Jeeps are known for their surefooted prowess in snow, sand and mud as well as their rock crawling capabilities. The commercial Jeep brand was developed from the sturdy four-wheel drive vehicle that was a combination of designs from Willys, Ford and Bantam, which was designated the Willys MB (Military Model B). If you own a modern Jeep, you have a vehicle that still sports the seven slot front grille originally designed by the Ford company with a high-tech drivetrain and four-wheel drive system. A mix of the old and new makes your Jeep unique among vehicles, and here are five reasons to get regular maintenance checks.
The Reason You Have a Jeep
You may have chosen a reliable four-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler with its truck frame or a luxuriously appointed Grand Cherokee with its Mercedes design chassis. Both will get you through bad weather commuting to and from work or around town. Maybe you got a Jeep for off-road adventures as mild as taking an unimproved road to a fishing spot to rock crawling along a desert trail out where only rattlesnakes and scorpions live. The underlying reason consumers get a Jeep is to have a vehicle that gets them through snow, mud, sand and rocks. In order to take advantage of Jeep’s capabilities, it has to have all of its systems in optimal order.
Interdependability of Components
One failed or worn component has a direct effect on other components. Catching worn brake pads on a maintenance check and replacing them prevents damaging rotor surfaces. Noticing low engine oil or transmission fluid levels before critical low levels that activate warning lights can save thousands of dollars in unnecessary engine and drivetrain damage. Your Jeep is also the vehicle you will take when the road is rough. Regular maintenance checks on your Jeep will catch things such as a damaged shock, spring, steering or braking component you absolutely need when you venture off-road.
Four-Wheel Drive Components
Jeeps are tough, but they are not invincible. Designers take steps to protect parts from off-road damage using skid plates and other technologies. However, no two Jeeps are used exactly the same. Rocks, tree branches, deep ruts and road debris can possibly damage rubber boots connecting four-wheel drive components. The boots protect from intrusion of foreign matter. A rock working its way onto the end of a front drive shaft with a torn boot can lock up the system. Any trail scrapes or mishaps should end with an undercarriage inspection to look for damage.
The Exterior Finish
Modern metal treatments on vehicles goes a long way toward protecting against the formation of rust. However, Jeeps, like other vehicles, rely on the painted surfaces remaining intact. Trail scrapes can penetrate through the paint and primer all the way down to the metal. Exposed metal eventually rusts. Touching up paint gouges after mishaps keeps your Jeep looking great and stops rust. Also, mud has grit in it. Running through mud bogs is fun in a Jeep, but not washing it away can have it act like sandpaper on hinges and other surfaces.
Preventing Tire Failure
The tires on your Jeep can either be one of its strong points or its weakest link. Your tires are not made or designed by Jeep. They can be any brand and of any quality. Since your Jeep is the go-to vehicle for bad weather and any off-road travel, you need your tires to be in perfect shape for every adventure. It is much better to inspect tires often than to have to change even one tire in a snowstorm or while halfway up a mountain trail. Regular tire maintenance looks for sidewall cuts, abrasions, wear and penetrating objects before you hit the road.
Keeping your Jeep in prime operating condition means you have a vehicle that will get you places your car or minivan can never go. This is part of the Jeep culture and what it means to be a Jeep owner. If you do not let your Jeep down when it comes to regular maintenance, it is not likely to let you down when the road gets rough.