If you’ve just bought a new Cherokee and are looking for tips on how to maintain it, you have come to the right place. We are here to tell you all you need to know about your car and tell you about the only Jeep Cherokee maintenance schedule you’ll ever need.
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What Makes the Cherokee Great?
The Cherokee is the 11th most popular car in the US, while its higher-end model, the Grand Cherokee, ranks 9th in the popularity charts. With a strong heritage and off-road reliability, there are a few reasons that contribute to the brand’s greatness (Jeep Cherokee SUV in-depth review – Carbuyer – YouTube).
Not Your Average Jeep
When the Cherokee first came out in 1984, the vehicle boasted a sleeker design than the Jeeps that came before it. The Cherokee was also the first Jeep with a sleek and light, unibody frame that allowed the SUV to have an impressive curb weight of 3,000 pounds.
Known for its great towing capacity, the Cherokee has always been the go-to for enthusiasts who hitch their ATVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles to their cars to go out for an adrenaline-packed weekend.
Off-Roading to the Limits
Built for driving on and off the road, the Cherokee boasts an impressive ground clearance and a great 4×4 drive, making it an incredible SUV to go off-roading in.
The Complete Package
The Cherokee is known for its capability as an SUV with great features and comfort and exceptional off-roading potential.
Jeep Cherokee Maintenance Schedule
Regardless of great a vehicle is, it needs to be serviced from time to time to keep it performing reliably. For this, we have put together a Jeep Cherokee maintenance schedule to help you get the best performance and longevity from your car. Regular maintenance for any car includes:
- Changing consumable fluids for the brake, motor oil, radiator coolant, steering wheel, battery, and transmission.
- Replacing items such as wiper blades, spark plugs, brake pads, drive belts, air filters, oil and air filters, timing belts or chains, alternator belts, and the air conditioner’s compressor belt.
- Checking for leaks in hoses, particularly the radiator, as any loss of pressure caused by leaks or loose connections can damage the car.
- Inspecting the braking system, power windows, sunroof and mirrors, and the steering system is essential after the car has been driven 100,000 miles.
It would be best if you inspected consumables such as wiper fluid, motor oil, brake oil, coolant levels, fuel, and tire pressure at every fuel stop. We advise doing a quick walkaround of your car every time you drive it to visually inspect for any problems.
Guide to Maintaining Your Jeep Cherokee
The first service is due at 6,000 miles, after the car has crossed the initial break-in period, but should be conducted at every 6,000 miles. This maintenance involves:
- Oil and oil filter change.
- Inspect the brakes, tires, battery, and hoses.
- Tire rotation to distribute wear.
Every 2 years or 20,000 miles, you should conduct some additional inspections on your Cherokee to keep yourself safe and reduce damage to the vehicle’s components. This inspection includes:
- Check the condition of the braking lines and the parking brake to avoid any possible failures.
- Inspect CV joints for signs of damage on the rubber present on the wheel axle or grease leaks.
- Ensure that the suspension is in good working order.
Air Filter and Cabin Air Filter
The engine air filter is present in the engine bay and cleanses the air used to cool the vehicle’s engine to prevent harmful particles from entering and damaging the engine.
Cabin air filters are used to filter out dust, mold, and allergens from the air before passing through the climate control system to keep occupants of the vehicle safe.
Both air filters should be replaced every 3 years or 15,000 to 30,000 miles depending on the area you live in and your driving habits. If you take your Jeep off-roading often, you should replace the filters every 10,000 miles.
These are some tell-tale signs that you need to replace your engine air filter:
- The engine seems to choke while starting up.
- Sluggish acceleration.
- Dark smoke from the exhaust.
- A service light turns on in the gauge cluster (not applicable for older models).
- Increased fuel consumption.
- Odd noises while the engine idles.
Similarly, here is how you can tell that you need to swap out your cabin air filter:
- Reduced airflow from the vents.
- Strange sounds coming from the vents when the climate control is turned on.
- A foul smell is present in the car’s cabin.
Typically, you should service the air conditioning unit of any car every 2 years. Signs that your AC needs maintenance include:
- The unit doesn’t cool like it used to.
- A musty smell is present when the AC is turned on.
Every 100,000 miles, you should change your Cherokee’s spark plugs for the 2.4L and the 3.2L models. For the 2.0L model, you need to change the spark plugs at intervals of 60,000 miles. Spark plugs create the spark needed to ignite fuel to start the engine and keep it running smoothly. Here are some signs that indicate you to replace your car’s spark plugs:
- Bumpy or jerky ride because of inconsistent throttle response.
- Poor fuel efficiency.
- More toxic emissions from the exhaust can show up in state inspections.
- Knocking sounds are audible from the engine due to spark plug misfiring.
The only thing that comes between your vehicle and the road is your car’s tires, so it is good practice to invest in premium tires and regularly inspect them. Checking your tire pressure every time you are at a gas station ensures good tire health and improved fuel efficiency.
You should expect tires to last between 25,000 to 50,000 miles under regular driving conditions; however, tire changes as frequently as every 10,000 miles may be needed if you go off-roading. It is good practice to inspect tires yearly 5 years after their production to ensure that they are in good condition, and they must be changed after 10 years, even if they show no signs of wear.
Tires should be immediately replaced if they start cracking or if the tire tread depth reaches 1/16th of an inch since shallow treads are highly dangerous and illegal to drive on.
Signs that You Need Maintenance
Even if you are conducting all the required maintenance on time for your Jeep Cherokee, a maintenance schedule does not guarantee that your car will be free from problems. If you notice a strange cracking noise, feel that your engine loses power while driving or the car is sluggish, or hear grinding noises, it is a good idea to have your car inspected.
At times, factors other than mileage can contribute to the deterioration of your vehicle’s consumables, such as exposure to a very dusty environment can lead to quicker degradation of your engine’s air filter. It is advisable to change your engine coolant if you see any sedimentation in the tank to avoid engine damage or erratic behavior.
If your car shows signs of rust, you should look into what is causing it and the extent of the damage to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t encounter any problems.
Reasons Why You Should Follow a Maintenance Schedule
It is essential that you service your Jeep Cherokee following a strict maintenance schedule, as this ensures that you replace aging parts when they need to be swapped out to prevent damage to other components. Regular maintenance checks help keep long-term bills low and ensure that your vehicle performs to its peak ability while maintaining reliability.
We hope that this Jeep Cherokee maintenance schedule helps you to keep your car in great running condition. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact us by clicking here [link to email].