Maintenance/Service

Wrangler JL Parking Brake Adjustment

Wrangler JL Parking Brake Adjustment

In all vehicles, over time the parking brake cable stretches and needs to be adjusted. This article will address the Jeep Wrangler JL parking brake adjustment  required from the stretch of said cable. Wear of the parking brake shoes is a different procedure and not addressed in this article. The Wrangler JL parking brake adjustment is also viewed in this video.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Accessing the Wrangler JL Parking Brake Adjustment Mechanism

Accessing the Wrangler JL parking brake adjustment mechanism can be done in two ways. One way is extensive and involves removing the entire center console completely. A simpler way, as will be described below, will be done by removing only 4 bolts, and simply raising the rear of the center console to adjust the parking brake mechanism. Also, as seen in this video.

Remove the Four External Bolts of the Console

Find the four external bolts located at each corner of the center console. Two are on the front and rear of the console on the driver’s side, and the other two are on the passenger’s side. Remove the plastic cover with a flathead screwdriver, panel tool or pic. Then remove the bolt using a 10 mm socket.

Raise the Rear Of the Centre Console to Access The Adjustment Mechanism

Once the four bolts at the side of the center console are removed, simply lift the rear of the console to access the adjustment mechanism.

The adjustment mechanism is made of two parking brake cables that attach to a bracket which can be adjusted by turning the center bolt, as seen below,  in a clockwise direction. 

Having a deep 10 mm socket and ratchet with an extension will help in this regard.

After turning the adjustment bolt clockwise a couple turns, test the looseness of the parking brake handle, when put down, in the released position. You don’t want to make the cable too tight, as this will engage the parking brake with the handle in the released position.  Pull up on the parking brake handle, about 7 clicks and let it stay that way for about a minute, then test again for any slack by releasing it into the disengaged position. If there is any slack after this, adjust the bolt to take up any slack.  Once the hand brake handle is not sloppy or loose, you can reinstall the four outer bolts and caps on the centre console.

Conclusion

This DIY Wrangler JL parking brake adjust procedure requires few tools, can be easily done in little time, and can save you some money.  The money saved can go towards some other things you’ve been eyeing for your Jeep.

Jeep Wrangler Windshield Replacement

Jeep Wrangler Windshield Replacement | OEM vs Aftermarket

A Jeep Wrangler windshield replacement is almost a right of passage for any Jeep Wrangler owner.  In fact it’s something that is common along all lines of the Wrangler, due to its iconic shape. With the vertical windshield, a stone is more likely to cause a chip or a crack. This article shares some strategies to get a Jeep Wrangler windshield replacement done conveniently and inexpensively, as can be viewed in this video as well.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Convenience – Where to Get A Jeep Wrangler Windshield Replacement

You can get a windshield replacement for your Jeep Wrangler at any common auto glass franchises, but there is another option.  Careful review online, in your area, for mobile Windshield Installers will alert you to a mobile windshield installer who can offer the service inexpensively, due to their lack of overhead.  Not only will the installation be less expensive, but the installer can come right to your driveway, or place of work to perform the task.

Expense – OEM vs Aftermarket Jeep Wrangler Windshields

The choice you’re given when needing to install a new windshield is whether or not you wish to have an OEM or an aftermarket windshield. OEM windshields will be more expensive than an aftermarket one, but THAT is almost the only difference.  For the Jeep Wrangler, the OEM windshield is said to have the Jeep logo and easter egg on it, of the 1941 jeep in the lower right passenger corner. It’s also marketed as having “Acoustic” glass. This is a feature marketed as a sound deadening item. The aftermarket windshield will not have the logo on it, but is also labelled as acoustic glass, as it is a thin film of plastic on the glass.  I found even the mobile installers may not share that tidbit, in the hopes that you might be swayed into purchasing the more expensive OEM glass. This perhaps has a bigger margin of profit. Given that other than the logo, the two windshields are practically the same, I chose to realize the over $100 worth of savings, and forgo the logo.  In fact, I can easily order a vinyl sticker of one online for a few dollars if I miss it that bad…which I haven’t.

Conclusion

Thus, by choosing to go with the mobile Jeep Wrangler windshield replacement option, I was able to have the convenience of having the job done in my own driveway. The installer’s lack of overhead resulted in a reduced cost for me, and so did selecting the aftermarket windshield option, which is practically identical to the OEM, minus the logo easter egg. With the over $100 that I saved, I can buy some other needed things for my Jeep.

Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion

Wrangler JL Corrosion Issue

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

It has become apparent that after only 2 years of ownership, that my Wrangler JL has developed a corrosion/paint issue.  The main issue appears to be where the hinges meet the door panels.  I’ll share with you what I’ve read online on Jeep Wrangler Forums and FaceBook groups and share; i) the difference between corrosion and rust, ii) some suggested possible reasons for this unacceptable condition for a relatively new vehicle, iii) the potential warranty concerns for owners iv) if it appears that others are experiencing the same issue, v) FCA’s recognition of the same condition in their other vehicles, and vi) finally discuss what are the options. This information would be of interest to any of you considering buying a JL, or keeping your JL for the long term, and the potential impact on the resale value should you plan on selling your JL. This information can also be viewed in this CheaperJeeperTV episode.

Evidence of My Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion Issue

Below are images that illustrate examples of the corrosion appearing in only 2 years of ownership of my new Jeep Wrangler JL.

The Difference Between Corrosion and Rust

When discussing the possible Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion Issue, it is important to understand that all metals, like aluminum can corrode when exposed to air and impurities.  This process is also referred to as oxidation. Rust specifically is a term used when discussing corrosion where the oxidation taking place is occurring is metal that contains iron. Given that the possible oxidation issue being discussed in this article involves aluminum hinges and door panels, the term corrosion is used, and not the term rust. Either way, in a relatively new vehicle, corrosion should not be presenting itself as an issue so early in the days of ownership.

Some Possible Reasons for My Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion Issue

The Jeep Wrangler JL hinges are made of aluminum, and so are the hood, door and tailgate panels. Essentially during assembly, the bare metal hinges are assembled to the bare panels, and then the whole assembly gets painted. There is no material to act as a barrier to the bare mated metal surfaces, but they are sealed by the paint job. It can be suggested that perhaps the seal of the paint may get compromised, allowing exposure to environmental contaminants such as salt or brine, leading to corrosion.  

Another possible source of contamination between the bare mated metal surfaces of hinge and door panels, may actually occur in the factory at time of assembly. It has been suggested that any metal dust floating in the air, especially in an auto assembly environment, can land on the metal surfaces then get sealed by the paint job.  Manufacturers such as Audi for example build a separate facility where any aluminum metal fabrication is occurring, to avoid such contamination of any aluminum surfaces. 

Some say that the primer may not have been applied properly. 

Another suggested culprit is something called galvanic corrosion, which is where two dissimilar metals react with each other. In the case of the Jeep Wrangler JL hinges, the hinge is aluminum, but the bolt securing the hinge to the panel is coated steel. 

Either way, no matter if one can agree to where the source of contamination is or not, it “is” happening on my Jeep Wrangler JL, and as you will read below, I am not alone in experiencing this issue.

Warranty Concerns

In Canada the Corrosion Warranty is 5 years/ 160,000 kms.  In the US it is 5 years/ Unlimited Miles.  If I take my Wrangler JL in for corrosion repairs, should they occur after 160,000 kms, I am on my own, unlike in the US, where the corrosion warranty will be honoured for as long as I own the vehicle. The absence of salt use on most of the roads in the US may explain this difference in Warranty policy. 

Another warranty concern that has comes to mind is in any language around corrosion warranty involving the term perforation. Aluminum corrosion will build up on the surface, which ultimately protects the aluminum, hence it will not perforate. The paint won’t stay on your Jeep, but it won’t be perforated. 

Are There Others Experiencing This Same Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion Issue

Careful review of online Jeep Wrangler Forums and FaceBook Group discussions will reveal what appears to me as a significant number of surprised and dare I say unsatisfied Jeep Wrangler JL owners, who share their experience after even less time and miles of ownership than myself. Some search examples are found below. Clicking on the examples below will take you to the forum discussions. Review of the numerous entries suggests that I am not alone in this matter.

FCA’s Recognition of the Same Condition in Their Other Vehicles

FCA had put out a Technical Service Bulletin, with instruction of how to address aluminum corrosion issues in some of their other vehicles. The Wrangler JL is on this list. With vehicles as early as 2013 on this list of vehicles with aluminum corrosion issues, it makes me wonder when it is hoped that this corrosion issue will be resolved.

What Are the Options to Address My Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion Issue

Given that I have a Jeep Wrangler JL Corrosion issue, what are my options? Currently, I am having the paint bubbling-corrosion issue at the hinges repaired under warranty.  If, as some posts suggest, should the corrosion reappear after 160,000kms, I would be on my own to address this.  JL owners in the US have unlimited miles on their corrosion warranty, and you would think that they might be able to have their door hinge corrosion issue corrected under that unlimited miles warranty. A member on a Jeep Wrangler Facebook group suggested the application of door hinge covers might help address, at least the appearance of this issue, should it appear again later.

The article at this link also provides some tips for anyone wishing to address the galvanic corrosion concern.

I could also consider selling my Jeep Wrangler JL and buy a new Ford Bronco, but there is no guarantee that it won’t have the same aluminum corrosion and paint issue. For example, Ford has had a Class Action Lawsuit launched against it for aluminum corrosion issues of their own.

Conclusion

My Jeep Wrangler JL corrosion issue is something that has been shared by many other Jeep Wrangler JL owners on online Forums and Jeep Facebook groups. If you were someone thinking of buying one you would be wise to inform yourself with current owner experiences and concerns. Read some of the online posts in the links shared above so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you wish to purchase a Jeep Wrangler JL or not. This issue will impact my resale value if I were to consider selling my Jeep, and may cost me more money for repairs down the road.

As for the comment “It’s A Jeep Thing”…This is not a piece of trim that doesn’t fit right, or a bad rattle somewhere that you can’t find. I think in this case, after charging so much for a new JL, well, this is a little too much too early.

Inexpensive Hard Top Hoist

Inexpensive Jeep Hard Top Hoist

Commercial hard top hoists are available online for those who frequently remove their hard tops to enjoy driving their Jeeps in that fashion. However, an inexpensive DIY Jeep Hard Top Hoist would fit the bill for those Jeep Wrangler owners who only on occasion remove their hard tops, and do not feel it’s worth the investment of the more expensive commercial varieties. Such a hoist can be seen on this video, as described below. Many commercial examples for review online, and other DIY ideas can be found on Amazon, and online forums.

Materials Required for an Inexpensive Jeep Hard Top Hoist

Hoist Straps

Some DIY Hoist ideas involve the use of ratchet straps, which can be purchased inexpensively online, or at your local box stores. The issue that some find with these types of straps is the difficulty involved in releasing the strap to lower the hard top in a controlled fashion.

An equally inexpensive strap solution is the use of cam straps. Similarly, these straps can be purchased inexpensively online, or at your local box stores. However, these straps have the advantage of allowing one to lower the hard top in a controlled fashion, by depressing the button on the strap when pulling on it to lift the top, or releasing the strap when lowering the top.

Installation of an Inexpensive Jeep Hard Top Hoist

If using either of the above straps, they must be secured to the joists in your garage ceiling. The installation in the first image below, shows how a bar was used to connect to the joists, then the straps were placed in the optimum location on the bar to hook into the hard top. Another option would be to secure a 2×6 to the joists, and then secure the straps in their optimum location by screwing into the 2×6, as in the second image below.

Connecting the Inexpensive Hard Top Hoist to the Hard Top

 With this set up, one merely needs to back into their garage, then on each side hook the straps in the rear corner, and near the front of the hard top, as shown in the image below. Care should be taken when hooking into the hard top, by using some cloth or foam. At this point one can just lift each corner of the top by pulling on the strap. Each strap can be lifted a little at a time until you are satisfied with the height. Conversely, when lowering the hard top back onto the jeep, one simply needs to press the cam button while holding tension on the strap, and gently lower each corner a little at a time, until it rests back onto the tub of the Jeep.


Other Subscriber Examples of an Inexpensive DIY Hard Top Hoist

Below are other examples of inexpensive DIY Hard Top Hoists.

The one below has the top resting on 2×4 lumber, and rope ratchets are used to raise and lower the hart top.

This one is using inexpensive bicycle hoists to lift the top.

Door Removal Tips

Most Jeep owners will also remove the doors when removing the hard top to get the full open air experience. Instructions for door removal are available online, but there are some tips that you may want to be aware of in the discussion below, and you will also find more tips online in some forums.

Paint Protection

When removing or installing door hinge bolts, you may want to use some masking tape in key spots to protect the paint from possible scratches by the tools.

Bolt Storage

Although some are aware that there is a storage tray at the rear of the cargo area in which one can store the door hinge bolts, it’s interesting to note that should you wish to store the door detent bolts, the spaces meant for the windshield bolts, can be used for the detent bolts if you were inclined to use them.

Door Storage

There are many options available for storage of the doors when they get removed. The most inexpensive option that offers your doors protection is to purchase two pool noodles, cut each of them in half and then up the middle.  With each piece, slip them under the bottom door edge, and then lay them up against the wall.

Some may prefer to make a DIY door cart to carry the 4 doors and two freedom top panels. The cart can be constructed on wheels in order to move it around where needed.

Conclusion

As was evident in this article, there are many ways to have an inexpensive hard top hoist.   Also, there are low cost solutions to protect your Jeep, and doors from damage in the process. If you’re only going to remove the hard top once in a while, considering inexpensive solutions as addressed in this article and this video, will leave you more money left over, to possibly get more other things for your Jeep.

Transfer Case & Differential Oil Changes

Transfer Case and Differential Oil Changes

Transfer Case and Differential Oil Changes are an important and regular part of the Jeep Wrangler’s maintenance schedule. The rotation imparted on the drive shaft by the engine and transmission is managed through gears in the transfer case, and subsequently through gears in the rear and front differentials to move the Jeep. Lubrication and regular changing of the oil in these systems will keep them running properly and for a long time.

Similarities in Transfer Case and Differential Oil Changes

There are some similarities in the transfer case and differential oil changes procedure. Essentially, the fill and drain bolts are removed to evacuate the old oil, then the drain bolt is reinserted, and the transfer case or differentials are refilled with new oil, up to the fill hole. Detailed instructions, identifying the tools and procedure are covered in this video.

Differences

Some differences in the transfer case and differential oil changes procedure are the type of oil used in each gear system, and the transfer case has different fill and drain bolts.

Different Jeep Wranglers can have different axles with different options, so one should check with the dealer to ensure you are selecting the proper grade oil for your transfer case and differential oil changes.

Cost Savings

The following table is a sample breakdown of the part numbers, costs, grade of and amount of oil for the rear and front differentials, and the transfer case for a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, with the Limited Slip Differential, that is also used to tow a small trailer.

What is evident in the graphic is the significant cost savings realized when this work is done as a do-it-yourself proposition. What also becomes apparent is the satisfaction that comes from looking after your own Jeep…but saving over $400.00 feels good too!

If you would be interested in saving up to $400 on maintenance costs on your Jeep, you may want to watch this video which reviews the actual process of changing the oil of the transfer case and differentials in a Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara.

Wrangler JL Rear Seat Removal

Wrangler JL Rear Seat Removal

The Wrangler JL rear seat removal can be done for a few reasons, and it is a relatively simple process. Models such as the Sahara, which have the additional gap cover flap, require an additional step to the process and this is covered in the instructions below, and in this video.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Reasons for the Wrangler JL Rear Seat Removal

There are a few reasons why some people would like to remove the rear seats on their Jeep Wrangler: 

  1. To install a Rear Seat Tilt Kit.  Depending on the brand, rear seat tilt kits will require removal and/or loosening of rear seat bolts in order to insert the shims. 
  2. To provide increased cargo carrying capacity. In this application, there are commercially available platforms to provide a flat surface over the footwell area.
  3. To install Jeep Camping Sleeping Platforms, such as the one designed on Cheaper Jeeper TV.

Instructions for the Wrangler JL Rear Seat Removal

A video on Cheaper Jeeper TV is available that demonstrates the Jeep Wrangler rear seat removal process.

To provide an idea of the big picture, the image below shows where all the anchor points are, or where bolts must be removed as part of the Jeep Wrangler JL back seat removal process.

It is recommended that if you plan to leave the rear seat out for a period of time, that you reinstall the bolts, as the holes are open to the underside of the tub, and water can possibly get into the Jeep.

Rear Seat Removal Bolt Locations

Step 1.  If your model has a gap cover flap, use a leverage tool, or claw of a hammer to pry off the gap cover flap. This can be done by wedging the claw of the hammer between the flap and the metal plate beneath it and then lifting the gap cover free of the alligator pins which connect the plate to the tabs in the gap cover.

Rear Seat Gap Cover and Alligator Clips
Removal of Gap Flap

Step 2.  Remove the two nuts and one bolt now visible behind the rear seat, using an 18 mm socket. Also remove the metal plate with the alligator clips if your model included the gap cover. Use needle nose pliers to bend down the teeth of the alligator clips to permit easy reinstallation of the plastic tabs of the gap cover later.

Removal of Rear Bolts of Rear Seat

Step 3. Using the 18 mm socket, remove the four bolts of the front legs of the rear seat.

Removal of Front Bolts of Rear Seat

Step 4. Use rope or some cord to hold up both sections of the rear seat to allow access to the rear seat bolts and two seat belt bolts located underneath, at the back.

Removal of Under seat bolts at the Back

Step 5. There is a bracket that joins the 60% and 40% portions of the seat. A zip tie must be removed, and the 15mm bolt that secures one of the seat belts must be removed to free the seat belt harness. This will allow you to folt both sections of the rear seat up, to provide easy removal.

Removal of Seat Belt Bolt at Bracket

Step 6. Tie up the two sections of the rear seat and lift it out of either the side door or rear hatch opening.

Tie Up Rear Seat to Lift out of Side or Rear Door openings.

Step 7. Reverse the steps to reinstall the rear seats, using the following torque specs.

Second row seat back bolts33 ft. lbs.
Second row seat bolts47 ft. lbs.
Second row seat feet bolts47 ft. lbs.
Second row seat nuts52 ft. lbs
Second row seat pivot nuts14 ft. lbs.
Source: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/complete-torque-values-for-jeep-jl-wrangler/

Conclusion

The Jeep Wrangler JL back seat removal is a relatively simple process. It requires little more than a couple of hand tools. With the rear seat removed you have a significant amount of cargo carrying capacity. You can level off the floor at the footwell area with commercially available products by SpringTail Solutions and GoosGear. You can also install a DIY platform. If you’re thinking of removing the rear seat to use your Jeep for camping purposes, be sure to check out the Jeep Camping Sleeping Platform Design on CheaperJeeperTV.

Jeep Basic Brake Service Thumbnail

Jeep Basic Brake Service

(As seen on CheaperJeeperTV)

A Jeep Basic brake service is something the conscientious Jeep owner can do themselves if it’s deemed necessary upon inspection. It can also be a task done regularly every spring, as part of an annual spring cleanup and maintenance routine.  It is easy to do, and makes for an easy way to save money and hassle.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Materials for a DIY Jeep Basic Brake Service.

The tools, parts and torque specs are similar to what is required when you rotate your tires, as the tires must be removed to get access to the brakes to service.  In addition to those tools, a 13 mm lug nut, ratchet and small pick and brushes would also be required.  The lug nut will be needed to tighten the calliper bolts to 27 ft. lbs during the service, and a silicone based grease will be needed for the callipers, and synthetic brake grease for other parts of the clipper system will be needed.

The Components Involved in a Jeep Basic Brake Service

The image below shows a picture of a rear passenger Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara’s back brakes. It also has a graphic labelling all the basic components.

The next image illustrates which components on the brake system receive service during the Jeep basic brake service.

Essentially, as illustrated in the above diagram, during the Jeep basic brake service, the calliper pins are to be lubricated with a silicone based calliper grease, and the parts of the calliper that come into contact with the brake pads are to be lubricated with a synthetic grease.

Jeep Basic Brake Service Instructions (As seen on CheaperJeeperTV)

  1. Jack up the Jeep safely with a floor jack and secure the jeep with jack stands
  2. Remove the two calliper bolts to remove the calliper.
  3. Place or hang the calliper out of the way, being careful not to stretch or damage the brake line. 
  4. Remove the two calliper pins.
  5. Use a cloth to clean the two calliper pins, and the hole where the pins are inserted into the calliper.
  6. Apply a synthetic calliper grease in the two calliper boots and onto the two callipers.
  7. Reinstall the two cleaned and freshly lubricated calliper pins and boots into the holes of the calliper from which they were taken.
  8. Remove the two brake pads.
  9. Brush clean the two calliper slide brackets on which the pads slide.
  10. Apply a synthetic grease to the back sides and upper and lower ends of the brake pads, which make contact with the calliper.
  11. Reinstall the brake pads.
  12. Slide the calliper back onto the assembly.
  13. Reinstall the two 13 mm calliper bolts to a torque setting of 27 ft lbs.
Remove Calliper Bolts and Calliper
Remove and Clean Calliper Pins
Grease and Reinstall Calliper Pins
Remove Brake Pads and Clean Brackets
Grease Brake Pads and Reinstall
Attach Calliper and Reinstall Calliper Bolts

Conclusion

The Jeep Basic Brake Service is a simple process which involves only a few tools and materials. Doing this service as a proactive measure, will save you hassles in breakdowns, and money in brake repair and replacement costs

Jeep Wrangler Fluid & Brake Inspection Thumbnail

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Fluid & Brake Inspection

The Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Fluid and Brake Inspection, along with the 3.6L DIY oil change and tire rotation are regular maintenance tasks that any Jeep Wrangler JL owner, with the 3.6L engine, can perform themselves, and save a lot of money every year by doing so. The CheaperJeeperTV Jeep Wrangler Maintenance Schedule video and article  illustrates this, and highlights other possible DIY maintenance items that can also be done by the keen Jeep owner. This article below will quickly outline the basic steps on how to perform these routine maintenance tasks, for those considering the significant savings potential. The significant savings and the pride that comes from looking after your own jeep make it worth it.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Cost Breakdown Illustrating Savings from the DIY 8k Maintenance Service

An FCA certified dealer will charge $167 for the every 8,000 kilometer( 5,000 miles) maintenance service. As stated, this is essentially an oil change, tire rotation and brake inspection.  You can do this work easily yourself for ~$41(CDN) in total, just by buying the oil and filter on sale, and doing the labour yourself. That is a savings of $126. If you drive ~ 24,000km (15,000 miles) per year, that would mean three 8,000 km services, so you would be saving over $378 (CDN) in one year, which would be $3,780 over a 10 year period of ownership. That’s a significant amount of money left over for you to buy…maybe something for your Jeep?

The next series of articles will describe the steps involved in the performance of this regular 8k service.

PART 3 of 3: 

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Fluid & Brake Inspection

Amateur Tips and Instructions (As seen on CheaperJeeperTV)

Materials required to do a Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Fluid & Brake Inspection.

There will be no tools or parts required to inspect the fluids & brakes

Why Do the Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Fluid and Brake Inspection 

The purpose of doing the Jeep Wrangler JL DIY fluid and brake inspection every 8,000 kms is to determine if certain systems are functioning properly. It will also help to determine when or if any other type of service might be required. With a bit of background, you can do the inspections yourself to determine if say a brake service is necessary, and save yourself the cost of the inspection. Most of the times a service won’t be required, and you will have saved yourself the money for each inspection.

FLUID INSPECTIONS

The fluids that you should regularly inspect in your engine compartment are;

  1. oil level
  2. power steering fluid
  3. windshield washer fluid
  4. brake fluid, and
  5. coolant or radiator fluid

Jeep Wrangler Fluids to Inspect

It’s best to inspect the fluid levels on a level surface. Not everyone’s driveway is level, so if you do your inspections in the driveway, make sure you take the angle into account when observing the levels.

Oil Level

The oil level is something that is easily determined by way of observing the dipstick. Simply pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert, then pull it out again to observe the level. The oil level should be located between the minimum and maximum mark on the dipstick.

Jeep Wrangler Oil Dip Stick

Should you observe oil levels below the minimum mark, you should have a mechanic investigate this situation further.

The Power Steering Fluid

Although the Jeep Wrangler JL has electric assist steering, there is still a motor that requires lubrication fluid.  The fluid level should be checked when the engine is cold, and should fall between the minimum and maximum mark on the reservoir. The minimum and maximum marks should appear on the front of the reservoir. On my 2018, it is actually on the back. I have the max tow package which comes with a larger battery, so perhaps they have to mount it differently on that battery bracket, or maybe FCA was just using up old reservoir stock from the prior Pentastar engine.

Jeep Wrangler Power Steering Reservoir

Should you inspect the power steering reservoir and observe the fluid is below the minimum level, you should have a mechanic investigate the situation further.

Windshield Washer Fluid

The windshield washer fluid reservoir is a white semi transparent plastic reservoir through which you can observe the fluid level. Always make an effort to keep this reservoir topped off to help keep your windshield clear and have a safe view.

Jeep Wrangler Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir

Brake Fluid

The brake fluid level can be observed through the semi transparent plastic brake fluid reservoir. The min and max marks are embossed on the reservoir and can be difficult to see. They are highlighted on the image below.

Jeep Wrangler Brake Fluid Reservoir

The level should never go below the minimum level. As brake pads wear thinner, and the caliper piston is extended more, more brake fluid occupies the caliper cylinders, and the brake fluid level in the reservoir will get lower.  A low brake fluid reading could indicate wear of the brake pads, or a leak in the brake system. If the brake fluid level is nearing the minimum mark, you should have a mechanic investigate this further.

Coolant or Radiator Fluid

The radiator fluid overflow reservoir is how you can check your Jeep’s coolant level. It is a semi transparent clear plastic reservoir with hard to see max and min marks embossed on the front of it. They are highlighted in the image below.

Jeep Wrangler Radiator Fluid Overflow Reservoir

When the engine is cold, the fluid level may rest at the minimum level. If it’s running warm, it may rest at the max level. Should you observe low coolant levels below the minimum mark, you should have a mechanic investigate this further.

So that’s most of what is involved in the fluid levels inspection. Let’s nnow look at how to so the brake inspection.

BRAKE INSPECTION

Essentially, if you are in the middle of rotating your tires, it just takes a quick glance at your brake system to inspect the brakes. You essentially just want to check that;

  1. the brake pads still have enough material on them,
  2. the brake pades are wearing evenly,
  3. the rotor is not showing any unusual signs of wear, and that
  4. there are no brake fluid leaks at the brake line or brake caliper cylinder.

The images below is of the driver’s side rear brakes on a Jeep Wrangler Sahara JL. An opening in the calliper, highlined by the coloured dashed lined circle, is where you can inspect the condition of the brakes. The image on the right highlights the different components of the brake caliper system that are to be inspected.

The image below is intended to illustrate the conditions of the brake components when you inspect them.  In proper functioning brakes, you will see ample brake pad material, wearing relatively evenly, with no leaking of brake fluid evident. Brakes that will require a service will show minimal brake pad remaining, or severely uneven wear, or possible brake fluid leaks evident upon inspection.

Essentially that is all that is involved in a brake inspection.  This is clearly something you can do yourself when rotating your tires.  Some people include the extra step of disassembling the brake pads, cleaning them, and lubricating the calliper pins and other components.  If this is of interest for you, stay tuned to CheaperJeeperTV, as a minor brake “service” video will be available soon.

CONCLUSION: Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Fluid and Brake Inspection

So hopefully you can see that the three main components of the maintenance items that should be performed every 8,000kms(5,000 miles) are things that you can do yourself, and save a significant amount of money doing so.

  1. The oil change on the 3.6L Pentastar is a very easy engine to work on. The easy access of the oil filter, and the 0W20 Full Synthetic oil which can be found regularly for almost 50% off, simply encourages you to do this job yourself, and save a lot of money.
  2. The tire rotations, a necessary item for the large tires on the Jeep Wrangler, will ensure your tires wear evenly, perform better and last longer, saving you even more money.
  3. Since you’ll have the tires off, you might as well inspect the brakes, and fluid levels while you’re at it, and be confident of the operation of your Jeep’s brake and other systems.

When the time comes that an actual repair must be done at the shop, you will be confident in what is actually required, as you will have inspected your Jeep’s systems regularly and know what is going on. Oh…and did I say you will save a lot of money as well?

I hope you enjoyed the every 8,000 km maintenance service articles.  Please also feel free to check out the corresponding videos on CheaperJeeperTV for more highlights and tips.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Thumbnail

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation

A Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L DIY oil change, tire rotation and brake inspection are regular maintenance tasks that any Jeep Wrangler JL owner, with the 3.6L engine, can perform themselves, and save a lot of money every year by doing so. The CheaperJeeperTV Jeep Wrangler Maintenance Schedule videoand article  illustrates this, and highlights other possible DIY maintenance items that can also be done by the keen Jeep owner. This article below will quickly outline the basic steps on how to perform these routine maintenance tasks, for those considering the significant savings potential. The significant savings and the pride that comes from looking after your own jeep make it worth it.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Cost Breakdown Illustrating Savings from the DIY 8k Maintenance Service

An FCA certified dealer will charge $167 for the every 8,000 kilometer( 5,000 miles) maintenance service. As stated, this is essentially an oil change, tire rotation and brake inspection.  You can do this work easily yourself for ~$41(CDN) in total, just by buying the oil and filter on sale, and doing the labour yourself. That is a savings of $126. If you drive ~ 24,000km (15,000 miles) per year, that would mean three 8,000 km services, so you would be saving over $378 (CDN) in one year, which would be $3,780 over a 10 year period of ownership. That’s a significant amount of money left over for you to buy…maybe something for your Jeep?

The next series of articles will describe the steps involved in the performance of this regular 8k service.

PART 2 of 3: 

The Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Instructions (Also as seen on CheaperJeeperTV)

Materials required to do a DIY Jeep Wrangler tire rotation.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Tools

 There will be no parts required and the torque wrench specs will be 130 foot pounds for the Lugnuts  

A Description of Different Possible Tire Rotation Patterns

Let’s discuss the different possible tire rotation procedures. Firstly, as you see in the diagram below of an overhead view of a Jeep Wrangler, it has five tires, but some cars have four tires or in the case of the Jeep, some owners only rotate four tires.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation 4 & 5 Wheels Diagram

RWD 4 Tire Rotation Pattern

In a four tire rotation, you would follow the pattern illustrated in the image below.  Illustrated in this image is that the two rear tires are the drive tires, and when you’re rotating in a four wheel pattern to drive tires are moved up to the front. The two front tires are then moved in a criss cross pattern to the rear wheel locations.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation 4 Wheel Rotation Pattern

4WD 5 Tire Rotation Pattern

The following image illustrates the 5 wheel rotation pattern,which is common for a vehicle such as the Jeep Wrangler. The process begins with the removal of the spare, and one simply needs to follow the pattern identified by the red numbers in the image.  The fifth and final step is to remove the driver’s front wheel and place it in the location for the spare.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation 5 Wheel Rotation Pattern

Directional Tire Rotation Pattern

Also on the market are tires that are referred to as directional tires. These tires have a special tread pattern optimized to direct water and slush away from underneath the tires. They are marked with a directional arrow on the side wall to facilitate proper mounting upon the rims.  The arrow must point towards the forward direction of movement of the vehicle for the tires to function properly.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Directional Tire Diagram

Thus, directional tires with the arrow pointing forward on the passenger side rims would be meant to spin clockwise, and the directional tires with the arrow pointing forward on the driver’s side rims would be meant to spin counter clockwise.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Directional Tire Diagram 2

Given this requirement, a spare cannot be used during a tire rotation process, and the mounted tires must remain on the same side of the vehicle.  Thus the rotation pattern for directional tires would simply be from front to back, and back to front tires.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Directional Tire Diagram 3

Begin the Process of Tire Rotation

Once you have determined which rotation pattern meets your needs, you can begin the process by following the tire removal and installation pattern in the appropriate diagram . I recommend the use of a floor jack, heavy duty jack stands, and the tools listed above to do the tire rotation on your vehicle, as it will make things go a lot smoother than using the scissor jack and tire removal tools provided with the Jeep. 

Safety

Follow safety precautions such as engaging the emergency break and using wheel chocks to keep the Jeep stable and free from moving.

Raising the Jeep 

Placing the Floor Jack under the axle or frame rail are secure locations from which to begin raising the Jeep

Removing the Tires

Before completely raising the tires off the ground, it is recommended that you use a breaker bar to loosen the lug nuts, otherwise the tires may spin when you attempt to do this.

Once the tires are removed, this would be a good time to inspect the ware pattern of your breaks, which is covered in the DIY Brake Inspection Article and Video.

Installing the tires

When you reinstall the tires to their new locations, evenly tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern, tightening them to 130 ft lbs with your torque wrench.

Jeep Wrangler JL DIY Tire Rotation Tightening Pattern

Once you have completed the installation of your tires, you have successfully rotated the tires on your Jeep, prolonged their wear, and saved some money. Perhaps to buy something more for your Jeep? Congratulations.

DIY Oil Change For Jeep Wrangler JL Thumbnail

Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L DIY Oil Change

A Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L DIY oil change, tire rotation and brake inspection are regular maintenance tasks that any Jeep Wrangler JL owner, with the 3.6L engine, can perform themselves, and save a lot of money every year by doing so. The CheaperJeeperTV Jeep Wrangler Maintenance Schedule video and article  illustrates this, and highlights other possible DIY maintenance items that can also be done by the keen Jeep owner. This article below will quickly outline the basic steps on how to perform these routine maintenance tasks, for those considering the significant savings potential. The significant savings and the pride that comes from looking after your own Jeep make it worth it.

DISCLAIMER: Any and all content provided on this site and YouTube channel is Cheaper JeeperTV’s opinion and for educational and discussion purposes only. Seek a professional’s advice where appropriate for your vehicle.

Cost Breakdown Illustrating Savings from the DIY 8k Maintenance Service

An FCA certified dealer will charge $167 for the every 8,000 kilometer( 5,000 miles) maintenance service. As stated, this is essentially an oil change, tire rotation and brake inspection.  You can do this work easily yourself for ~$41(CDN) in total, just by buying the oil and filter on sale, and doing the labour yourself. That is a savings of $126. If you drive ~ 24,000km (15,000 miles) per year, that would mean three 8,000 km services, so you would be saving over $378 (CDN) in one year, which would be $3,780 over a 10 year period of ownership. That’s a significant amount of money left over for you to buy…maybe something for your Jeep?

The next series of articles will describe the steps involved in the performance of this regular 8k service.

PART 1 of 3:

DIY Oil Change Instructions (Also as seen on CheaperJeeperTV)

I will take my time to provide some amateur tips in the form of lengthy instructions in the hopes that you’ll feel encouraged and confident enough with some idiosyncrasies of the process addressed along the way for you.

Tools and Material Required for a DIY Oil Change, 2018 Jeep Wrangler 3.6L Pentastar Engine

For starters, here are the tools and materials you will need. Notice a jack isn’t even required for the Jeep.

Items: 5 Quarts(4.73L) of Oil (0W20 Full Synthetic, Chrysler MS 6395 Compliant), Mopar Filter 68191349AC,

13mm & 24mm socket, ratchet and extension, torque wrench, small pic/flat head, gloves, rag, drain pan or empty jug.

Image of DIY Jeep Wrangler Oil Change Tools

Oil Change Instructions

  1. Double check that the oil and filter you acquired are correct for your vehicle’s engine.
  2. Ensure the Jeep is parked on a level area, and the engine is warm to facilitate oil drainage.
  3. Remove the oil filler cap by hand to facilitate oil drainage.Remove Oil Fill Cap by Hand
  4. Using the ratchet, extension and 24 mm socket, unscrew the oil filter cap.Remove Filter Cap With Ratchet
  5. Carefully lift the oil filter, attached to the underside of the cap, from the housing. Make sure to catch any drips of oil with a rag or plastic bag.Remove Filter
  6. Tug the paper oil filter off from the cap and discard.
  7. Use a small pick or flat head screwdriver to remove the rubber O ring from the cap. Then discard the O ring.Use Pick to Remove O Ring
  8. Take the new O ring in the new filter box, rub some oil on it to lubricate it, then slip the new O ring onto the cap where the old O ring was located.
  9. Snap the new oil filter onto the underside of the cap.
  10. Rub some oil on the small O ring on the end tip of the new oil filter.
  11. Insert the newly attached filter into the oil filter housing, and tighten the cap, using a torque wrench to 18 ft lbs. If you don’t have one, tighten the cap snugly, but be careful not to do it too tight. Remove Filter
  12. Remove the drain pan bolt with a 13 mm socket, and allow the oil to drain. (This step can be done before step 4 if desired. That way the oil can drain while you are working on steps 4-11)
  13. After the oil has drained, reinstall the drain bolt and tighten to 20 ft lbs with a torque wrench, or with a tighten snugly with a ratchet.
  14. Using a funnel, add 5 quarts(4.73 L) of 0W20, MS-6395 compliant, full synthetic oil to the 2018 Jeep WranglerJL, 3.6L engine. Double check the requirements for your Jeep engine.Add Oil
  15. Re attach the oil filler cap.
  16. For good measure check the oil level on the dipstick.Oil Dip Stick
  17. Lastly, reset the oil life indicator on your dash display by:
    1. pushing the Engine Stop/Start button without pushing the brake, leaving the ignition in the On/Run mode
    2. use the up/down arrow keys on the wheel to navigate to the Vehicle Info Window
    3. use the left/right arrow keys to navigate to the Oil Life Display
    4. push & hold the OK button to reset the gauge to 100%.
  18. Also, be sure to dispose of your oil responsibly at any recycling centre.

Nice and simple.  You’ve done it.

Warranty Concerns over the Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L DIY Oil Change

Some people have been told by their dealer that as long as they keep their receipts, that there shouldn’t be any concerns about voiding your warranty by doing your own Jeep Wrangler JL 3.6L DIY Oil Change.

For those still concerned, there is still another option.  Some Jeep dealers offer a quick lube service where they will simply charge ~$25 to just change the oil and filter that you provide. This way, there is official documentation of the oil changes during your time of warranty.

Quick Lube

So if you still do the tire rotation and brake inspection yourself, you will still be saving over $100, per maintenance interval.

Coming Soon….

PART 2 of 3: DIY Tire Rotation 

Further Reading

Oil Change Instructions

Forum Discussion on Torque Specs