Jeeps have always been a part of my life since I was a kid. My parents had them when I was growing up so my love for the brand came at a young age. We used to take our weekend outings in our Jeeps and at other times I would join my dad and we would head to the mountains or to the dunes and go wheeling just for something to do.
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Having now owned several Jeep vehicles over a 20+ year period, I knew that when it came to picking an SUV that would be dependable and suit my needs while living in Arizona a Jeep would be the only choice for me.
My search began in 2005 and in a short time I was able to locate a 1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo with the 5.2 V-8 motor with just around 95,000 miles and a price of $4,500 that met my needs and expectation. I knew it was considered “high mileage” but I planned to use it for hauling people around in the mountains and high desert areas while working as a real estate and would literally throw it away when I was done. If it needed major repairs amounting to more than the vehicle’s worth, I would assess what my plans for it would be when that occurred and would turn it into another one of my wheeling rigs or simply haul it off and figure it had served its purpose.
Knowing what my intentions for the Jeep were I basically kept up on my regular maintenance but didn’t pamper or baby the vehicle in any way since I knew I would get my money out of it and dispose of it or sell it when it had served its purpose. As time went by and the miles stacked up, I became more and more impressed with how well the Jeep held up under, what I threw at it, and how it kept running smoothly, dependably, and comfortably. Soon the mileage added up to 150,000, then 200,000, and recently I watched the odometer roll over a quarter of a million miles. The Jeep is still running strong and I have no hesitation to climb into it and head to any part of the country, knowing and trusting that it will take me where I’m headed without fail.
As the miles have continued to stack up, the Jeep has had a few repairs that have been needed along the way including a CV axle, a rebuild of the driveline after the u-joints had enough wear, and a track bar that needed to be replaced. All of my repairs have been of the “wear parts” nature. A few other things that one would expect to have to replace on a vehicle with that many miles are the brakes, tires, and a windshield or two but other than that it’s been regular maintenance. The Grand Cherokee still looks much like it did when it rolled off the production floor with the exception of a CD player and tinted windows. Other than that it is bone stock, proving that it was built to be used and built to last.