Usual Problems Encountered with a Jeep Wrangler JK
Jeeps may not be the daintiest 4x4s that you can spot on the road, but their ruggedness has always been part of their appeal. If you’re driving a Jeep Wrangler JK, a few scratches here and there, mud and dirt, and even some bumps and grooves wouldn’t really faze you. The JK, after all, can go real smooth on the pavement but can also turn into a beast on rough roads. However, as with other Jeeps and vehicles, they’re not crafted to absolute perfection. You may also encounter problems with this Jeep. Here are some of them:
Jeep owners have reported fuel overflow to be a common problem with the Jeep Wrangler JK. Because of this issue, some were careful not to fill their tanks to the brim so that fuel won’t come spewing out of the vehicle. If your JK is still under a warranty, the problem can be fixed at the dealership at no extra charge. Jeep owners with a run-out warranty have resorted to replacing some parts of the fuel system to fix the overflow problem.
Another usual issue with the JK is a leaky top. This goes for both the soft and the hardtop. Some have reported leaks coming from the back and at the A-pillar; water gets into the cabin easily. The top, according to Jeep users, can be a hit or miss when it comes to leaks. This can be resolved by changing the seals or replacing the top altogether.
A knock in the steering system has been an issue with the JK. Some of the steering knocks happen every once in a while. But, those who consider this a persistent problem had to replace the column and some of the shafts to restore proper steering. Clunky steering can be caused by a displaced boot at the firewall or may be a result of insufficient amount of grease on the slip joint.
Common problems with the JK also include premature ball joint failure, leaking axle seals, and dead throttle. There has also been a good number of recalls issued for this model. Problems range from incorrect spark plugs and faulty cargo lamps to prematurely activated ESP systems and torque converter shudders.
Seven Tips on How to Keep Your Jeep Wrangler (JK) on the Road
Tough and trusty—two words that would best describe your Jeep Wrangler (JK) when it's in good condition; rough and rusty, when it's not. Maintaining your sturdy 4x4 Jeep is not that easy, but it's also not that hard. All you need to do is to create a schedule, and follow these seven tips on how to make sure that your Jeep Wrangler (JK) is always in good condition.
- Change your engine oil and fluid differentials regularly.
This should always be part of your routine maintenance to ensure that your engine will be safe from gunk buildup. Don't worry; your Jeep has an oil change indicator system, which will notify you when your vehicle is scheduled for maintenance. Having a low oil level can affect your engine performance and may even damage your engine. It can also cause your vehicle to be unable to keep up with the speed of other cars. Likewise, lubricating your differentials is important to make sure that your gears will function properly.
- Service your transfer case.
As part of your maintenance schedule for your 4x4, you should have your transfer case checked once in every 30,000 miles. The transfer case should always be in perfect condition because it transfers power from the transmission to the front and rear axles, enabling your vehicle to perform two-wheel or four-wheel drive modes.
- Re-torque your bolts and nuts.
As an off-road vehicle, your Jeep is prone to bounces and shakes. Make sure that your Jeep's bolts and nuts are tightened enough, based on the appropriate torque settings indicated in the manual. You might want to consider having this done by an experienced mechanic to avoid breaking the bolts and nuts in the process.
- Practice regular tire rotation.
Let's face it: your 4x4 is prone to tire wear. You should rotate your tires even before your oil change schedule, especially when you already see a sign of irregular wear. Tire rotation, when done regularly, can help you save money because it will prolong the lifespan of your tires.
- Have a monthly check-up of your tire pressure.
Check the inflation pressure of each of your tires every month, and make sure it is inflated with the recommended pressure. Do not overload your tires or under-inflate it; they can affect the handling of your vehicle, which can result to loss of vehicle control.
- Take care of your wheels.
Aside from your tires, one of the assets of your Jeep is your wheels. Clean your wheels and wheel trims regularly by using mild soap and water. This is to keep them from corrosion. Do not use metal brushes or concentrated cleaner as they may damage your aluminum or chrome-plated wheels.
- Inspect your engine air cleaner.
If you usually use your Jeep in dusty or off-road, then you need to regularly check if your engine air cleaner is free from dirt buildup. You should also inspect your exhaust system regularly because it keeps the engine free from exhaust gases, and plays a vital role in your vehicle's performance.