Once warm, taking the Jeep on a test-drive is very important. Pay close attention to the transmission shifting if it’s an automatic, or how the gears engage if it’s a manual. Shifting in both case should be smooth and precise. Although Jeep’s are noted to have a “harsh” ride, the suspension should feel stable and consistent. If there’re any noticeable creaks or dips when go over bumps, it should be examined closer for any leaking at the shock or sagging of a coil spring.
Steering and handling is also critical to make note of during the test drive. Does the Jeep have any jerking or unstable handling when going over bumps at higher speeds? Does the steering wheel shake/vibrate at highway speeds? The overall ride can be slightly harsher than a sedan, but should still feel stable and predictable, especially at highway speeds.
Once the test drive is complete, examine the drive shafts for any exposed grease from a potential boot failure or any lose of motor or gear oil. In addition, check the engine oil for noticeable discoloration, either too light or too dark. Healthy oil coloration should have a golden to slightly darkish amber color.