Jeeps are amazing vehicles. There is nothing else like them. There are very few things that will make you feel like they do. There is a reason we fall in love with them.
Even though, generally speaking, Jeeps are well built vehicles and easy to work on, they do tend to have a lot of issues.
Here is what to watch out for when buying a used one.
- The XJ had a 17 year model run and there are some important differences between the models. Jeep switched up the transfer cases at one point. The later 90’s ones have a more robust one – NP42 is the preferred one.
- Rear main seals tend to go bad around 100k+ miles. Look for oil covering the oil pan – although you can live with this
- If you hear a grinding noise coming from the engine, the water pump is bad – again around 100k+ miles – relatively cheap and simple to fix
- Check the aux coolant tank. If its very low, chances are there is a coolant leak.
- Check the serpentine belt pulleys to make sure they are good. Make sure the power steering one does not wobble and make sure the AC compressor is not binding.
- If it cranks for a while before starting, it could be a clogged fuel filter/bad fuel pump. You have to take the gas tank off to replace it.
- If you hear any kind of clunking while turning, one of the front axle U-joints could be bad. That’s a cheap part, but a PITA fix.
- Look for brake fluid leaks where the master cylinder connects to the brake booster in the engine compartment on the driver’s side. If its leaking, it could start binding up your brakes in hot weather
- Aside from that oil leaks, the XJ is pretty solid as far as being able to get you from A to B, assuming you have a little oil and coolant left in it.