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Jeep Repairs: The Parts of Your Vehicle to Keep an Eye On

Jeep Repairs to Keep an Eye On

Jeeps are a very popular vehicle in Colorado. Due to the famously tough terrain and heavy snowfall, people need a vehicle they can be confident will get them to where they need to be no matter the obstacle. Jeeps are tough, there’s no question about it. However, like any vehicle, they will run into issues eventually. While you may not need too many of them, being aware of the most common Jeep repairs will benefit you. It can sometimes be hard to tell when exactly your vehicle needs service.


Don’t Get Caught by Surprise


One thing that often happens with Jeep owners is that they’ll come in for service and be shocked to hear that they need a lot of work done. The good thing about Jeeps, and this may sound like a double-edged sword actually, is that they tend to continue to run pretty well even if there are underlying problems. It’s not uncommon to hear things like “I need that much work done? I haven’t had to get anything fixed on this Jeep in years.”


Obviously, no one likes to get caught by surprise like this. This is especially true when it comes to vehicle maintenance. The good thing is there are only a few major issues that are seen somewhat consistently when it comes to Jeeps. Once they are fixed, you can pretty much bet on the fact your Jeep will be able to stay on the road for many more miles. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every single model of vehicle has its own unique quirks and issues. You may not experience any of these common problems and in fact, could be experiencing something completely different. The following repairs, however, are the ones that have been encountered the most often, so keep an eye out for these issues.


Suspension Components


Suspension components, including track bars, drag links, ball joints, and tie rod ends, tend to be the most commonly damaged components that require replacement or repair when someone brings their Jeep in for service. This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering very few people purchase Jeeps just to commute to and from work. Usually, a Jeep gets put through its paces on some pretty unforgiving terrain which puts great strain on the suspension as you’re driving over unpaved land or large rocks and considerably high speeds.


In fact, suspension issues are so common with Jeeps that the problem has developed its own interestingly creative name amongst Jeep owners: the Jeep Death Wobble. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, however that uncontrollable wobble isn’t something you really want to be driving on for any significant amount of time so if you’re noticing a wobble, bring your Jeep in for service as soon as you can so it can be fixed.


Cooling Components


Obviously, keeping your engine cool is necessary to keep it running. Many Jeeps eventually have an issue where something goes wrong with the cooling system. This goes beyond making sure that you change your coolant when required. While this is important, the components themselves need to be minded. The water pumps and radiator have a tendency to need to be repaired. Both of these issues can reveal themselves in similar ways. Keep an eye out for any coolant leaks. Check your thermostat occasionally. Generally, when a water pump or the radiator itself is experiencing issues, the engine temperature will run too high, which is a recipe for an expensive and potentially dangerous situation. Check for cracked or damaged pumps every so often to get out ahead of the issue.


Axle Shaft U-Joints


Here is another issue related to the handling of your vehicle. Again, no surprise here. 4 x 4 vehicles often need to have their axle shaft U-joints changed. This is especially true if you off-road often. Eventually, the damage is done. While it can be hard to tell when a U-joint goes bad, there are some telltale signs. Keep an ear out for squeaking while driving, a clunking sound while shifting, vibrations while you drive, and transmission fluid leaking. All of these “symptoms” could be another issue. Regardless of the root cause, it’s not going to be something good, so be sure to bring your Jeep in for service if you experience any of these things.


Routine Maintenance


Those are a few of the most common repairs that we see come through when it comes to Jeeps. But, that doesn’t mean those are the only issues you may run into. All vehicles are susceptible to similar problems when it comes to not staying on top of routine maintenance. Jeeps are no different, even though they can run well for a long time without any noticeable problems. Here is what you have to make sure you’re mindful of as you drive your Jeep over the years.


It’s very important to stay on top of your oil changes. The sticker on your windshield isn’t meant to just guilt you into bringing your vehicle in. It’s important to get your oil changed very 4,000 to 5,000 miles so there isn’t a chance for old oil to gunk up the engine with pollutants. If oil isn’t changed often enough, dirt and other solid material can build up in the engine, drastically shortening the life of the engine, if not the vehicle itself.


Another bit of maintenance to be aware of, especially with Jeeps, is the state of your tires. Since you’ve probably bought a Jeep to handle tough terrain and intense weather conditions, it’s doubly important to make sure your tires are up to the task of handling it. This includes checking your tread, making sure you have enough pressure in your tires, making sure your tires are properly aligned, and actually having the right kinds of tires for the terrain you’re going to be spending most of your time driving on. Remember, it’s not just about off-roading. There are specific tires for summer and winter months to offer better handling. This is especially important when talking about heavy snowfall.


By keeping up with the maintenance on your vehicle you can help ensure that you’ll be able to drive your Jeep for longer.




Most likely you bought your Jeep because you wanted a vehicle that was tough and could take anything you threw at it. Colorado is famous for its rugged terrain and many drivers like to have the ability to off-road when the mood strikes. As tough as your Jeep is, however, inevitably it will need to be repaired at some point. If you haven’t had your Jeep looked at lately or you’ve noticed that something doesn’t seem right when you drive it, it’s time to take it in for a look. Addressing issues before they become major problems, including keeping up with routine maintenance, will actually end up saving you money in the long run. Call us today to schedule an appointment to bring in your Jeep so we can provide the service needed. At Independent Motors, we have years of experience servicing Jeeps at a fair price. Let us help you keep your Jeep on the road for many years to come.



What You Need to Know About Getting Your Jeep or Toyota Ready for 4 Wheel Driving

4-Wheel Driving

At Independent Motors we specialize in Jeep repair and  Toyota repair services, amongst many other popular brands. We don’t just focus on repairs, though. Ongoing maintenance is an important part of owning a vehicle. Not only does it help prolong the number of years you can keep your vehicle, it also helps save you money over time by preventing situations where serious repairs would be necessary. Of course, your safety is another concern that can be addressed with regular maintenance.


One of the things you’ll think about if you’re the owner of a Jeep or Toyota SUV is the 4 wheel drive capabilities. It can come in very handy in a few different situations. In the summer, it would most likely be off-roading or driving through difficult terrain, like a muddy area. In the winter, it’s almost required if you live somewhere with a lot of snow. So, preparing your car for 4 wheel driving is of the utmost importance so you can take advantage of this feature safely.


If you haven’t taken your Jeep or Toyota in yet for the season in order to get it prepared for 4 wheel driving, you should. There are some routine repairs that need to be done and things to look for in order to be ready. We’ll look at what you need to know about 4 wheel drive and how to get your vehicle ready to engage 4 wheel drive.


First, let’s address what 4 wheel drive actually is and how it differs from all wheel drive which is something that people sometimes use interchangeably. They are quite different from one another.


What is 4 Wheel Drive?


Vehicles typically come with 2 wheel drive, 4 wheel drive, and all wheel drive. The last two are often confused, so we’ll address that in a bit. Most vehicles have 2 wheel drive, with the vehicle either having front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. If you’re someone that lives in a pretty moderate climate without significant snow accumulation, extreme weather, or demanding driving conditions, then two wheel drive is probably fine. As far as the difference between rear wheel drive or front wheel drive, front wheel will generally handle better in demanding conditions and is often less demanding fuel wise. Performance will take a hit, however. Then again, you probably don’t really need any kind of performance if this is the family sedan. Rear-wheel drive offers better handling but isn’t good in the snow.


4 wheel drive, however, is the best choice for difficult driving conditions including snow or mud. In fact, 4 wheel drive was designed with off-roading in mind. Basically, if your vehicle is listed as 4×4, all 4 wheels will turn when the steering wheel is engaged, instead of just the 2. But, isn’t that what all wheel drive does? There is a difference, actually.


How Does 4 Wheel Drive Differ from All Wheel Drive?


The two types have different use cases, though they are pretty similar. Essentially, 4 wheel drive is disengaged on your vehicle by default. You have to turn it on when you feel like it’s necessary. So, if you find yourself in a blizzard all of a sudden, hitting the switch or pulling the lever that engages 4 wheel drive is something you’re going to want to do.


All wheel drive, on the other hand, is an automatic process that your vehicle handles for you. It’s always “on” basically, but your car does all the thinking. It does this through the use of sensors. The sensors will alert the car’s computer that your wheels are having difficulty getting traction, so power will be redirected to the appropriate tire.


All-wheel drive is convenient if you don’t deal with heavy snowfall and you don’t intend to go off-roading. However, the sensors tend to not be able to keep up in harsh conditions, so you have a higher chance of getting stuck. That’s why 4 wheel drive is the best choice when you need all the power you can get to control your vehicle. Sure, you’ll need to manually engage, but it’s simple enough and you’ll be able to better navigate the conditions you’re in.


Your vehicle having 4×4 capability is one thing. Safely engaging is another. Your vehicle has to be properly tuned up for it. Here is what you need to know regarding proper maintenance and why you should bring your vehicle in to be seen by a mechanic.


Tune-Ups and Maintenance


There are a few things you want to be sure of in order to make sure your vehicle can handle the demands of something like off roading.


The first thing you’ll want to ensure that your Jeep or Toyota has is the proper ground clearance. You’ll need a fair amount of space between the underside of your vehicle and the ground below. If you don’t raise your undercarriage far enough from the ground, you’re risking serious damage if you drive over something like a large rock or impacted ice.


You’ll also want to get your wheel travel looked at. Traction and stability are key when it comes to dangerous conditions, whether you’re driving through them for fun or necessity. Getting your axles inspected along with your suspension is highly recommended.


Low-end torque is also useful when intending to drive over difficult terrain. Unless you’re a gearhead who enjoys fiddling with the engine, you’ll need a mechanic to optimize the engine for this. A combination of improving flowing exhausts and intake systems, replacing spark plugs, and more all goes into this. Basically, low-end torque allows you to better get over obstacles with a touch of the pedal compared to having to floor it.


You’ll also want to protect the underside of your vehicle with skid plates. Skid plates can protect vital parts of your vehicle like the gas tank. Different skid plates cover different parts of the undercarriage where a sudden jolt can break things.


Finally, there are your tires. It’s so important to make sure your tires are in good working condition. It’s always recommended you get your tires checked once a year, regardless of 4 wheel driving or anticipating extreme driving conditions. Checking tire pressure, tread, and alignment are all important. Additionally, you want the right tires for the right weather conditions. Having snow tires is a must if you live somewhere where you need 4 wheel drive to get through the snow accumulation.



If you have a Jeep or Toyota vehicle that has 4 wheel drive as a feature, you have to make sure that it’s in good condition to take advantage of the capability. Driving in tough conditions, whether it be serious snow accumulations or muddy off-roading, can be both dangerous and damaging to your car if it isn’t in the proper condition to handle it. Just knowing you have 4 wheel drive isn’t enough. If you haven’t had your vehicle inspected recently, contact us today to schedule an appointment. The team of experts at Independent Motors is here to provide you with the tune-ups you need at a fair price so you can enjoy your vehicle to the fullest.