Originally Posted by physicscholar
I'm looking into buying my first Wrangler (used of course and my first vehicle off a dealer lot). I'm wondering if now is the season to buy, or do I wait for spring when more people are trading in their slightly older models?
Something to watch out for: Wranglers are built to go off-road; sorry to belabor the obvious, but there it is. While not everyone takes em off-road, be wary of buying someone else's problem. Just because a Jeep has a lift and bigger tires doesn't mean either one was properly installed. A crappy lift can cause you very expensive problems not too far down the road. Add to that poor or incomplete installation, and we're talking financial tarbaby.
If you end up considering a used Jeep that's been modded, I'd advise you to take someone with you who can inspect it from a mechanical standpoint and tell you whether or not it's in sound shape. Preferably someone who knows Jeeps. You may find this shocking, but a lot of dealers don't know enough about Wranglers to mod them properly.
There's a temptation to buy a Jeep with tall lifts and big tires. In most instances I'd steer clear of this. Unless you plan on rock crawling, you don't need a lift over 2.5" - 3" on a Wrangler. More than enough to run 35" tires – although both lift and tires of that size generally require several other expensive mods, to do em right.
Personally, I'd much prefer to buy a stock Jeep and mod it myself. That way, if something goes wrong, I can curse myself. Much more satisfying than railing ineffectually at some moron whose name I'll never know.