Inspect the CV joints and U-joints, especially if you have been off-roading your wrangler or towing heavy loads with it.
- Check for tire wear and rotate the tires if you have installed new tires at 80,000 miles.
- Inspect the driveshaft and axle shafts for cracks, dents, and rust, which might damage these parts.
- Change the transmission fluid for both manual and hardtop wranglers.
Per 120,000 miles:
- Check the exhaust system for heavy smoke when revving the engine and for excessive soot deposits on the exhaust pipe tip.
- Check the brake pad linings and the rotors. If they are thinned, you need to replace them immediately. Driving your wrangler with thinned brake pads and rotors is not recommended.
- Check the axle fluids and the transfer case fluid.
- Remove your wrangler’s floor mats and check for rust that might cause dents and holes on your wrangler’s floor.
Before setting out, there is a simple maintenance check that you can do on your wrangler, and they won’t take much time as compared to the maintenance checks listed above.
Such checks ensure that your wrangler does not stall on the road and you have nothing that can get you out of such a mess.
- Checking the battery charge. Do this by reviving the engine with the headlights dimmed.
- If they dim more, you need to charge your battery. Also, check for loose terminals on the battery.
- The windshield washer fluid should be full at all times before setting out.
- Ensure the doors are correctly installed, especially if you have removed them or tube doors installed on your wrangler.
- Check for any loose hoses in the engine bay and underneath.
- Lastly, check if you have enough fuel.
Maintaining your wrangler influences some significant factors that you don’t want to be compromised. They could turn into bad news when they do. You end up saving some cash and time since you avoid some costly repairs and part replacements if you properly maintain your wrangler.
Through this article, you have a good checklist that you can use for your wrangler’s maintenance schedule, especially if you are doing the maintenance checks and repairs by yourself.