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With summer approaching the halfway mark (sniff, sniff), my thinking suddenly switches from how much open-air riding time I have before me in my CJ-7 to how much riding time I have left!
Despite this seasonal milestone however, a lot of warm riding weather still lies ahead.
That’s why now is a perfect time to give your Jeep a mid-season tune-up — regardless of whether you own a vintage rig like me or a newer model such as a Grand Cherokee.
Following is my tried and true checklist to fine-tune your Jeep for the remaining weeks of summer fun and to get your Jeep ready for fall riding (another favorite riding season of mine).
Although there are only 2 items on my summer Jeep maintenance checklist, they are both vitally important to your rig’s well being.
#1 – Keep It Clean
I know I’ve mentioned this maintenance task before — or, to be more exact, this preventative maintenance task — but it simply can’t be overstated enough.
That’s right, cleaning your Jeep after every ride, particularly its undercarriage, is crucial to maintaining a well-operating machine.
More importantly, because mud and dirt can build up in the crevices of your vehicle and are hard to detect, getting your Jeep up on a lift mid-way through the summer (if possible) will enable you or your mechanic to give its underbelly a thorough cleaning.
The result? You’ll stave off a host of potential harmful issues down the road — such as corroded parts, clogged valves, and, worst of all, an engine that won’t start.
Although Jeep owners often consider dirt and mud a badge of honor, I’ve witnessed the harmful effects of Jeep-owner friends not getting dirt and grime off their vehicles in time. Trust me, you don’t want to go through that headache, expense, and even heartache.
#2 – Parts, Parts, Parts
The second task on my mid-summer maintenance checklist is to check all your vital components and accessories to make sure they’re in good working order.
That means really getting under the hood — or, in some cases, getting under the vehicle itself — to do a thorough inspection.
Although this may seem to go without saying, you’d be surprised at how many people keep putting off routine maintenance procedures until it’s too late and something detrimental happens to your ride because of it.
It’s also important to clue-in to your particular Jeep model and the parts need to be replaced on a regular basis. For instance, I’ve found that after even a month-plus of heavy summer driving, the shock absorbers on my CJ-7 often need to be replaced in order to keep my ride running smoothly (well, as smoothly as possible for a Jeep) and to maintain my comfort behind the wheel.
Odds are you’ll find something completely different that needs to be regularly replaced on your Jeep. The point is… stay in tune with your utility vehicle and make the appropriate upgrades or fine-tuning as necessary and as soon as possible.
Now, Keep Riding!
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the underside of your Jeep and checked to see that all of its parts and components are in good working order, it’s time to plot the second half of this stellar riding season.
For me, that means challenging myself to go on rides that I never thought I’d tackle, or rides that are beyond my backyard.
Regardless of your riding destination or your plans for the remainder of the summer in your Jeep, you’re vehicle will be good as long as you perform these simple, yet important Jeep maintenance tasks.
Plus, you’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’re being proactive about taking care of your beloved rig.
Now, here’s to a great rest of the summer riding season for all of us!
I’m a Jeeper from Portland, Oregon. In addition to jeeps, I enjoy sustainability and environmental issues, water quality, art history, and arts education. When I’m not exploring in my vintage CJ-7, I can be found trail running with my 7-year-old Golden Retriever or enjoying downtime with my 2 daughters.