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:
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.
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.
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.