What to look for when purchasing a used JKU

#1
Hello all,

I've got a friend that is looking to purchased a used JKU in the Dallas, TX area. She has a $20k budget. I wanted to know if y'all can give me some advise as to what to look for or what to stay away from. I believe her plan to is to drive it for the next 3 years and then hand it over to her son. Any help is appreciated.

Topher
 

Brian

Jeep Fanatic
#2
IMHO, look for one with the 3.6L engine in it. The 3.8 was a dog and I believe it also had a head recall.

Check the CarFax. Jeeps are tough to buy used because so many things can happen to them. I have seen more Jeeps in my area have the engine rebuilt or replaced because it had ingested water.

Have it looked at by a mechanic if you are not good with cars. If it does not drive like a normal car, I would have the bushings in the control arms and the ball joints checked.

These vehicles can be expensive to repair if you get the wrong one.

Watch out for Jeeps from the floods we have had with the Hurricanes.
 
#3
Make sure the heater on the driver side blows good hot heat. If not it could have the dreaded engine mold sand clogging it up. $1,100.00 repair bill if done by Jeep to replace the heater core. Not an easy task. Should have been recalled IMHO.
 
#4
Look for something as stock as possible. That way she isn't buying someone else's failed build. Lessons from buying my Jeep- if you can't find a rubicon, try and find something with the 3.73 axles. I've got a JK with a 2.5 lift, manual transmission, and "almost 33's". If I'm driving into a head wind? Forgetaboutit. I feel like I have to lean forward to get as much power as I can. We'll be regearing shortly. :)
 

Pthorpe84

Moderator
Staff member
#5
I would tell you to get under the rig and look for signs of abuse and wheeling. Not that it means anything is wrong with it, but the chances are higher. Pull on the front tires. Listen for popping or excessive movement. Could need ball joints. Get a 3.6. The 2012’s had an oil issue I believe. Make sure the 4WD works. If it looks wheeled, you may want to follow the jeep down the road and look to see if the rear wheels move side to side. Could mean a bent flange.


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Pthorpe84

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Make sure the heater on the driver side blows good hot heat. If not it could have the dreaded engine mold sand clogging it up. $1,100.00 repair bill if done by Jeep to replace the heater core. Not an easy task. Should have been recalled IMHO.
What year had these issues?


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#7
Thanks for the advise. Unfortunately my friend with an actual car, boring. I will keep this advise in mind when searching for the next rig.
 
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