The Used-Jeep Buyers’ Checklist

By Jeep Experts

Jeeps have been one of the most popular vehicles and a staple within the American automotive trade because the Forties.

Many folks love Jeeps as a result of they provide extra capabilities than a sedan with out the bulkiness of a truck. Additionally, Jeeps are comparatively reasonably priced and simple to keep up.

For these causes, the marketplace for used Jeeps is huge. However, simply as yow will discover used Jeeps in glorious situation, you can too come throughout others with maybe not-so-apparent issues.

So, in case you’re trying to purchase a used Jeep, you may surprise what to think about earlier than shopping for one. Like another automobile, shopping for a used Jeep could be precious in case you rating a take care of an instance effectively cared for.

And whereas there isn’t any shortcut to deciding if a used Jeep is best for you, our used-Jeep consumers’ guidelines will provide help to establish potential hidden issues to make sure you’re pulling the set off on the very best Jeep you may purchase.

Man driving Jeep CherokeeMan driving Jeep Cherokee

Via Heritage Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM Owing Mills

In-Depth Test Drive (15 – half-hour)

A take a look at drive within the potential Jeep is essential earlier than buying it, and there are important factors to think about. For instance, if the proprietor refuses to allow you to take a look at drive the automobile for some motive, it may very well be a pink flag.

If you do get an opportunity to check drive the car, keep away from enjoying any music so you may give attention to how the automobile behaves. Next, take note of how the transmission shifts and the suspension feels via the street.

Then it’s time to check out the brakes and the accelerator. Drive the Jeep for at the very least half an hour at numerous speeds to see the way it accelerates. Then, lastly, spend a while between 50-60 miles per hour to get a way of how the Jeep rides.

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When checking the tires, examine tread depth and put on and apply the brakes to test for sensitivity. If the brakes really feel spongy, there’s air within the system. 

Also, you wish to pay shut consideration to steering and dealing with to see how the car handles bumpy roads, curves, and turns. 

Finally, in case you plan to go off-road together with your Jeep, examine the switch case and axles for put on and tear and test if the car has a raise equipment.

We additionally advocate inquiring about repairs and warranties on the automobile and checking the visibility with issues like blind spots and mirrors and security options just like the seatbelts, airbags, and sign lights.

Jeep Wrangler JL engine bayJeep Wrangler JL engine bay

Via Jeep Off-Road Adventures

Mechanical Inspection

Even if the automobile feels good throughout the take a look at drive with none obvious points, you wish to guarantee all the pieces is in good situation and rule out frequent Jeep issues.

Begin by checking the upkeep information to confirm the car went via common care and ask the proprietor in regards to the service the automobile has acquired throughout its lifetime. 

Next, we advocate counting on a certified specialist to examine the car earlier than the ultimate negotiation for buy. 

These are the objects you need to test that needs to be frequently maintained:


A mechanic can assess the fluid’s situation to make sure they’re on the correct degree, test for seen leaks, and get an total thought of the car’s situation.

Tires and suspension

The mechanic can test the situation of the Jeep’s suspension by pushing down on every nook of the automobile. If the tires exhibit uneven put on, that may signify an alignment drawback when trying on the tires. Newer Jeeps akin to a the WK2 era include the Quadra-Lift Air Suspension System, and also you’ll wish to make sure the system is in tip-top form to mitigate any sudden (and expensive) repairs down the street.

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Brake pads are the very first thing you have to test within the automobile’s braking system. In addition to brake pads, the mechanic should make sure that the rotors are in good condition. 

At some level, you’ll want to exchange your brake pads and resurface the rotor disc or change the brake rotors if the harm is simply too in depth.

Maintenance of Jeep Wrangler engineMaintenance of Jeep Wrangler engine

Via Zimmer Motor


See whether or not the engine has a clean or tough idel and if there are any knocking or different noises and examine the cooling system for any leaks. 

Check the belts for the alternator, water pump, fan belts, or compressor belt, which runs the air-con.

Also, test the air filter to see if it wants changing and examine the ignition system (spark plugs, spark plug wires, and so on.) If the Jeep you’re taking a look at is sufficiently old to have a distributor, try the distributor cap and rotor.

Finally, test for any oil leaks. Leaks are normally attributable to a foul gasket or seal, and a few Jeep fashions are infamous for extreme oil consumption. 


The transmission ought to shift easily with out hesitation. If the car has a handbook gearbox, it ought to shift with out grinding. 

Also, test for leaks beneath the car. Transmission fluid has a particular reddish coloration.


Suppose you scent an exhaust scent throughout the cabin of the car. In that case, chances are high the car exhaust system has a leak and wishes restore.

Also, if the car has a defective catalytic converter, that may result in a lack of energy whereas driving a automobile and trigger the car to fail an emissions take a look at.

Jeep undercarriage front endJeep undercarriage front end

Via Quadratec

Undercarriage Inspection (If Taken Off-Road)

Since you’re looking to buy a used Jeep, chances are high the car has been taken off-road many occasions. Therefore, it’s all the time finest to totally examine it beforehand to make sure your security and the car’s reliability. 

The undercarriage is among the most important components of any car. Its situation will let you know how the earlier proprietor cared for the Jeep.

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Many Jeeps have skid plates and heavy metal plates that shield the car’s undercarriage from rocks, stumps, and different path hazards. 

Therefore, you have to search for scratches, dents, and scrapes and ensure any harm is beauty and never the results of poor upkeep and care. Nevertheless, they can provide you an excellent impression of how effectively the Jeep has been cared for.

Finally, test for rust, as that is the primary motive to not purchase a used Jeep. A rotting and flaky body could cause a car to fail its inspection and make it unsafe to drive.

Gray Jeep Wrangler JL off-roadGray Jeep Wrangler JL off-road

Via Gear Junkie

Check The Condition Of The 4WD System

Before testing the four-wheel-drive (4×4) on a used Jeep, make sure the brakes work correctly and the tires have the beneficial stress.

You may additionally wish to test for rust across the doorways and beneath the car. The quantity of rust will provide you with an thought of how usually the earlier proprietor used the Jeep off-road and the way effectively he cared for the car.

The best technique to take a look at if the 4WD is engaged on a used Jeep is to determine how you can take away traction out of your wheels and trigger all of them to spin.

If you will have the best tools, you can too attempt to raise the Jeep sufficient to get all 4 tires off the bottom and ask somebody to observe the tires whilst you step on the fuel pedal.

If all of the tires are spinning and searching for traction, your 4×4 is working accurately.

Black Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited for saleBlack Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited for sale

Via Blue Knob Auto

Getting Insurance Before Registration

Most states require that proof of insurance coverage protection earlier than you register your Jeep. Then, relying on the state, drivers should renew their registration each one to 5 years. 

Still, even in states that don’t, you’ll want a automobile insurance coverage coverage with minimal protection earlier than you may drive in that state.

Use a broker like Insurance Navy to compare insurance quotes earlier than reserving protection in your used Jeep. 

Changing your car is a good time to swap insurance coverage corporations, particularly in case your present firm isn’t ready (or keen) to match quotes from different suppliers.

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