Problems You’ll Probably Encounter with Your Jeep Wrangler TJ
Jeep Wrangler TJs are among the most capable off-road vehicles available from the factory, what with all their heavy-duty off-roading components and numerous options designed to make the vehicle capable of negotiating with and withstanding all the rigors of off-road driving. But no matter how powerful and capable your Wrangler TJ is, it also has its own share of flaws and downsides. Here are some of the common problems TJ owners like you may probably encounter along the course of your vehicle ownership:
During serious off-roading, the lower control arm mounts on the TJ’s front axle can fold. One way you can solve this is to use aftermarket pre-cut weld-on reinforcement plates to box in the vehicle’s factory mounts. After welding such reinforcement plates into the mounts, you can expect they will serve you well for a reasonable period.
Some Wrangler owners reported trouble in shifting the transfer case. But, this is rarely a serious internal problem, so it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your ride. This problem, which is oftentimes caused by worn-out body bushings or installation of a body lift, can be remedied by doing simple adjustments on the T-case shift rod.
Despite the Jeep’s hardwearing suspension, it isn’t spared from troubles, particularly because it is the system that negotiates with the terrain to make the vehicle successful in taking you from point A to point B. The TJ’s factory-installed rear track bar bracket may cause tear on the axle tube, especially if you’ve lifted your ride. This can be avoided by strengthening it using heavy-duty weld-on or bolt-on reinforcement. Since the TJ’s stock Y-shaped tie rod assembly comes with thin walls and small-diameter tubing, it may bend on the passenger-side when the wheels are totally turned to the right.
The vehicle’s tapered tie rod ends can also have troubles when used beyond their original design parameters. If you will add heavier axle, larger wheel-and-tire assembly, as well as bigger leverage from a lift kit, this factory-installed tapered front tie rod end located at the frame mount usually gets loose and sloppy or, worse, snap altogether. So if you’re upgrading your axle, putting bigger tires and wheels, or lifting your TJ, you might as well upgrade to an aftermarket track bar assembly that could better handle such changes.
Quick Guide to Jeep Wrangler (TJ) Maintenance
Off-roading aficionados have found their match with the Jeep Wrangler (TJ). Dubbed as a monster off-roader, it literally brought the original military jeep image back on the public roads. Packed with an exemplary off-roading capability and tough-guy look, the Jeep Wrangler has become a well-loved affordable rugged-looking yet comfortable off-roading buddy. And since your Jeep traverses the most challenging trails, you do not want to fall short of performing proper maintenance care on it, right? Read on for very informative tips below!
- Give undivided attention to both your Jeep's exterior and interior.
With the frequency of off-roading adventures you do, you might have thought about skipping washing your Jeep for quite some time. Well, you could be harming your Jeep. Excess mud, dirt, and road salt, when accumulated and left for longer periods of time on your Jeep's exterior, could speed up corrosion. A power washer is all you need to remove all these; and waxing afterwards could help preserve the good condition of your Jeep's paint. Check out for holes on your vehicle's body too. Likewise, all those mud, dirt, and dust outside can also get inside your vehicle and damage your carpet as well as the surfaces of your vehicle's interior. Treat your interior the same way you would do to your exterior. A thorough cleaning and vacuuming would do the trick. You might want to consider investing on slush mats, cargo mats, and good quality seat covers for added protection.
- Watch out for older and problematic battery.
Vehicle batteries have a lifespan of two to four years under normal conditions. However, climate and usage factor in their diminishing. Off-roading adventure may take its toll on your Jeep's batteries but you don't have to wait until it starts giving you trouble. If you notice problems such as engine cranking, sluggish starting, leaking, or low battery fluid level, then it is high time you get a new one.
- Change tires to ensure excellent performance.
Rough terrains could easily wear your tires out. If yours are defective, then chances are you might get into an off-roading mishap, or you would not be able to enjoy an optimum driving experience over rough terrains. Your choice of tires would depend on where you frequently take your Jeep and the type of terrain you cross. Your options range from standard tires, snow tires, all-terrain tires, and all-season tires.
- Give special attention to your brakes.
Apart from the engine, the battery, and the tires, another thing to frequently check are your Jeep's brakes. The rough terrains you traverse require your vehicle to have efficient control. Squeaking and screeching sounds are things you should not disregard, as they could indicate worn out and very thin brake pads. When it comes to off-roading, you don't want to compromise your safety, right?
- Change your gear oil on schedule.
The right schedule to change your axle gear oil is every 3,000 miles. Check your vehicle manual for information on the specific level and type of gear oil to use to ensure the proper lubrication of your gear teeth.