Join Date: Apr 2001
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Re: When will the engine croak?
Not a question that can be easily answered. Way too many factors are involved... it's kinda like asking when people will croak... many factors - ...smoke? ...eat fatty foods? ...drink coffee? ...exercise? ...eat fruit? ...bungee jump? ...eat red meat? ...talk back to your mother? ...eat vegetables? ...play in the street? ...feel the need to push the red button? Are you an Alaskan King Crab Fisherman? Any of these and more, together with how much of any or each, will affect how long and how healthy people will live.
Apply similar to an engine.
The 2.5L 4cyl and 4.0L 6cyl Jeep engines can start showing problems well under 100k miles if they are abused and/or neglected. However, either is also very able to provide reliable service well over 200k if given proper care and usage.
How old of a Jeep are you thinking? What kind of money are you thinking? Generally the Jeep engines are durable and will give many years of service if well cared for - key is care.
You should have some idea of history to determine life left. If you can't get history... inspect closely. How does it (the engine and engine compartment and transmission and underside of the Jeep) look? Evidence of oil leaks? Clean or messy? Does it look as if it was just cleaned or does it look like it has been kept clean? Any RTV around gasket surfaces? (valve cover, manifolds, timing cover, thermostat hsg... etc) This is indicator that work has been done to the engine - what work? why? Are fluids clean? Is a milky film on underside of oil fill cap? Air filter clean? Other filters clean? Hoses & belts in good shape or cracked/rotted? Look at the plugs and do a compression check if the owner will allow it? Question why if he/she says "no". How does it start, idle, run, drive when cold? How does it start, idle, run, drive when warmed? Any smoke when starting cold? Any smoke when warm? What does the exhaust smell like cold and warm(smell of oil, coolant, or unspent fuel could be not good)? Is exhaust steady flow (good) or it is random pops (not so good)? Hang a leaf or small piece of paper over the tailpipe outlet... is it blown by steady stream of exhaust (good thing)? or is it sometimes sucked back against the tailpipe (not good thing)?
IMHO - Buying any vehicle is a gamble. Used vehicles are more of a gamble. The more you know about a used vehicle's history the less risk in your gamble. Bring a mechanical friend with you to inspect. Do your best to ascertain current condition and past maint/use - the key.
Fill your profile. Post specific questions here about prospects... people on this bbs got the knowin' of alot of things ...maybe you could even get someone to go check out a Jeep with you.