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Old 03-06-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
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What to look for in used JK Rubicon

Hello! Looking to get into a used (new to me) 2007-2011 Rubi Unlimited. In looking at used what things should I be aware of, problem areas? I plan on modding myself, so looking to buy completely stock to start with.

Found a 2008 Red Rubi w/ 40,000 miles, asking 23,998. Gave it a once over in the lot, did not see any leaks underneath or anything else that signaled an issue.....

The rest I have found in my area have been between 25k and 30k asking price at dealerships.

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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Be patient
Look for one with some factory warranty left, and buy only from a jeep dealership.
Jeeps will be taking off road and some wheeled hard, especially a rubicon. Don't want someone else's trash. You can google the year and find any TSB's/recalls associated with it.
Biggest issues I've seen are leaks and oil consumption.

I bought my 07 in July with 35K. Minor clutch noises that I learned to live with but overall no serious problems.

Good luck

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Old 03-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Be patient
Look for one with some factory warranty left, and buy only from a jeep dealership.
Jeeps will be taking off road and some wheeled hard, especially a rubicon. Don't want someone else's trash. You can google the year and find any TSB's/recalls associated with it.
Biggest issues I've seen are leaks and oil consumption.

I bought my 07 in July with 35K. Minor clutch noises that I learned to live with but overall no serious problems.

Good luck
Cool, thanks.....I found another in Black/Auto with 13,000 miles / certified / and they include a 7yr / 100000 mile warranty, asking $29,999.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckyou

Cool, thanks.....I found another in Black/Auto with 13,000 miles / certified / and they include a 7yr / 100000 mile warranty, asking $29,999.


What year?

10-11 and now you venturing into the "I can just buy new for that cost" territory
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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What year?

10-11 and now you venturing into the "i can just buy new for that cost" territory
2011
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckyou

2011
Save a few bucks
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Save a few bucks
yeah, thought so, going to setup an appt to look at it maybe this weekend. Hopefully I can get them to come off the price more.....thinking so.

What do you think final selling price would be....27k?
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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Also, unless your paying cash, look at the interest rate on used vs. new. In the long run, you may not be saving much, and the '12s are much better in the horsepower area.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckyou

yeah, thought so, going to setup an appt to look at it maybe this weekend. Hopefully I can get them to come off the price more.....thinking so.

What do you think final selling price would be....27k?
I have no idea. Pricing varies in different locations. I'm pretty sure you have room for Negotiation.

I feel I did OK.

KBB/NADA was 27k for my 07 with low miles for the year. Asking 24.5K and I paid 23k (total)

Looked and drove brand new
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10
Jeeps will be taking off road and some wheeled hard, especially a rubicon. Don't want someone else's trash.
Check the skid plates and oil pan and differentials. If there are dents it was wheeled hard enough to damage the underside. If it is scratched underneath it was wheeled decently hard at times but not terrible. Try to find one without scratches or dents
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkjeeper06

Check the skid plates and oil pan and differentials. If there are dents it was wheeled hard enough to damage the underside. If it is scratched underneath it was wheeled decently hard at times but not terrible. Try to find one without scratches or dents
Like mine

Soccer mom owned... Seriously, it was
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:24 PM   #12
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what to look for...

here are the things i'd take a closer look at after having bought my first used jeep (07 Sahara Unlimited) -
door hinges - if they are bubbling, it means there is rust & they should be sandblasted & repainted or replaced. this is a common problem (see multiple threads)
doors - make sure you are able to remove them at the dealership (see "door hinges".
tops - mine has a hard top which is great for northern winters. try to find one with the dual top option.
heat shields - this jeep and my original Cherokee (years ago) both have problems with heat shields that rattle on acceleration.
rust - look for rust along the rockers, the frame and around the inside weld of the tailgate.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:34 PM   #13
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It took me a whole year to find my choice 08JK Sahara....cream puff show room new condition 15000 from a sun bunny widower who was gone most of the year to her condo and only drove on pavement 3 months during summer.

There are a TON of used Jeeps out there, I drove nearly 2 dozen and had all but settled on a new one.....until a killer deal (OK....15 months ago I paid $21000) came along....which by that amount of exposure made me understand what the market was, what to look for, what I wanted....and what really WAS a 'good deal'.

Opinions vary, so here's what ~I~ did notice:

4 groups of Jeeps:

Price group 1) "NEW" and under 15k miles;
Price group 2) 30-60K used/not abused miles;
Price group 3) 65-95K gracefully aging
Price group 4) 100K + ; modified, running/with issues; "needs a little work";

Assuming road worthy and minimal wrenching demands, I limited my choices to Group 1.

Although I wasn't after a cosmetic Queen, my mechanic about had a seizure when he checked out everything. It passed with flying colors. You can tell a lot from driving a bunch of them, not just a few.

Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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awesome advice, thanks!
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10

Like mine

Soccer mom owned... Seriously, it was
Same here. Old ladies beach car.

Soccer mom jeeps are the best to buy
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkjeeper06

Same here. Old ladies beach car.

Soccer mom jeeps are the best to buy
And we make funinum
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:28 AM   #17
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Cool, thanks.....I found another in Black/Auto with 13,000 miles / certified / and they include a 7yr / 100000 mile warranty, asking $29,999.
That is about what I paid for my JKU Rubicon in November 2011 and it only had 3208 miles on the odometer. The guy was asking $33k and I gave $30k. He had winch/bumper and lights but had not installed them yet.

He was needing to get rid of it as he was being relocated and needed to pay off as many debts as possible.

The build sheet/window sticker was in the glovebox and it retailed new for $39,970.00 new, granted it was a little more loaded up than I probably needed but now after four months of ownership and modifying I am glad I bought the 2011 and not have a payment than a 2012 and have a payment.

I looked at new but one equivelant in a 2012 was just over $40k. With all of my upgrades/modifications I am still under $40k.

Back to your original question. Look at the undercarriage closely. Look at marks on the skidplates as well as the lower control arms and axles. Look at the wiring going to the speed sensors for the ABS and the wiring going to the differentials for the lockers/sensors.

Look closely at the underside of the engine. I had seen many while looking that the sellers said they hadn't taken it off-road, the engine bay was clean yet the underside of the engine and up around the transmission was caked with mud/debris.

If they have service records that is a big plus as far as I am concerned. Most people don't keep records anymore but few do. I keep a log in my glovebox of each and every LOF, modification or anytime ANYTHING is done on any of my vehicles. This has been very helpful when selling a few of them later on.

Look at the paint on the door hinge bolts, this is sometimes an indication of how much the doors have been off/on. Not that that is a no-no but it usually does chip the paint.

Pull the mat under the hood aside and look between the mat and hood for signs of mud and/or water. Very seldom but I have seen some get so wet/muddy that it is caked under the noise/heat mat.

Then the obvious ones, pull the dipsticks on both engine and transmission and see if anything smells burnt. This is not as much scientific as it is just getting a sense if the vehicle has been maintained or abused.

I also like to jack the front axle off of the ground and check unit bearings and ball joints for play/wear.

Mike.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #18
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^^^^ great info and

Being a Rubi-checkout two things that you can't get in the other models--

1)-Make sure the 4wd xfer case can operate 4lo/4hi and
2)-assure both front/rear lockers will engage-

Those are two expensive REPLACE/REPAIR items

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Old 03-07-2012, 01:30 PM   #19
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You can ask your Jeep dealer if they have any Rubicon lease returns coming back in soon. Make sure it's a local lease and not from out of state.

Typical 1 year lease return has under 10,000 miles, all service done by dealer and remains stock with full factory warranty.

Dealer will do a full inspection and replace brake pads, tires, detailing, etc before it goes back out for lease or on the lot for sale.

Lease return is NOT the same thing as a fleet return though. Be careful.

Do not under any circumstances ever ever ever buy a fleet vehicle.
They are Rental cars and we know how we treat rentals.

Rubicons are quite common rentals in Hawaii, California and Florida. They get shipped all over the country to dealers so get a carfax before you buy if the dealer connot prove it's a local vehicle, service records are a dead giveaway.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:26 PM   #20
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used rubicon 2011 vs 2012? hmmmm, not quite apples and oranges, but you may be comparing anemic to healthy. The PentaStar is an big upgrade and I paid 30K net with the trade in of an 2007 A6. I agree with the "you are in a just buy new range" IMO I would test drive the 2012 after you have looked at the '11 and decide if the upgrade is worth it

if your caught on the 2011 and saving a bit, then "Ya, what zmotorsports says"
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #21
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yeah, not really looking for payments.....just bought the wife a minivan that I am paying on. I have the loot from another car sale to pay cash and not carry another car payment.....
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3TimeOwner
used rubicon 2011 vs 2012? hmmmm, not quite apples and oranges, but you may be comparing anemic to healthy. The PentaStar is an big upgrade and I paid 30K net with the trade in of an 2007 A6. I agree with the "you are in a just buy new range" IMO I would test drive the 2012 after you have looked at the '11 and decide if the upgrade is worth it

if your caught on the 2011 and saving a bit, then "Ya, what zmotorsports says"
My 07 6 speed w/ 4.10's is "healthy"
Just sayin
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #23
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Would I be wrong in saying that with winter winding down it would be a good time to shop for a Jeep Rubicon. I would suspect that going into winter the dealers would be less likely to deal?
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #24
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There is never a good time to buy a jeep... Good in snow and convertible for summer
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:05 PM   #25
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Would I be wrong in saying that with winter winding down it would be a good time to shop for a Jeep Rubicon. I would suspect that going into winter the dealers would be less likely to deal?
YUP, you'd be wrong !

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There is never a good time to buy a jeep... Good in snow and convertible for summer
Right on-

It ain't like Real Estate and boats/lawn mowers !

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puckyou
Would I be wrong in saying that with winter winding down it would be a good time to shop for a Jeep Rubicon. I would suspect that going into winter the dealers would be less likely to deal?
Helllls no
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #27
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and the '12s are much better in the horsepower area.
But not so great in the "not having defective crank bearings" area... as a national 2 month backorder on "it ticks" repair parts can attest to. a 2010 - 2011 might be a safer bet in the long run. Then 5-10 years down the line you can trade in on a 2nd/3rd generation used 3.6 if you get the itch.

\'course if it were me i'd just get a TJ.
\\I did.

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