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Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panel

Common Problems with the Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panel

A Jeep Cherokee rocker panel is designed mainly to strengthen a Jeep's structural integrity. Rocker panels basically prevent the vehicle from getting crumpled easily during an accident. These panels act as support beams for the vehicle's underbody and doors. Also, since Jeeps have a higher cabin compared to cars, it makes it easier for you and your passengers to enter its cabin. In short, rocker panels serve as your vehicle's step board. Dents, scratches, and corrosion are just some of the problems plaguing a rocker panel. When these problems arise, it's time to do some troubleshooting to prevent further damage. Below are some common problems encountered with Jeep Cherokee rocker panels, and the possible factors behind them:

Rust

Due to its location on your vehicle, rocker panels are always exposed to mud, water, and salt from the road. Add oxygen into the mix and you have corrosion or what is commonly known as rust. Since most rocker panels are made from metal alloys, rust can easily eat its way through it and damage it permanently. If you see signs of rust, it's best to sand the rusted area to remove it. Spray rust fixing agents to stop rust from ever forming. Apply small amounts of body filler and epoxy to repair the damage done by rust. Use spray paint to paint the area and weatherproof it with clear coat paint.

Holes

Road debris, like rocks, usually hits your vehicle, especially its underside. Constant bombardment can damage your rocker panels and create holes. These holes need to be fixed because once salt, water, and mud enter the rocker panel, corrosion can start to form on it. Check the affected area on the rocker panel and clean it thoroughly. Pieces of sheet metal, body filler, and epoxy can be used to plug the holes on your rocker panel. After plugging these holes, use a strip of bed liner material to make your rocker panel water-tight.

Loose panels

When you rocker panels get loose, it could be due to moisture or improper installation. Some aftermarket rocker panels do not require welding, and they have adhesive strips to help secure them. Use a roller to firmly press the rocker panel onto your Jeep. You can also use a rubber mallet to make sure that it sticks properly on your vehicle.

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  • Tips on How to Maintain Your Jeep Cherokee Rocker Panel 27 February 2013

    Built to give structural support for your vehicle's frame, the Jeep Cherokee rocker panel ensures that the vehicle won't crumple during a collision. Aside from serving as support beams for your Jeep's doors and underbody, rocker panels also keep rocks, pebbles, tar, and oil from damaging the vehicle's paint job. Also, these panels improve your Jeep's aesthetic value, giving it a rugged, yet elegant look. Since rocker panels are made to take the brunt of road debris, preventive maintenance is the key to keep them in good condition. Here are some tips to help you maintain your Jeep Cherokee's rocker panel:


    Wash them regularly.


    Rocker panels need to be cleaned regularly to prevent rust from forming on it. Salt, tar, oil, mud, and other forms of debris can easily weather these parts. A pail of water mixed with car shampoo is the perfect mixture to thoroughly clean your Jeep's panels. You can also use tar remover solutions to completely remove tar residue from the panels. With proper cleaning, you can protect your Jeeps rocker panels from rust.


    Always perform routine checks.


    Usually, routine checks on the rocker panels can be performed while cleaning your Jeep. Inspect the panels for any signs of corrosion or physical damage. Road contaminants like oil, salt, and grease can easily build-up on the panels, inviting rust to eventually set in. Sanding the areas affected by rust can inhibit rust from eating its way through the panel. Applying a rust treatment solution can protect the panel from rust after sanding. Spraying the newly treated panel with paint can help with the panel's rust-proofing process. Body fillers can help cover up physical damage like cracks and holes on the rocker panels.


    Remove and replace damaged panels.


    If your vehicle's rocker panels are rusted-out or beyond repair, buying a new set of rocker panels is your best option. You can choose from a wide variety of aftermarket panels that are compatible with your Jeep. Most of these rocker panels have water and weather-proofing treatments, which helps lengthen its service life. Also, there are accessories and decorative features available in the market that can spruce up your existing or brand new rocker panels.