Every vehicle requires routine maintenance to maintain the health of the car and ensure the driver’s safety. Vintage Jeeps are no exceptions and typically require extra love, care, and knowledge to restore and operate. Certain aspects of a vintage Jeep will require maintenance even without a warning sign, so it’s critical to understand these aspects and keep up with them periodically.
The primary goal of maintaining your Jeep’s health is to keep you safe while driving, avoid costly repairs down the road, and prevent you from being stranded while on a ride. While accidents can happen, keeping up on routine maintenance efforts can minimize the risk of unexpected issues, in addition to giving your vintage Jeep a long, smooth life. This is the ultimate guide to keeping your Jeep road ready.
Replace the Air Filter
You should consider changing the air filter about every 20,000 miles. However, this mile marker will vary depending on your Jeep’s activity. Your Jeep’s engine needs clean air to run through it, and this is a relatively simple fix you can do at home. If you spent the time restoring the Jeep, you might already know how to replace the air filter.
For those who take their Jeep off-roading or in areas where there is excessive dust and debris, you want to change the frequency of replacement to accommodate the environment. Generally, you should look to swap air filters every 10,000.
Monitor the Tire Pressure
You can optimize the life of your tires by monitoring the tire pressure. The side of each tire will tell you the best PSI for performance so follow these guidelines to ensure they’re set correctly. Over time, tires lose air and temperature fluctuations can alter their ability to hold air. You risk wheel alignment and tire damage when the tires are not properly balanced or at the correct pressure.
Consider carrying a handheld tire pressure gauge in the glovebox to ensure you can keep up on them regardless of location. Additionally, if you take your vintage Jeep off the road, through rocky terrain and uneven ground, you want to ensure you can lower the tire pressure to a more suitable amount so the Jeep can crawl easier across the grounds.
Not only can you adjust and maintain the tire pressure per experience, but you also want to maximize your fuel economy when you’re driving around town or on paved roads. The balance and overall traction of the tires will directly impact total fuel consumption.
Rotate the Tires
Another essential to-do with your tires is rotations. Rotating your tires does not need to happen as often as monitoring tire pressure, but it should occur around every 10,000 miles. To make it easier to track, consider adding tire rotation to your air filter log to ensure you’re consistent.
When you rotate the tires, you can optimize the lifespan of all your tires. Some wear faster than others, and you can mitigate the damages by rotating them around. In the long run, this can save you money and time on replacing a rather expensive set of wheels. The common rotation pattern includes swapping the rear tires for the front tires and switching sides.
Typically, you want to have the alignment checked and balanced around the time you rotate your tires. This can ensure you are maximizing your fuel efficiency after a rotation, as well as decreasing the risk of pulling. Commonly, what can happen is one tire will not adjust to the new location and cause a pulling effect on the entire vehicle. This makes it difficult to navigate and poses an extreme safety hazard.
Have your tires re-aligned when you complete a rotation. And to keep the tires on a schedule of their own, you should consider performing an alignment check after 20,000 miles.
Examine or Replace Brakes
Brakes wear naturally through time and use, so it’s vital to examine the pads and rotors. Simply monitoring their wear can help you stay ahead of any grinding noises and give you a better opportunity to predict when it’s time to replace them. Ideally, you will want to replace all four at once.
Your Jeep’s brake pads will typically carry you about 30,000 miles before it’s time to check or replace them. Depending on how active you are with the Jeep, these mile markers may vary. If you’re only using your vintage Jeep for a cruise or show car, you can wait up to 50,000 miles before you may need to replace the pads.
Check All Fluid Levels
Like the tires, your vintage Jeep contains many fluids that will all need monitoring, replaced, or refilled periodically. These fluids are essential to the health of the Jeep’s engine and basic functions. By keeping these fluids clean and full, you can prevent avoidable incidents and provide your Jeep with the best opportunity to prosper.
Each fluid may come with its own maintenance factors, and generally, some wear faster than others. So any time you plan to check the engine oil, consider performing a routine check on any other fluids under the hood. Another thing to factor in is your Jeep’s activity levels. Similar to the air filter, if you’re often in dirty environments, your fluids will take on more debris and will need replacing with clean fluid more frequently.
Some key fluids to monitor include:
- Transmission fluid
- Radiator fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
Change the Oil
By far one of the most vital maintenance factors for a vintage Jeep is changing the oil. An ultimate guide would not be complete without this piece of advice. Poorly maintaining the oil can wreak havoc on your Jeep in addition to taking a toll on the engine. Clean oil is vital to the engine’s ability to perform at optimum rates.
Many are capable of changing the oil at home, but it’s imperative to remember to let the old oil thoroughly empty from the reservoir before adding new oil.
If you have a vintage Jeep that is ready for maintenance, be sure to check out our Kaiser Willys Jeep parts to ensure you have the necessary components. Army Jeep Parts offer a full range of quality and custom Jeep parts to fit a range of vintage and classic models. Connect with us today to learn more about maintenance, parts, and Jeeps!