Check Engine

Reliable Vehicle Service & Care Info

A blue 2019 Jeep Wrangler is shown parked off-road.

What to Know When Buying a Modified Jeep

Jeep is one of the most well-known brands in the country, and there’s no mistaking one of these adventurous travelers when you come across one on the streets or the trails. These skilled and fearless adventure mates often come with high sticker prices when purchased new, especially when you have a vision for your Jeep that may include a few modifications. That’s why you may be interested in used Jeeps, and if you’ve found one that you like that happens to be modified, you may have some questions and concerns. Here’s what to know if you are thinking about buying a modded Jeep.

Types of Modifications

The first element you’ll want to consider is what type of modifications the Jeep you’re interested in has. You can modify a Jeep in many ways, ranging anywhere from serious performance-enhancing mods to cosmetic mods and everything in between. It’s possible to perform some modifications yourself, while some mods are best left to the pros. If a particular Jeep has caught your eye, pay attention to certain modifications.

Upgraded Suspension Systems

Many Jeeps inherently come with off-road-ready suspension systems, especially adventurers like the Wrangler and Gladiator. However, some drivers feel as though this isn’t enough to keep up with their lifestyles. Adding a suspension lift is a common practice for many outdoor enthusiasts who regularly find themselves traversing challenging terrain. Clearing taller obstacles and venturing further into nature while maintaining ultimate stability is a common practice among Jeepers.

Heavy Duty Bumpers and Underbody Protection

Jeeps scream adventure, which is why you see so many of them on trails across the country. When it comes to the wilderness, however, you can also expect some obstacles, like water crossings, rocky embankments, fallen tree limbs, and more. Protecting your investment is important, which is why many Jeep owners modify their Jeeps with reinforced skid plates to protect important components, as well as heavy-duty bumpers to blast past obstacles.

A red 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is shown parked near a cliff.

Wheels and Tires

Most Jeeps, particularly the Wrangler, come with rugged wheels and all-terrain tires. That’s simply not enough for some Jeep owners. You may come across used Jeeps that showcase larger wheels and tires to be able to tackle the elements with even more precision.

Modifications to a Jeep don’t have to be this drastic. There are other modifications that you’ll notice that are more subtle than these performance-boosting elements. These include:

  • Lighting elements: These include everything from fog lights to see better in areas of low visibility to light bars and other illuminating effects.
  • Seat covers: Plenty of Jeep owners know that the ride can get a bit dirty, so waterproof seat covers are a must for many.
  • Durable floor mats: Being able to easily clean up after a day out in nature is important for many Jeepers. Rubber floor mats can be removed, shaken out, and even sprayed with a pressure washer to clean them up, which is much easier than shampooing traditional carpet floor mats.
  • Badging and other cosmetic enhancements: There’s no point in driving a Jeep if you’re not going to make a statement. Standing out from the crowd is easy with unique badging, graphics, and other cool cosmetic elements.

Your Jeep’s Primary Uses

Now that you know some of the common modifications that many Jeep enthusiasts make to their loyal adventurers, how will these mods affect you? To figure this out, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to be driving your Jeep. Are you looking for a Jeep that can take you past the brink of excitement out in the wilderness? Or are you searching for something that can aid you on the job site, as well as the trails? Nailing down the primary uses of your Jeep will help you decide if a certain modification is going to be right for you.

You’ll also want to take into consideration where you’ll be driving. If you frequently drive on rough roadways or rocky trails, owning a Jeep with an enhanced suspension system and meatier tires may prove useful for you. If you regularly travel at night, modified lighting elements may be helpful to improve safety behind the wheel. Some Jeep owners love the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, which makes soft tops that are easy to remove more in line with their needs. Consider all of this when looking at a modded Jeep to ensure you’re making the right choice.

How Mods Affect Performance

When driving a modified Jeep, you can expect this experience to be different from driving a Jeep that’s just rolled off the assembly line and includes only standard features. The Jeep you’re looking at may have been lifted, which may improve visibility but may also harm fuel efficiency. The same goes for all-terrain tires, which may allow you to better handle tricky terrain and inclement weather but may affect gas mileage as well.

In many cases, however, modifications tend to improve overall performance and handling in any environment. Upgraded shocks, for instance, help maximize comfort, everywhere from the trails to the highway. Aftermarket lighting elements also come to your aid, especially when traveling in dimly lit environments. These are just a few examples of how Jeep mods affect performance, so keeping these in mind is important when you’re looking at a modded Jeep.

One of many popular used Jeeps, a green 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL, is shown off-roading.

How Mods Affect Resale Value

It’s often said that the right modifications can positively affect resale values, but it all depends on a few other factors. For one, if your Jeep hasn’t been properly maintained, a modification may not help you get more money to put towards a new vehicle. If your Jeep isn’t highly desired by the local market, meaning that it’s out of date or not vintage enough, you may not get the amount of money that you were hoping for when it’s time to trade it in.

That said, many modifications have the potential to increase resale values, especially when it comes to performance. Jeeps with accessories, like roof racks, appeal to drivers in areas where adventuring is popular, which will affect their value as well. Of course, taking good care of your vehicle will help you most of all, so if you’re looking at a modded Jeep that you will eventually trade in for something else down the road, be sure to take care of it properly. This includes regular maintenance and partnering with a service center that you can trust, namely one that specializes in Jeep care, for best results.

Is Buying a Modded Jeep Right for You?

When searching through an inventory of used Jeeps, it can be easy to fall in love with a particular model, especially one that already has some of the features you’ve always wanted in a vehicle. The biggest advantage of buying a Jeep that has already been modified is the fact that you won’t have to spend the money to modify it yourself. You’re able to pinpoint what you’re looking for in your Jeep and locate the model that offers this to you perfectly. When thinking about buying a modded Jeep, be sure to keep these things in mind, from the types of modifications available to how they will affect performance and resale value. When you do this, you’ll set yourself up for satisfaction from the moment you get behind the wheel to that freeing moment you’re coasting down the dusty trails.