If you were purchasing upgrades for a used Wrangler JK, there are a number of upgrades, or mods, for which you can spend some money. Many suggested items below are now standard or available as an option on the newer JLs as will be seen in this article. This article, and this video, will identify some of them and then prioritize at least five useful upgrades for a used Wrangler JK, with safety, aesthetics, and affordability in mind.
Possible Upgrades for a Used Wrangler JK
Although the list is endless, some possible upgrades for a used Wrangler JK will be investigated in the space below. Affiliate links will also be provided for those interested in pursuing any such upgrades.
Gas Cap Cover
Although standard on some models of the Wrangler JL, a gas cap cover has made our list of useful upgrades for a used Wrangler JK, as it helps keep the snow and ice out of the gas cap filler area. This is mostly a concern in the northern states and in Canada, but even southern Jeepers might like the many options of gas cap covers out there to add some inexpensive personal touches to their Jeeps.
Standard on all Wrangler JLs, Grab Bars has made our list of useful upgrades for a used Wrangler JK, as it helps one have something to brace yourself against when offroad, or when entering or exiting the Jeep. Many choices catering to your personal style are available in hard solid bar form, or soft paracord style. Once you click the link below, you’ll spend a lot of time investigating the options available to impart your personal style.
Standard on the Wrangler JL, Grill Inserts are definitely an inexpensive, but useful upgrade for a used Wrangler JK. Not only are they aestheically an opportunity to pimp up your Jeep, but they also provide your radiator and transmission cooler with protection from flying stones.
The rubber styled hood latches on the Wrangler JK degrade over time, loosen, and allow for annoying hood flutter when on the road. Metal ones that come standard on the JL, are now available as a useful upgrade on a used Wrangler JK. After investigating the link below, you’ll see that you don’t have to stick with one style, as there are many to choose from.
The brightness of the stock Jeep Wrangler JL and JK are ridiculously low. For the JL, LED lights were a factory installed option, thankfully. However the aftermarket LED options for this useful upgrade on a used Wrangler JK are plentiful. If considering installing these as a DIY, look for ones that offer a plug and play option. If you just want to install brighter bulbs, the PIAA Extreme White Plus are a less expensive option.
A real JK owner review of the PIAA Extreme White Plus headlight bulbs can be found at www.stdi.com.
The 8.4” Uconnect Stereo option on the new Wrangler JLs is an amazing Infotainment System. One of the best available, based on many automobile journalist reviews. However, there still are many good aftermarket options that make a useful upgrade for a used Wrangler JK. Many Jeep Forum members speak highly of the Sony AX1000 system, as it not only offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto, but also affords you the ability to connect an aftermarket rear view camera, and view its image on the AX1000 screen. The fact that it actually has a dial knob for volume seems to also be popular among the reviewers. Whichever stereo you pick, you might be wise to look for a model that allows you to utilize the already existing steering wheel controls.
New tires is definitely an area that would make a useful upgrade for a used Wrangler JK. Models like the BF Goodrich KO2, GoodYear Duratrac, and the Falcon WildPeak are All Terrain tires with the mountain snowflake rating. Many Jeep owners give favourable reviews on these tires, like the aggressive looks, and wear them all year as a result of their mountain snowflake rating.
Conclusion: Five Recommended Useful Upgrades for a Used Wrangler JK
For our top five recommended useful upgrades for a used Wrangler JK, we chose;
1) Tires for safety and aestheics, yet an expensive but necessary upgrade,
2) Headlights for safety as well as aestheics,(those LED halo-rings look cool),
3) Grab Bars for function, as it makes it a lot easier to get in and out of the Jeep, and not too much money,
4) Gas Cap Cover, for same reasons as above, and finally,
5) Stereo, as Apple Car Play and a rear view camera image on the infotainment system screen is definitely desirable, but left for last as it is a pricey upgrade, and the other items therefore take priority.
Grill inserts are important and not too much money, but since our Jeep already had them, we didn’t include it on our list.
Feel free to check out the video on YouTube and read some comments shared by viewers for even more ideas and suggestions.
This is a Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km review written by a first time Jeep owner. The Jeep is a 2018 Wrangler JL Sahara. Ten categories will be reviewed and supported by the actual owner’s experiences, and each category will be issued a rating. By the end of this review, you will be better informed to determine whether or not the Jeep Wrangler JL is a long term proposition. This review is also available in this video.
About the Author of this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review
The author of this review is the blogger on CheaperJeeperTV.com. He has owned and driven a variety of vehicles in his life, from small cars to minivans, including a 1977 VW Bus. This is the first Jeep he has ever owned. So he will offer his review from that lens.
The Jeep in this Review
The Jeep in this review is a 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara, purchased in May 2018. It has been exactly two years and one month since the Jeep reached 100,000 kms. The Jeep is a daily driver and used in its first year for commuting to work and now for driving up north for cottaging, camping and fishing.
The Categories and Rating System
The categories in this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km review are shown in the table below.
There are ten categories for which real world evidence/experience will be shared in order to determine a rating. The rating system will be either a red dot? for poor outcome, a caution symbol⚠️ for areas of concern, and a green checkmark✅ for when things look good, in the corresponding categories.
The Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review Category Data
The information below gives a brief summary of the evidence for each category, and illustrates the rating assigned by this reviewer.
I was able to use information obtained from Wrangler forums to pay the invoice price for the Jeep. This information is also shared in the cheaperJeeperTV video on how to Pay Invoice Price. This made the purchase aspect of the Jeep ownership a positive experience.✅
During this Jeep experience, there have been three dealerships for which I had some experience. There is the dealership where I was able to pay invoice price, the one near my place of work, before I retired, and then the one near my home. There have been no horror stories to share. All dealerships were professional and courteous.✅
During times of vehicle ownership, there may be cases where one might need to make an appeal to the manufacturer. In this case, FCA. I had two items which required repair, but occurred beyond the time limit of the warranty. In both instances, I made an appeal to FCS for which they honoured the warranty, despite being past the term. This left me with two examples of where I felt fairly treated by the manufacturer, and left with the impression that they were interested in having a satisfied customer. The examples are covered below in the CLAIMS UNDER WARRANTY category.✅
Review of Wrangler JL recalls can occur at nhtsa.gov. There are at the time of this report, 10 recalls that exist for the Wrangler JL. You can enter your VIN on this website to see which ones would apply to your particular Jeep. I was fortunate in that none of the 10 recalls applied to my Jeep. There was a TSB, where my steering damper was replaced. All-in-all, for this Jeep being the first of the new model Wrangler JL, not having any recalls affecting my Jeep, left me feeling pretty good about it.✅
CLAIMS UNDER WARRANTY
There are three claims that I had to make under warranty during this first 100,000kms of Jeep Wrangler JL ownership. The first item was the rear window defrost connection. There were three separate visits for these repairs. I am on my fourth rear window, and I hope it’s good now.
The check engine light came on and the code indicated that the fuel pressure regulator needed to be replaced. This occurred beyond the 60,000 km mark, hence past the term of the warranty. I appealed to FCA, and they honoured the warranty.
Lastly, at 99,900 kms, well beyond the 60,000km term of the warranty, but only 2 years into ownership, I brought the Jeep to the dealership showing corrosion on the leading edge of a door and at the hinges. I made another appeal to FCA, and again FCA honoured the warranty for this item.
Although, I am not happy that I had to make warranty claims, for a first year Jeep of the new model, only 3 claims is not bad. I continue to maintain, at least from my experience, FCA has demonstrated interest in maintaining customer satisfaction, by honouring my claims.✅
REPAIRS OUTSIDE WARRANTY
During the time of this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km Review, there have been no other repairs needed on the Jeep, other than those identified above. Again, after more that 100,000 kms, and this being a new model Wrangler, that’s not bad.✅
FIT, FINISH and FUNCTION
On the exterior of the Jeep, all the plastic and body components have held up extremely well. Considering the Jeep has seen 100,000 kms of city and hwy driving, in Southern and Northern Ontario, there are only a few minor paint chips, and all the plastics, and rubber components still look good. The wipers are still original, and function perfectly.
On the interior, the leather seats show little wear thus far, and all the rest of the plastics are holding up nicely. There is a gap where the metal and plastic meet at the entry threshold however, that seems to be widening, thereby allowing dirt to collect. This gap seems to be more of a design element than anything.✅
MAINTENANCE, SERVICEABILITY & PERFORMANCE
There are six sub-categories for Maintenance, Serviceability & Performance. There are a number of CheaperJeeperTV videos that address Maintenance and DIY topics for those interested.
This Jeep has the 3.6L Upgraded Pentastar engine. As seen in a couple CheaperJeeperTV videos, it is extremely easy to perform the service on this engine, such as a DIY Oil Change.The engine has performed flawlessly, has been easy to look after, and has also provided relatively good fuel efficiency.✅
The new ZF 8 speed automatic transmission in the Wrangler JL has received fantastic reviews among automobile journalists, and it has been my experience as well. It’s the best performing transmission in a vehicle that I have ever driven. However, there is concern for me as an owner when ZF, the manufacturer of the transmission suggests performing a service at 100,000 kms, yet FCA states the transmission fluid is good for the lifetime of the transmission. Given my interest in keeping my Jeep as long as possible, I am looking into what I have to do to perform a service on the transmission, to avoid the more costly alternative should the transmission fail.⚠️✅
WHEELS & TIRES
The stock wheels and tires are very good. The wheels(rims) are good quality, and the tires have been very quiet on the road, and have lasted the whole 100,000 kms so far, with still ¼” of tread. This is also due to the fact that I put winter tires on the Jeep as well. Although the Bridgestone A/T tires are more of a road tire than an A/T tire, I am still very happy with them. Also, the fact that I regularly rotate them, with each oil change probably helps as well.✅
The brakes on my 2018 Wrangler JL Sahara at 100,000 kms are still the original brakes. Reasons that could explain that are; i) hwy miles do not impact the brakes much, ii) the Sahara and Rubicon Wrangler JLs have the Heavy Duty (HD) Brakes, and finally iii) I regularly inspect and service the brakes at each tire rotation. They perform extremely well, and the already installed HD brakes make it easier to upgrade to a larger tire later if so desired.✅
BODY & FRAME
The doors, hood and tailgate on the Wrangler JLs are made of aluminum. Unfortunately, two years into ownership, and I have discovered corrosion on a leading edge of a door, and where the door meets the hinges. Even though I appreciate that this will be addressed in a warranty claim, I am disappointed that in a newly purchased vehicle, with aluminum doors and such, is showing corrosion so early in the game. I also worry if this will become a longer term recurring issue for me. SOme frame welds also look suspect, and many members of Wrangler JL forums have complained about the quality of such. Even given that I have my Jeep Rustproofed, I am disappointed that this is still an issue, and that I am worrying about this so early in my Jeep Wrangler JL ownership experience.?
In 2018, along with the introduction of my Wrangler JL, new items to the Wrangler such as the engine start stop system, dual batteries, and the rear camera were introduced. Early in my ownership experience, I witnessed some minor glitches with the rear camera system, such as the screen not operating, or the guidelines were not appearing. Other than the early experiences, it has worked flawlessly ever since. Perhaps a flash or update was performed. Some owners on JL forums have shared electrical gremlin horror stories online. This is an area where FCA’s poor reputation for electrical quality & control has me worried for my long term ownership intentions.⚠️✅
DRIVABILITY & HANDLING
In a daily driver capacity, my Wrangler JL experience has been very positive. The hwy ride is surprisingly smooth with few to no rattles and squeaks. The steering feel in my Jeep is a little loose compared to cars I have driven, but not bad at all. The high seat position and visibility is superior to other cars or SUVs I have driven. Although many on forums have complained about the steering in their JLs, mine has been very good.
Although my off road experience has been limited to forestry roads with some washouts, the Jeep handles them easily. In the two Canadian winters I have experienced so far, I can’t say that the Jeep has been challenged by anything at all. Although I had joined some 4WD Clubs to enjoy some off roading, the COVID-19 Crisis has put those plans on hold. True off road experiences may be in the future.✅
Owning a Jeep is different than owning other vehicles. Being trail rated makes for some compromises in construction and handling, but then offers benefits in style, ability and association. Often you will see Jeep Wrangler owners waving to other Wrangler owners. As such, you will find many Jeep owners clubs, web sites(eg. CheaperJeeperTV.com), FaceBook groups, and online forums to share in your newfound interest. The Jeep Wrangler can be taken offroad, and can take you overlanding or camping. Many even sleep in or on it when camping. It can easily be used to carry all sorts of items. The Jeep Wrangler is a very versatile vehicle.✅
All in all, this Jeep Wrangler JL 100,000 km review summarized above, and in the table below, clearly suggests that the Wrangler JL is an excellent vehicle after 100,000 kms of ownership. Aside from the corrosion issue, which we will keep our eyes on, there are very little issues after 100,000 kms of driving.
Jeep Gift Ideas can be found conveniently online. Ideas are limitless and will range in price. However, it may require some advanced planning if you wish to take delivery of a gift by Father’s Day, given society’s challenges in the face of the COVID-19 virus. Essentially, the easiest way to get a Father’s Day Jeep Gift would be to order it online now, well in advance of Father’s Day, to ensure that it will be delivered in time. Understanding that, let’s look at some awesome Father’s Day Jeep gift ideas, so that you can decide what to get.
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.
Jeep Gift Ideas To Get
Let’s review some Jeep gift ideas in the space below. Care has been made to order them by category from Jeep Care/Cleaning to Jeep DIY Tools & Products, and generally in order of least to most expensive. After reviewing the following ideas, you can review them as well as access links and price information on the CheaperJeeperTV Featured Products page.
Jeep Gift Ideas for Care/Cleaning
LA’s Totally Awesome Degreaser
This is what I’d call a product that gives the best bang for the buck. This product is available online, but can be purchased cheapest at The Dollar Tree, for $1.00(US), for a 1 litre bottle. This degreaser is an absolutely amazing all purpose cleaner and degreaser that can be used to remove stains and grime, as was demonstrated in the CheaperJeeper TV Engine Bay Cleaning video.
Microfibre Wash Mitt
A microfibre wash mitt, as seen on the left in the image below, is a handy item in any Jeep owner’s car cleaning arsenault. The microfibre wash mitt helps hold onto the soap and spreads it on the car minimizing the possibility of producing minor scratches like the synthetic wash mitt on the right in the picture below.
The Absorber Drying Towel and Microfiber Towels
As demonstrated in the Cleaning Your Jeep video, there is nothing, in my experience, that works better at drying your Jeep than the Absorber Drying towel. Microfibre towels are also useful in this regard, and I don’t know many people who would turn down some extra microfibre towels.
There are many Tire Dressing products on the market, and at varying prices. From my experience, the long lasting results, and ease of application of the Meguiar’s Hot Shine Tire Spray, makes it my go to tire dressing, as demonstrated in the Cleaning Your Jeep video.
If the the person who receives the following product has never used it before, they will definitely be using it from here on forward. The effectiveness of this product iis verified by many online reviews and by my own personal experience. Use and effectiveness of this product can be seen in the Cleaning Your Jeep and the CheaperJeeper TV Engine Bay Cleaning videos. Any rubber or exterior plastics on your Jeep should be cleaned then treated with some type of Rubber/Plastic/Vinyl cleaning and conditioning product to minimize the degrading effect of the constant bombardment of the sun. The market is flooded with many products for this purpose, but the one all-purpose product I use, and it is supported by many Jeep, Auto, RV and Marine enthusiasts is 303 Aerospace Protectant.
That’s the singular product that can meet your rubber/plastic/vinyl cleaning and conditioning needs.
There are many waxes and sealants now on the market that help protect the finish and surface of your Jeep. One such product that is known for its ease of application and slippery finish is the P&S Beadmaker Paint Sealant, as demonstrated in the Cleaning Your Jeep video. Applied as a detailing spray, it ensures a protective coat and provides an amazing slippery shine.
Rail Dust Remover
Anyone who owns a white Jeep is familiar with rail dust. These are tiny particles of iron from the urban environment and brake components that get lodged into the paint’s finish. These particles manifest themselves as orange rust spots “in” the paint finish that are almost impossible to remove. Expensive dedicated iron “rail dust” removal products are available on the market, however in true CheaperJeeperTV form, there is a less expensive option. Meguiar’s ULTIMATE All Wheel Cleaner is chemically formulated to clean brake dust off of aluminum wheels, but also works very effectively at removing rail dust from your paint, as demonstrated in the Cleaning Your Jeep video.
A great Jeep gift idea would be a foam cannon. As demonstrated in the Foam Cannon Jeep Wash video, it is an amazing tool to help any Jeep owner perform a quick AND effective cleaning of their Jeep.
Car Wash Soap
Car wash soap like Chemical Guys Mr. Pink are pH balanced to reduce any harm to your wax or any paint protection that may be on the Jeep. The added benefits to a car wash soap like Mr. Pink is that it is rated highly in online reviews, biodegradable, and foams up brilliantly, especially when used in a foam cannon. This is my go to soap when using my foam cannon as demonstrated in the Foam Cannon Jeep Wash video.
At the expensive end of the Jeep gift ideas spectrum would be a pressure washer. Whichever one you were to choose, it would have to be able to produce enough gallons per minute to work with a foam cannon. Online reviews of the Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI with 1.7g GPM state that it works well with a foam cannon, but I do not have personal experience with it.
Also shared online, is that should one already have a pressure washer that doesn’t emit up to 2 GPM, then the purchase of an inexpensive 1.1 mm pressure washer orifice to fit into the foam cannon may help produce foam from a less robust pressure washer.
Jeep Gift Ideas DIY Tools & Products
Drill Lug Nut Adapter
This in fact was a gift given to me, and I have found it immensely helpful for numerous DIY projects. For example, these adapters allow you to connect your sockets to a cordless drill to quickly remove lug nuts from your Jeep once they have been loosened, as seen in Basic Brake Service video.
Portable Air Compressor
Inexpensive portable air compressors would make a nice Jeep gift idea. I have an Inexpensive 12V model with a digital readout that provides an auto stop feature. These are available online, and would come in handy when that pesky TPMS light comes on when those early winter extreme temperature changes arrive. For off road duty, more robust air compressors would be necessary.
Rolling Mechanic Stool with Tray
A rolling mechanic stool with a tray is an excellent Jeep gift idea. It saves the back by providing a spot to sit, and a tray to keep your lug nuts and wrenches from rolling down the driveway.
Torque Wrench & Breaker Bar
Torque wrenches and a breaker bar would be a thoughtful gift for anyone who is considering, or does some of their own maintenance to their Jeep. Tire rotations would go a lot smoother with a breaker bar to help easily loosen the lug nuts for example. Torque wrenches would help when servicing brake caliper bolts, etc.
Oil Drain Valve
As seen in the Oil Change video, things can go a lot smoother using an oil drain valve. Although the Featured Products page shows a few varieties, the EZ Drain valve is the one I use and I am quite happy with the quality and performance. It was the least costly of options I was aware of at the time.
3 Ton Jack Stands
As far as Jeep gift ideas go, 3 Ton Jack Stands would always come in handy. Whether one is servicing brakes, or tending to some issue under the Jeep, you don’t want to just reply on the Scissor Jack to keep the Jeep up.
3 Ton Floor Jack
The OEM scissor jack will do in a pinch, but to do regular tire rotations or brake services, any Jeep owner would benefit by having a 3 Ton floor jack. It’s a great Jeep gift idea as it will make Jeep maintenance life so much easier.
Ratchet & Socket Set
Entering the realm of more costly Jeep gift ideas, are Ratchet and Socket Sets. Should you go that way, it’s helpful to know that the oil filter housing requires a 24mm socket, and the lug nuts require a 22mm socket. Not all sets have those sizes.
Thus, the above list is an attempt to demonstrate the expanse and expense of various Jeep gift ideas, however it can never be complete. A video of these products is available on CheaperJeeperTV, titled “Jeep Gift Ideas: Father’s Day – Any Day”, and any suggected Jeep Gift Ideas made below the video will also be posted in the space below.
5 Must Have Manufacturer Installed Options When Purchasing a New Jeep Wrangler
There are 5 must have manufacturer installed options when purchasing a new Jeep Wrangler. As stated in the Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL article, the New Jeep Wrangler JL does come equipped with a few extra standard options than prior Jeep models. In my Sahara JL model for example, firm grab bar handles, grill inserts, a gas cap cover are just a few items that we don’t have to order extra as options. In order to save money and get the most Jeep you can afford, are there certain options that are ok to leave for later but some that can’t? To find out, read this article or watch this Cheaper Jeeper TV video, to learn about the 5 Must-Get manufacturer installed options when buying a new Jeep Wrangler.
(The information below is just my opinion as a Jeep Wrangler JL owner. I am not a mechanic and the information in this article is to be used for information and entertainment purposes only)
Discussion of Must Have Options
Here is an alphabetically ordered list of some options that were available when I ordered my 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. I’ll provide a small description of them, and categorize for you as to whether or not it is a manufacturer installed option only, or if it can be done with aftermarket options. PLUS, I’ll provide my opinion, based on my experience, as to which ones you must have as manufacturer installed options. The following discussion is also summarized in the table below the discussion.
Air Conditioning is definitely a manufacturer installed option. Given most vehicles are ordered with air conditioning, we will go ahead and just file this under the must have manufacturer installed option category.
All Weather Floor Mats
Mopar’s comes with an actual drain funnel attached, that goes through a hole in the Jeeps floor pan. If you like that, then great. However, from what I’ve read in the forums, some owners disliked the fact that water is still able to get past the seal of the floor mat with the hole in the floor pan. I had ordered a set, and was disappointed that the sides of the mats didn’t go up enough on the sides, near the gas pedal. I felt my snow and salt covered boot would soak and ruin the carpet near the gas pedal, as what has happened in previous vehicles. There are aftermarket options. I ended up purchasing WeatherTechs as the sides go up far enough for my liking, especially near the gas pedal. So, the Mopar all weather mats would not be a must-have manufacturer installed option. But for those who do like the design, by all means enjoy ordering them for you.
The new 8 speed transmission is a well reviewed and very popular option. Of course if you wanted an automatic transmission, you must attain it as a manufacturer installed option. Most people are ordering automatic, and from my experience, and as well as those on the forums I have read, it has been one of the best upgrades to the Jeep Wrangler. So, it is definitely a must have.
Cold Weather Group
The Cold Weather Group, like the heated seats and steering wheel, are a manufacturer installed option that I have and enjoy. From my experience, and from what I read on the forums, people are very happy with their performance. If money is lean, it is something you can choose not to get, but also, aftermarket options may not be an easy upgrade for later.
The Head Liner, they say, reduces noise and insulates from the hot summer sun beating on the roof, and helps keep the warmth from escaping through the roof in the winter. I had mine manufacturer installed. If however you were looking to save money, this is definitely an option that can be fulfilled later by other worthy aftermarket options. One thing I noticed on my Mopar Head Liner, is that the area above the middle cross bar(roll bar) does not have any liner material, whereas other aftermarket liners do have some in that area. This I find a little disappointing.
Some people find that Leather Seats are easier to keep clean, and feel better that cloth seats. So if it’s in your budget, you may want to order them from the manufacturer, but it’s still an item that can be done in the aftermarket. I have read on the forums, where people have been happy with their aftermarket leather seat options, but I don’t have any personal experience with them. So if you’re looking for another area where you can save money until later, this is another one of them.
Anytime on the forums I read people talking about their Wrangler stock headlights, they’re always complaining about how dim they are. Many forum threads are filled with accounts of aftermarket lights, and bulbs, with varying degrees of satisfaction. There are many sited issues with some aftermarket approaches. They range from; brighter bulbs that burn out too quickly, poor LED bulb light dispersal patterns, flickering from improperly matched wiring harnesses to how costly complete LED headlight unit replacements can be. I purchased the LED light group after reading many threads on this issue. I am extremely happy with the brightness of them, and as seen in the image below, they also look amazing. With the package, you get LED lights all around; headlights with the halo ring, fog lights, tail lights, and signal & side marker lights. Given the reasonable price, compared to aftermarket options, plus the freedom from any electrical gremlins you may encounter, I’d recommend them as a must have manufacturer installed option, but given there are aftermarket options, LED lights are listed below as an aftermarket option for those who want to save money at the purchase time.
Limited Slip Differential
If you go and readthis link on what a limited slip differential does, and how it works, you would wonder why they would sell a Jeep Wrangler without one. Essentially, it helps prevent your rear tires from spinning on slippery surfaces. With this relatively inexpensive manufacturer installed option, is an upgrade with nicer A/T tires as well. There are more costly aftermarket limited slip differential options, but I don’t have any experience with them, and recommend that a LSD is a must have option should you purchase a Jeep.
Remote Proximity Keyless Entry
This option allows you to open and lock your Jeep from your key fob, or buy touching the door handles. Due to the electronics involved it would clearly be solely a manufacturer installed option, but if this technology is not important to you, we could leave it off the recommended list and it can be an area you can save some money.
The remote start comes as an option that can be either manufacturer installed or purchased as an aftermarket item. If you were looking to save money, and can do without one, then this is an item on which you can pass. I have the manufacturer installed one, where the remote start button is located on the Jeep’s key fob. Should you choose to get an aftermarket remote start later, you will be looking at adding to your Key Fob collection. Hopefully it won’t be as gargantuan as the Jeep’s fob.
The Safety Group is something that must be a manufacturer installed option due to the complexity of the sensor locations, and electronics involved. I am very happy with it’s performance on my Jeep, but it is an item that someone who is not interested in such technology can avoid, and save a little money in the process as well.
Selc-Trac is a newly added powertrain option to the transmission of the Jeep Wrangler JL. It is essentially useful when you have changing road conditions that are not optimal for the 4H 4WD setting.
To explain briefly, 4H in 4WD is good on unstable road conditions, such as dirt, gravel, snow or uneven off road terrain. Once you encounter firm or dry pavement conditions, it is recommended that you slow down to switch your transfer case to 2H RWD.
With Selec-Trac, Jeep owners who may be driving on highways with altering conditions from dry pavement to snow for example, can use the Selec-Trac to manage automatically the Jeep’s 4WD requirements.
Jeep Wrangler owners have done without this for years, but this newly added manufacturer installed option is highly recommended as a must have item. I have it, and it simply improves the driving experience for anyone driving up north in the winter. Look for a Cheaper Jeeper TV video coming soon on “How to Drive a 4WD vehicle”.
The Tow Package comes with a larger capacity battery and alternator, both the 4 pin and 7 pin connectors, as well as pre wired Aux Switches for other aftermarket items, like a winch, light bars, etc. A Tow Hitch can be installed aftermarket, but for the price and the upgrades mentioned, it’s an attractive package that I’d recommend, but some people won’t need that, so it can be one of those items left off the recommended list.
8.4” uConnect Premium Nav and Audio System
The 8.4” Premium Nav & Sound manufacturer installed upgrade is an option for those wishing a larger touchscreen than the already capable 7” stock Infotainment System. There are aftermarket upgrade options now available on the market, and as such this option can be put off for later if you needed to save money. However, it has been noted by manyAutomotive Journalists that the FCA Infotainment System is one of the best out there, and far superior than other premium automobile manufacturers’. So getting an aftermarket option might not be a better system.
Getting an upgrade to another wheel(rim) option from the manufacturer is definitely an area to save money. The Jeep already comes with a perfectly good set of aluminum wheels(rims) already. Paying up to $800-$900 to change the look to another set of manufacturer optioned wheels seemed wasteful to me. There are aftermarket ones that can be attained after you purchase the Jeep, and you can then sell your stock ones online afterwards. The Tips segment of Cheaper Jeeper TV’s Episode 4, which mirrors this article has more on this topic, and may prove helpful.
The Must Have Manufacturer Installed Options When Purchasing A New Jeep Wrangler
Thus as seen in the list above, some of the options available for consideration when buying a new Jeep Wrangler are only possible when ordered from the manufacturer. So when buying, you need to know this to make the right decisions. From my Jeep Wrangler ownership experience, I strongly believe the 5 Must Have Manufacturer Installed Options When Purchasing A New Jeep Wrangler are; Air Conditioning, Automatic Transmission, the LED Group, the Limited Slip Differential, and the Selec-Trac. I believe that having these items from the must have column will contribute to a much more enjoyable Jeep ownership experience.
As for waiting to purchase options in the aftermarket, links to aftermarket options referred to in this article can be found on this website’s Featured Products page.
(The information above is just my opinion as a Jeep Wrangler JL owner. I am not a mechanic and the information in this article is to be used for information and entertainment purposes only)
Do as others have, and pay the invoice price on a new Jeep Wrangler. It will help to become familiar with of a few terms involved in the sale of a new Jeep. Also, knowledge of some little known information and available resources will also help in your new Jeep purchase experience. Read below for tips on how and where to buy your new Jeep Wrangler at invoice price.
Initial Definition of Terms
To begin with, let’s clarify and develop a good understanding of the following terms related to a new Jeep purchase.
-INVOICE stands for the dollar value that the dealer says that the Jeep costs them.
-MSRP stands for the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. This is what the dealer wants you to pay. It is the number you will find on the window sticker on that new Jeep in the lot. It includes the Jeep and options asking price. The difference between the MRSP and the INVOICE is where the dealer makes some profit.
–FREIGHT(PDI) stands for the Freight or pre delivery inspection fee. The dealer makes some profit on this.
-ADMIN(DOC) an administration fee that would appear on your bill. The dealer makes some profit on this amount as well,
-OTHER fees can be conveniently tagged onto the final sales contract depending on dealership practices and location.
-TAXES such as sales and A/C taxes, and licensing charges, are costs added to the bill. The dealer does not realize any profit on these items.
That last item you can’t avoid. However, let’s focus on the initial terms, as you will learn below, they are not set in stone.
Additional Terms And Factors Involved In The Sale of a New Jeep Wrangler
It’s important to understand a couple of other important, but little known items behind the sale of a new Jeep Wrangler. An important term we need to understand is something called HOLDBACK. This is an extra amount of profit that the dealer receives from the manufacturer, after the sale of the Jeep. This is something a lot of people are not aware of. So the amount of profit to the dealer on a sale is more than you would be led to believe.
Some dealers might even share invoice costs to explain why they can’t negotiate too low a price. They will share with you that they have to make enough money above invoice to pay the bills. They won’t share with you the profit in HOLDBACK dollars that they will make from the sale of the Jeep.
Thus, dealer profit is realized from items in the initial list above, plus the HOLDBACK amount from the manufacturer. Holdback is to the tune of about 3% on a Jeep, so that’s $1,500 on a $50,000 Jeep Wrangler.
However, there is still another factor involved where the dealer realizes a profit beyond the aforementioned examples. This additional profit comes in the form of bonuses awarded for reaching benchmarks or quotas. The dealer earns additional dollars of profit on each and all of the already sold units upon achieving set quotas. This latter factor is what motivates large volume dealers at giving in a little when selling at invoice.
So all the items discussed here explain how some dealers are motivated to sell at INVOICE. Dealers still make enough profit on items, such as holdback, and bonuses for reaching quotas. That’s why making your offer at the end of the month can be helpful. Offers made at the end of the calendar year can also be profitable. Dealerships have “annual targets” that they may wish to achieve to put them beyond thresholds for annual bonuses.
Strategies And Resources To Purchase A New Jeep Wrangler At Invoice
A dealer may argue, that the supply and demand is such that they can’t negotiate much off of the MSRP. However. armed with the information above and the following strategies and resources, you can negotiate a better price.
Some strategies to use are:
1. -make an offer a few thousand dollars less than the MSRP, and try your best at negotiating a price
2. -enlist the help, for a fee, of a Haggle Free service, easily found online?
3. -google on-line Jeep forums for tips from other enthusiasts identifying their best deals for how much & where. (this one was key for me)
5. -finally, use any or all of the above strategies at the end of the month.
How And Where To Pay Invoice For A New Jeep Wrangler
So how does one determine what are the invoice prices of a new Jeep Wrangler JL and the desired options?, Also importantly, how can you find out which dealers are willing to play?
I paid INVOICE for my new Jeep Wrangler. The main strategy I used was Tip #3. I joined and searched on-line Jeep forums to look for tips from other Jeep enthusiasts. I googled, “Jeep Wrangler JL Ontario Invoice Prices Forums”. I was able to locate and print out a list of the INVOICE prices of the various Jeep Wrangler models. I was able to read and learn which dealerships would honour INVOICE pricing. You can do the same google search for your province or state as well.
So Yes You Can Pay Invoice For A New Jeep Wrangler
There are lots of other Cheaper Jeepers out there doing this. They are sharing their experiences, results, and information online, on the forums.(See link provided below)
For this author, the final dollar value out the door amounted to about 10-11% off the MSRP. So if you can’t find invoice information for the Jeep you want in your area, shoot for that percentage. Also, try to make your offer closer to the end of the month. In my area that’s not bad, although I have read in some states, some fellow Jeepers have done even better. Knowing the different sources of profit for the dealer on a new Jeep Wrangler sale, makes you an informed negotiator. It also makes you a more likely candidate at buying your new Jeep Wrangler at invoice price.
Of course this is not the whole picture of the new Jeep purchase experience. To learn more money saving tips on which manufacturer installed options to get, read 5 Must Have Manufacturer-Installed Options When Purchasing a New Jeep Wrangler.
The Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL, which is the better value? Some feel the purchase of the JK would be a better value over a JL. Is it? In 2018 the Jeep Wrangler JK and JL were both being manufactured. Therefore, for the sake of initial comparison of prices, comparing the 2018 JKs to the JLs makes sense. If one were to consider making a proper comparison of the 2018 JK to subsequent model years of the JL, one would have to involve accounting for any annual price increases, and other updates to the design. Therefore, to keep the comparison as fair and as simple as possible, the models we will choose for our comparison will be the 2018 JK & JL Sahara Unlimited. So let’s start our comparison by looking at the associated costs between the these two models.
In April 2018, a stock Jeep Wrangler JK Sahara Unlimited had an MSRP of $44,115, the 2018 JL Sahara Unlimited had an MSRP of $50,352. So at first glance the 2018 JK appears to be a better value than the 2018 JL, since $6,237 seems like a significant price differential for one to conclude that buying the JK was/is a better value. However, there are a couple of things we should also consider when trying to make a fair comparison.
JK vs JL Standard Features Comparison
Further in our comparison, it is prudent to consider some other differences beyond MSRP that may exist between the JK & JL. Important to note, for example, are some of the standard features on the JL that are not standard on the JK. Features such as, but not limited to; i) gas cap cover, ii) stiff grab bar handles, iii) door stops/detents, iii) grill inserts, and iv) a touchscreen head unit with Apple car Play and Android Auto.
Interestingly, as the table below illustrates, if one were to purchase aftermarket parts to upgrade the 2018 JK to match the 2018 JL standard features listed above, the cost differential would still be over ~$5,000. So at this point of our discussion, it’s not clear that we were wrong in our initial conclusion.
(Aftermarket costs used in the table below are estimates)
COST TO ATTAIN FEATURE for JK
Gas Cap Cover
Purchase of Gas Cap Cover
Hard Door Grab Handles
Purchase Steel Grab Handle Kit
Purchase Smart Door Detents
Purchase of Grill Inserts
Touch Screen Apply Car play.Android Auto wt Nav Head Unit
JK vs JL Upgrades In Design Comparison
However, beyond this list of standard items, the JL still has some additional upgrades in design, that the JK is lacking, such as; i) the elimination of hood flutter due to the inclusion of functional fender-vents, ii) a more comfortably tilted rear seat, iii) a rain gutter that goes all the way to the back of the Jeep, iv) HD Brakes, and v) larger fenders that can accomodate larger wheel upgrades, just to name a few. Although the JK lacks these upgrades is design, these items can still be addressed through aftermarket purchases. If one wanted to equalize the JK with the same features mentioned so far, the price differential is more like $3,500, as seen in the table below. Therefore, if the JK initially seemed like a better value due to the $6,237 savings in MSRP, one could possibly argue that after paying to upgrade the JK to have the same features as the JL, that there really isn’t a significant savings in the purchase of the 2018 JK model over the 2018 JL. With these added considerations, deciding if the JK Wrangler is a better value becomes less obvious, especially taking into account that not all aspects of the JL design are addressed in this analysis.
(Aftermarket costs used in the table below are estimates)
COST TO ATTAIN FEATURE for JK
Hood Flutter CTRL
Purchase Stronger Hood Latches
Rear Seat Tilt
Purchase Rear Seat Tilt Kit
Rain Gutter to the Back of the Jeep
Purchase Artificial Rain Gutter
Purchase Big Brake Kit for JK
Purchase Fender Upgrade
JK vs JL Design Improvements Comparison
Beyond this, the JL has some other design improvements that are not so easily addressed for the JK, through aftermarket purchases. The JL has; i) new styling inside and out, ii) a new 8 speed automatic transmission, iii) aluminum doors and tailgate, iv) improved fuel economy due to these and other significant drivetrain and design improvements, and v) improved visibility(accomplished by larger windows all the way around, lowering of the rear tire, and lowering the rear windshield wiper from obstruction of view). This is just to name a few. So the price differential between the two even becomes smaller, at around $3,500. The scope of this article will not delve deeper into some more of the technical improvements of the JL, but toss those in, along with the vast positive reviews of the JL, supported by record sales and the resale potential of the JL over the JK, well the price differential suddenly doesn’t seem as significant.
The Final Decision
Many factors should be taken into consideration when deciding if the Jeep Wrangler JK is a better value than the Jeep Wrangler JL. One must consider the MSRP, standard features, other upgrades and design improvements, when making that decision. Ultimately, in the final analysis, if you get what you want in what you can afford in a Jeep Wrangler JK or JL, then you are in the possession of a road worthy and iconic vehicle that is legendary for it’s off road capabilities as well. That sounds like a good value.
The costs used in this article for MSRP are accurate for April 2018 in Canadian dollars. The costs identified of aftermarket items in the article are estimates and would be dependent on the chosen vendor in 2018.
JK owners interested in links to aftermarket products mentioned in this article are invited to view them and more, on the Featured Products page of this website.
(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.)