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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several of the JK's that have come up on my search have some damage but no airbag deployment on their Carfax. All are from auctions. All are being sold by dealers, including the used car lots of BMW and Audi dealers.

Should they be considered? Or passed by? I'm concerned about leaks and squeaks. I expect to replace the suspension, shocks, exhaust, ring and pinion, wheels and tires, and maybe bumpers and tire carrier within the first 12-24 months. Maybe the head unit...still researching. My main concern is to get front and rear camera and maybe a surround camera.

But back to the core question: is damage done in a distant state repaired by an unknown body shop an immediate disqualifier?
 

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If you are concerned, have it looked over by another shop. The Carfax on my 09 lists and accident because I backed into someone in a parking lot. Damage to my Jeep was a scratch on my aftermarket bumper.
 

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depends what the damage is. What is your budget?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
depends what the damage is. What is your budget?
As little as possible. I expect to spend $10k-$12k on stuff...maybe even a bit more.

What I'm finding is that with equivalent miles and comparable equipment, damage is worth 2 model years.

I'm looking at Rubicons from a 2012 at $22k to 2015/25k mi & 2017/25k mi damaged at $31. I like $22k better but I don't want to make an investment in a car that is going to have problems I can't fix (other than by doing an LS swap). On the other hand I feel guilty tearing apart a new car.
 

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Also remember Carfax only shows what is reported to them. If your budget is low and you know you are buying a fig that potentially needs work then might be worth the risk. If you have a higher budget I would be more picky. If body work is done in a distant state by unknown repair shop your recourse is going to be nil if you have issues 3 months down the road.
 

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As little as possible. I expect to spend $10k-$12k on stuff...maybe even a bit more.

What I'm finding is that with equivalent miles and comparable equipment, damage is worth 2 model years.

I'm looking at Rubicons from a 2012 at $22k to 2015/25k mi & 2017/25k mi damaged at $31. I like $22k better but I don't want to make an investment in a car that is going to have problems I can't fix (other than by doing an LS swap). On the other hand I feel guilty tearing apart a new car.
If going to make a rock buggy out of it get the cheapest one possible. If going to make a nice Overlander/occasional offroader/DD get newer and spend a little more. Might have to pony up a little more money but might be happier in the long run to find a nice 2017/2018 that is already upgraded and capable right out of the box for all but the hardest trails.
 
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A 2012 is coming up on 8 years old. If it doesn't have problems now... it will shortly. That's just the nature of older vehicles. What problems will exist... well, your crystal ball is about as good as mine, but if you expect maintenance free then you will most likely be disappointing. I would bring the vehicle to a reputable mechanic for a once over before you purchase though.


If you're talking about an engine swap then I wouldn't be too concerned about age. You're going to have that jeep completely stripped and all over the garage floor during the swap so you will be able to renew everything pretty easily.


If on the other hand you're looking for a maintenance free daily driver then I would save the pennies until you can afford something as new as possible.



Don't really know how carfax works. It's not really that big in Canada. In our Province all vehicles (just purchased or involved in an accident) must be Government inspected and all measurements within factory specs before they are allowed to go on the road, so we're pretty well protected from lemons due to accidents. I would imagine though as noted above, the carfax is only as good as what has been reported so I wouldn't place too much weight on it.
 

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CarFax damage report isn't any indication of future problems. I'd look more at the amount of previous owners than damage, as well as maintenance history listed on Carfax. Multiple previous owners can indicate unfixable issues.

I don't consider a 8 year old vehicle old by any means. And I disagree with the mindset that an 8 year old vehicle will have problems, just cause it is 8 years old. Maintenance history, location and usage have a lot more to do with reliability than just the age. The potential for issues is with all vehicles, used and new.

I'd get the newest one/lowest mileage one that fits your budget. But just cause it is newer doesn't mean it will be problem free.

I went with a '13 Rubicon with around 60K on it. Had a damage report on the Carfax. So far, it has been just what I wanted. Couple issues that the PO caused, but nothing specific to its age.

But I also own vehicles a lot older than '13. Quirks here and there, but they have been just fine. Currently own vehicles from '88, '06, '11, two '13 model years, '14 and a '15. And about to add an '05 to the stable.

Really though, you are the only one who can answer the question if it is an immediate disqualified. In my case, nope. But if it makes you nervous, move on. Plenty of used Jeeps out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If going to make a rock buggy out of it get the cheapest one possible. If going to make a nice Overlander/occasional offroader/DD get newer and spend a little more. Might have to pony up a little more money but might be happier in the long run to find a nice 2017/2018 that is already upgraded and capable right out of the box for all but the hardest trails.
If I knew I didn't fit the JL and new JKs were available...I'd write a check. Whatever I buy will probably be with us a long time. Our current cars date from 1994, 1997. 2001, 2004 (2), and 2009. Just hasn't been anything I liked.

With the new Suburban, and Ram 1500-based Durango, Wagoneer, and Grand Wagoneer I may finally replace my truck. My wife is kinda of due for a car...but again...can't really find anything we like.

I was hoping to fine well modified cars. Not finding it. Just budget...real budget lift kits, weird wheels and tires. 20" wheels is a maul crawler.

If I fit, a new Rubicon would have been the way to go. But I don't. It isn't even close. I don't think my shoulder pivots outside the car (as it does on a Mini and NA/NB/NC Miata), but I can't get close to sitting straight.

As for mods...I'll start a thread after I can figure out some of the details. But it looks like I'm going to do a Clayton long arm with their skidplates, revised lower front and lower and upper rear shock mounts, driveshafts, full Borla exhaust with loop eliminated and relocated Y-pipe and no rear muffler, Bilstein 5160 shocks, gears (probably 5.13 or 5.38) Mentor M701 wheels, and Patagonia M/T tires. Not sure about bumpers, tire carriers, etc. Not that the Clayton long arm is 100% bolt-in, integrates with their skid plates, and is only $1400 more than their short arm, $1250 if there is a sale. It is a radius arm long arm but can be changed to their 3-link front if desired. To the best of my knowledge, only Clayton, Rock Krawler, and Gen-Right offer 3-link front suspensions.

I am going to do some trails and Rausch Creek...but otherwise it is just going to make the same statement a ridiculously overpowered sports car does...except this will actually be useful to some extent. And ready for the next zombie apocalypse.

The 11.9" rotors front and rear in 2013 and newer JKs are the same size used on super late model stock cars. They use 4-piston brakes and 15x10 wheels. The calipers can cost less than $250 each and use Superlight pads...nearly every good pad compound comes in a superlight pad. All I need is to get some one to make an adapter bracket. 15x10 wheels with 4" or 4.5" offset are inexpensive, and even available with beadlocks and mud covers. But I heard in passing some suspension pieces, tie rod ends or ball joints, may not fit. The tire selection is more meager, really 35" max, but all my favorites (Patagonia, KM3, KO2, Falken A/T3W, etc. come in 15" sizes). On a 15" wheel, a 35" has the same 10" sidewall as a 37" on a 17".

Even a 7-year-old car can have the seats reupholstered and even engine changes. All those modifications on a 2012 with 75k miles would probably be less than a 2017 Recon with 25k miles.

This was a video from Clayton when they introduced the long arm in 2012:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
CarFax damage report isn't any indication of future problems. I'd look more at the amount of previous owners than damage, as well as maintenance history listed on Carfax. Multiple previous owners can indicate unfixable issues.

I don't consider a 8 year old vehicle old by any means. And I disagree with the mindset that an 8 year old vehicle will have problems, just cause it is 8 years old. Maintenance history, location and usage have a lot more to do with reliability than just the age. The potential for issues is with all vehicles, used and new.

I'd get the newest one/lowest mileage one that fits your budget. But just cause it is newer doesn't mean it will be problem free.

I went with a '13 Rubicon with around 60K on it. Had a damage report on the Carfax. So far, it has been just what I wanted. Couple issues that the PO caused, but nothing specific to its age.

But I also own vehicles a lot older than '13. Quirks here and there, but they have been just fine. Currently own vehicles from '88, '06, '11, two '13 model years, '14 and a '15. And about to add an '05 to the stable.

Really though, you are the only one who can answer the question if it is an immediate disqualified. In my case, nope. But if it makes you nervous, move on. Plenty of used Jeeps out there.
I have only older cars now. The oldest is a 38 Buick. There are just metal parts that corrode, rubber that rots, surfaces that have UV damage to fabrics and pigments. The older car is more likely to have had a budget repair or left some broken component alone.

The 2017's I like typically had $46k-$48k stickers. What amazes me is what their residual is. It is hard pay 60%-to-70% of the out-the-door price of a 2020 Rubicon with the same optional (and better standard) equipment.
 

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We got our 2017 JKU Sport as a "Certified Pre-Owned" vehicle from a local Jeep dealer - it came from a rental fleet and other than a few paint chips and minor scratches it looks, and drives, like it's brand new. Being CPO it was eligible for the 7-year/100K mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a 5-year maintenance program. The Jeep cost us about $24K and the warranty, maintenance, taxes, etc brought it up to about $32K - we think we got a good deal!
 

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My 2016 Sport 2-door had been in an accident when I saw it on the lot at my dealer. Test drove it anyway because it was a soft top and I hadn’t driven a soft top at that point (looking for first Jeep).

It actually drove better than the two hard tops I’d been considering, except ... at an idle it had a horrible vibration. Took it back and mentioned that to the salesman. Two or three weeks later I was back getting another vehicle serviced and the salesman said, “We got that vibration fixed.”

In my mind, I had already moved on, not really wanting a Jeep with damage history. Went home without driving it, but couldn’t stop thinking about the Jeep. Called and talked to the lead tech who explained it was the transmission mount, which was evidently damaged in the collision but not replaced. Said it was a bear to diagnose but all was well, now.

I ended up calling the salesman back and negotiating, starting out with what I thought was a low-ball offer due to the damage history. But they accepted it!

I’ve had the Jeep for over 2 years and just turned 50,000 miles Friday. Had 10,500 on it when I bought it. It has been 100% flawless. Get it checked out by someone you trust and I think you will be fine.
 

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Start by purchasing a good OBD2 code reader which supports enhanced diag codes. I like the BlueDriver, can be found on Amazon for $95. Well worth it for buying a used vehicle.

Then check out these videos by ChrisFix on Youtube. He provides a check list and walks you through from top to bottom on how to inspect a used vehicle and things to look for.

Step 1: Exterior overview inspection


Step2: The Check Sheet Overview


Step3: Engine, OBD2, and Fluid Inspection


Step4: Interior and Exterior Inspections


Step5: The Test Drive
 
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