Jeep Wrangler YJ: Usual Problems That Need to Be Checked
When the YJ replaced the much-loved CJ series to bring in improved comfort features and something that can be used as a daily driver, Jeep fans didn’t easily fall in love with the Wrangler. It took time before they came around, as the YJ later on proved itself to have a great design that mixes off-road capabilities with street drivability. If you’re driving a Jeep Wrangler YJ or thinking of getting a second-hand Jeep, you must know some of the common YJ problems that may need immediate attention and care:
Common problems with used YJ
When buying a pre-loved Jeep Wrangler YJ, you have to check a couple of things before sealing the deal. See if the exhaust manifold is still intact or already cracked and test the turn signal and headlight switch. Test-drive the Wrangler to find out if there’s an engine performance problem, brake issue, any unusual noise, or drive shaft vibrations. The YJ shouldn’t lose its off-road capabilities and should drive smoothly on paved road. It should be safe to use even if it’s old.
Have the vehicle checked for broken mounts and for leaks on the differential, rear main seal, and other components. Some parts of the YJ may already be replaced and you have to check if they’re still working right. See if the radiator, water pump, fan clutch, and trans clutch are still up to snatch.
Other common issues with second-hand Jeep Wrangler YJs are rusty drain holes and floor pans, a rotten windshield frame, and a faulty carburetor.
Jeep Wrangler recalls
See if the YJ you’re buying or driving is part of the recall campaigns issued for Wrangler models. These recalls involve issues with the park brake pedal assembly, brake hose, oxygen sensor/catalytic converter, and disc brake rotors. If the YJ is part of the recall, it should have been taken to the dealership to have the issue fixed. If not, then the problem should be repaired by a skilled mechanic. Get in touch with the dealership to see what can be done. It would be highly advised that you check technical service bulletins for the Jeep Wrangler.
Getting Your Jeep Wrangler (YJ) Ready for the Great Outdoors
Outdoor enthusiasts can attest to the endurance and reliability of their Wranglers. From the gnarly traffic of an urban jungle to rocky mountainous trails, this Jeep can drive through the most difficult terrains. On and off the road, the Wrangler will always stand out as a leader in capability and power. Since it was designed for the rugged outdoors, cleaning and maintaining it can be challenging. As an owner, keeping it in pristine condition is an absolute must. Below are some basic tips on how to get your Wrangler ready for the Great Outdoors.
- Don't skip basic maintenance.
Not all Jeep Wranglers were created equal. Some of them were driven on paved roads while others through rough terrains. No matter what type of adventure your Wrangler takes you, basic maintenance is still key to its longevity. Engine oil and its filter must be changed every 5,000 miles. Have its joints greased regularly and its serpentine drive belt replaced every 60,000 miles. Tire rotation is highly recommended every 5,000 miles. Have their pressure checked while filling your Jeep up. If you're really passionate about your Jeep, never skip basic maintenance.
- A clean interior is a comfortable interior.
Nobody wants to hop into a dirty interior, even if the Jeep was built for off-road adventures. The accumulation of dust and mud can permanently damage its interior. After a day of adventure, give your vehicle's interior a well-deserved cleaning. Remove the mats, carpet and wash away any mud or dirt residue. Installing slush mats is the best way to keep the interior floor protected from snow, water or mud. They also help keep the carpet and interior clean. Seats also need protection against water, muddy clothes and premature wear and tear. Neoprene or vinyl seat covers can make a huge difference in your Jeep's interior.
- Keeping the Jeep's soft and hard top pristine.
The Wrangler's top keeps its driver and passengers protected from the harsh elements. However, tops are prone to wear and tear. Dirt, grime, bird droppings and even the sun's rays can shorten the lifespan of these tops. Clean them regularly to keep them pristine. Avoid parking under trees since their sap can contribute to the rapid wear of your Jeep's top (including the body's paintwork). Never use window-cleaning products containing ammonia and alcohol. They dry out the plastic windows, which leads to discoloration. If the windows become foggy or hazy, use plastic restoration kits to fix them. Car wax can also be applied on Wrangler hard tops to protect it from the elements.
- Add an extra layer of protection with accessories.
When preparing your Jeep for an outdoor adventure, it's best to add some accessories to keep it clean and protected. A bra or front-end cover helps protect its front grill from bugs and rock chips while driving through a gravel path. Don't worry, the front-end cover is easy to install. For Jeep owners who don't have space for a covered garage, there are vehicle covers available on the market. These covers can protect your Jeep against the elements and harmful rays of the Sun. Keep it pristine with these aftermarket accessories.
Take note of these tips and you'll be driving your Jeep Wrangler (YJ) into the Great Outdoors for the next decade.