Jeep Wrangler TJ Buying Guide

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Jeep Wrangler TJ Buying Guide

Jeeps have a long history, having cut their teeth in wartime by proving the military with a vehicle able to take on nearly any terrain. They still have a reputation for reliability and sturdiness on the surface roads and in the bush. When you are considering a Jeep Wrangler TJ, be sure to have all the necessary information to hand before beginning your search.

 

Features of the Wrangler TJ

Wrangler TJs feature a number of different trim levels, top and door configuration, and different amenities. Four cylinder models are base models and can feature optional air conditioning, but mostly they are lower end vehicles with basic interiors and exteriors. The Sport and Wrangler X models featured some popular options, although most sport owners opted for the basic package. The Sahara models offered fender flares, side steps, air conditioning, cruise control, and intermittent wipers. However, due to the added weight of options, most off-roading purists prefer the stripped down versions. Longer and wider than its predecessors, and available in a four-door version, there is a decent amount of space in all Wrangler TJ models. In both soft-top and clip-on roof system, the TJ is still a basic get out and bust the bush vehicle.

 

Wrangler TJ Engines and Transmissions

While there are a number of different models of the TJ, they all fall into specific engine and transmission combinations based on year.

 

Engine

Years

Transmission Option

2.5-litre

1997 through 2002

3-speed automatic

5-speed manual

2.4-litre

2003 through 2006

4-speed automatic

2.4-litre

2003 through 2004

5-speed manual

2.4-litre

2005 through 2006

6-speed manual

4.0-litre

1997 through 2002

3-speed automatic

4.0-litre

2003 through 2006

4-speed automatic

4.0-litre

1997 through 1999

5-speed manual

4.0-litre

2000 through 2004

5-speed manual

4.0-litre

2005 through 2006

6-speed manual

 

Many people prefer the manual transmissions for the control they give drivers over rough terrain.
 

Examine the Vehicle and Paperwork

Be sure to inspect the vehicle carefully during daylight hours in dry conditions from bumper to tail light. VIN numbers located under the bonnet, at the base of the windscreen, and under the carpet by the driver's side door should match with each other and the log book. The body of the vehicle should be free of ripples, paint mismatches, uneven panel gaps, and rust. Check that the doors close snuggly.

 

Test Drive the Vehicle

The test drive is a very important part of the buying process. With the engine cold, start the car and look for any blue smoke coming from the exhaust. Blue smoke indicates the vehicle is burning oil. The engine should run smoothly without shaking or hesitation. Check that all features are working and pay particular attention to the temperature gauge, which should stay around the middle of the scale. Be sure the brakes are working well and check the tyres for uneven wear.

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