So, you’ve purchased a brand-new Jeep and you’re ready to hit the road. Now that you can walk the walk of a Jeep owner, it’s time to learn how to talk the talk as well. Owning a Jeep is unlike owning any other vehicle. There is a community of Jeep enthusiasts that you become a part of when you become a fellow Jeep owner. To them, a Jeep is not just a vehicle—it’s a way of life. In order to fully be a part of this community, you’ll have to learn the lingo. Otherwise, you may start to earn a few eye rolls from your off-roading buddies. To help you avoid embarrassment and fully immerse yourself in the world of Jeep enthusiasts, check out these common Jeep terms all owners should know.
The Jeep Wave
One of the most important terms and traditions to be aware of when joining the Jeep community is the “Jeep wave.” This term refers to the customary hand gesture that many Jeep owners give to one another when driving past each other on the road or trails.
This tradition began after World War II when the soldiers who drove Jeeps in the war returned home and purchased one of their own. When driving past one another, they often waved as the other driver was most likely also a fellow soldier. This tradition spread to all Jeep owners as more and more civilians began purchasing Jeeps.
To give a Jeep wave, simply raise your index finger, middle finger, and thumb upward from the steering wheel. Failing to return a Jeep wave with the proper gesture could be viewed as offensive or immediately reveal you as a novice in the Jeep community.
When a Jeep has been modified and enhanced with aftermarket parts and accessories, it is known as a rig.
Speaking of aftermarket parts, an aftermarket part is a type of part or accessory that was not factory-installed on the Jeep. A Jeep that features components that substitute the ones it originally came with such as new headlights or a new grill is known as an aftermarket Jeep.
Short for modifications, mods refer to any alterations or improvements that are applied to the Jeep. Mods may include adding new accessories or replacing specific parts, typically to achieve an enhanced driving experience or a heightened aesthetic appearance.
A stock Jeep is a vehicle that has not undergone any modifications. It only has the features and capabilities that were installed by the manufacturer.
A built Jeep is a Jeep that has been extensively modified with aftermarket parts in order to achieve optimum performance.
Articulation refers to the amount of distance that a Jeep’s suspension allows the tires to reach upwards and downwards. The two main categories of articulation include droop and stuff. Droop refers to downward articulation and is used to describe how far the tire reaches below the vehicle. Stuff articulation refers to compression and describes how far the tire of the vehicle can be pushed upwards into the wheel housing.
In the Jeep world, armor refers to the exterior protection accessories that are available for a Jeep vehicle. Armor may include skid plates, fenders, bumper and slider, and rocker guards which are commonly installed on off-roading vehicles.
The dreaded death wobble is a term that brings up feelings of fear in the Jeep community. The death wobble refers to an effect of the vehicle’s suspension system which occurs as a result of the oscillation of the front axle. As a result, the front-end of the Jeep begins to vibrate intensely.
The death wobble can plague any Jeep; however, it is most commonly experienced by vehicles that have been equipped with a poor-quality aftermarket lift or suspension kit or one that has been improperly installed. This occurrence has the potential to be very dangerous. If you start to experience the death wobble, make sure to get your Jeep checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
A lifted Jeep refers to one that has been equipped with an aftermarket lift kit. A lift kit generally includes a wide variety of suspension components such as spacers, shocks, and springs. Among the many different types of lift kits include suspension lift kits, body lift kits, long arm lift kits, and short arm lift kits. Depending on your preference, lift kits can generally lift a Jeep anywhere from two to seven inches.
Wheeling simply refers to taking one’s Jeep out for a ride on the trials. The term is synonymous with off-roading or trail running.
Also known as mudding, bogging is a term used to describe off-roading in the mud. Bogging is typically only done by more experienced off-roaders with a winch kit as there is a high potential for getting stuck in the mud pits.
Wrenching refers to the process of working on one’s Jeep. It may include repairing damaged parts, performing routine maintenance, or equipping the vehicle with aftermarket accessories.
Another Jeep term that all owners should know if you’re planning on tackling any obstacles while off-roading is line. A line refers to the path that you plan to take when trying to overcome a substantial obstacle such as a boulder or a particularly steep incline.
Planning out a course and identifying your line before trying to take on such an obstacle is essential to avoid getting stuck or worse. To plot out the most optimal line possible, it’s beneficial to get out of your vehicle and scope the area out for any potential risk factors in addition to determining if your vehicle is equipped to handle the challenge.
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