Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Jeep Tire Wear - Diagnostic Tips

Tips on Diagnosing Tire Issues

Tire Wear Issues

The wear on my front drivers side tire was very bad. I assumed it was a bad alignment but it was the wheel bearing. Turns out it’s a common failure for all Jeeps. It was getting so bad it was affecting the ABS system. 

A good way to diagnose what the problem could be...

  • Unload the tire - get the weight off the tire by putting the Jeep on a jack stand or jacking it up.
  • Then with your hands at the 12 and 6 o’clock position of the tire, push it back and forth
  • If there is play in the tire, any movement at all, it’s the wheel bearing or ball joints. 
  • When you put your hands at the 3 and 9 o’clock position and do the same thing it’s tie rod ends.

It cost me about $150 for the hub assembly, but I learned something new with this problem. Each set of problems I learn a little more about my Jeep and become more confident. Especially when I am right there when it’s getting fixed. 

This is also a good lesson for those wanting to add upgrades to your Jeep. It will always lead to failures somewhere else on your Jeep so be prepared to empty your pockets. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Jeep's Plastic Fender Restore Product Review

Lithium Trim Serum

Fender Restore Product - LithiumTrim Serum

Those plastic fenders on the Wranglers are hard to keep looking sharp. The suns UV rays fades the plastic, and mud tends to stain them. For the past couple of years, I have been looking for a solution to keep them looking factory fresh. 

Jeep Momma's Fender Mythbuster 👉 Watch Here

Discount Code 20% Off JeepMomma20

Before applying the Trim Serum on my fenders. 

Lithium Auto Care reached out to me and asked if I would try their Trim Serum product on my fenders. I have tried peanut butter and erasers, so why not.

After Trim Serum on my fenders. 

Lithium’s Trim serum auto care product says:  Transforms weathered and oxidized trum - rubber and plastic - in seconds. 

Lithium Trim Serum Jeep Momma Review 👉 Watch Here

Trim Serum on the rear fender of my Jeep

Out of all the products I have used, trim serum right off the bat makes my plastic fenders look amazing. Trim serum is designed to penetrate and seal all the rubber & plastic trim surfaces to make them look new again. It also helps keep the rubber and plastic from drying out, cracking and oxidizing.     


Trim Serum applied on my front fender.

How long will it last? 

There is no trim protectant product that will last forever. The question is which one will last the longest. Trim serum from the start made my plastic fenders look brand new. It is supposed to last for several months. The company says about 20 washes. However, as Jeep owners most don’t even wash their Jeep that much in a lifetime. 

Trim Serum can be used on the Jeep's door handles.

I plan on at least washing off my fenders weekly to check on how this product holds up. So far 2 weeks and they still look great. I used Trim Serum on all my plastic Jeep Parts - door handles, mirrors, dash, and the rubi rails.

Use a mircofiber cloth to apply Trim Serum

Step 1 Wash the surface before applying the trim serum

Step 2  Apply trim serum to surface in a circular motion and let it remain on the surface for several minutes then buff dry.

Step 3 Allow the trim serum to cure for 6 to 12 hours before getting wet.

Additional coats may be needed for severely damaged or faded plastic.

Below are pictures 2 weeks and 3 weeks after the first application of the product. I am living in the high desert of Colorado so it can be very windy and super dusty. I needed to wash the fenders so you can see how the Trim Serum is holding up. 

2 Weeks 

Trim Serum after 2 weeks.

3 Weeks

Trim Serum after 3 weeks.


Occasionally Jeep Momma partners with brands and PR agencies to review products ono this website and promote them via my social media accounts for which I receive free products and /or compensation. All views and opinions are my own. Please know I only post about products I believe would be helpful and useful. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

How To Wheel Responsibly

Tips to be a Responsible Off-roader

My Jeep on the Rubicon Trail. 

As responsible off-road enthusiasts, we want to do our best to minimize trail damage. Trail damage is one of the reasons we are getting our trails shut down. Sometimes off roaders may not be aware that certain types of wheeling is damaging our community, our trails and their own Jeeps.

 "How we wheel today affects how we can wheel tomorrow and how are children can wheel in the future."  ~Treadlightly.org

Like I always tell my kids, just because it's on TV or the internet doesn't make it right or true. 

Wheel Spinning is Not Good 👉 Watch Here 

There are many ways to destroy the trails and excessive wheel spin is just one. Excessive wheel spin is irresponsible wheeling.  Don’t Spin To Win. Not only does such behavior tear up the trails, but it gives off-roading a bad name that can be used against us when environmentalists and disapproving lawmakers make regulations restricting our activity.

What does Wheel Spin does... 

Wheel spin tears up soft terrain like mud and creates ruts. It also tears up rocks and gravel. Some rocks can be flaky and wheel spin tears up that rock and changes the terrain and eventually that trail will get worn down. This can change a difficult trail to an easy trail. It shoots all that gravel and rock from the tires. This can be very dangerous when people are on the trail watching Jeeps wheel through obstacle.  

The other part of this is excessive wheel spin puts your vehicle in harm’s way and can cause damage to your vehicle. As that rig bounces up in the air with the tires continually spinning… Once it comes down onto the ground it shock loads the suspension. That is not good. That is when axles and driveshafts break.

Wheel spinning: Ordinarily, wheel spinning is the result of one of two things: Driver error or having the wrong equipment. Either one throws rocks or mud on other vehicles or can cause ruts in the trail, making it an unpleasant experience for the next person. If you find yourself in a situation where you are spinning excessively, try another line or turn around.

Tips to Minimize Affects on the Trails

  • Travel only in areas open to 4x4 vehicles
  • Drive over not around obstacles
  • Straddle ruts, gullies and washouts even if wider than Jeep
  • Cross Streams only where the road crosses the stream
  • When possible avoid mud. 
  • In soft terrain go easy on the gas to avoid wheel spin as this can cause rutting.   

Monday, July 13, 2020

Overland Adventure Ideas

Two to Five Day Overland Destinations 

My Jeep in Moab, Utah. 

Moab, Utah

Some people call Moab the Mecca of Off-Roading. There are over eighty 4x4 trails around Moab from easy to difficult. There are also several National and State Parks to visit. You could easily spend a month or more exploring this amazingly scenic area. 

My Moab Adventure 👉 Read Here

Hole in the Rock Trail, Utah

This is a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail off Utah 95 just west of Blanding, Utah. This trail isn't to be taken lightly, and needs a lot of preparation and research.

My Hole in the Rock Adventure 👉 Read More

Hole in the Rock Trail 👉 Watch Here

Mojave Road

The historic 138-mile road takes you back in time. With virtually no improvements since its inception, the historic Native American trade route and wagon trail remains the same as it was 150 years ago. Plan on 2 to 3 days to explore the stunning desert landscape and Joshua tree-lined routes.

Mojave Road Adventure 👉 Read More

Mojave Road Adventure with Bob the Jeep Dog 👉 Watch Here

Rubicon Trail 

My Jeep on the Rubicon Trail

My Jeep overlooking the Sierra Nevadas, CA. 

Another historical road in the majestic Sierra Nevadas in California. The Rubicon Trail is known for its ruggedness and versatility, inspiring the Jeep namesake. 

Don't be fooled by its popularity, it's a grueling marathon through the mountains. Another must "be prepared" trail as it could take days. I will be sharing more on our experience on this amazing trail. 

My Rubicon Trail Adventure 👉 Read More

Colorado Passes 

There are several off road passes within hours of each other that make for a great couple of days of wheeling in Colorado. Black Bear Pass is one of them. This infamous trail is not for the faint of heart or someone with a fear of heights with it's steep descents, treacherous switchbacks and loose falling rock. The views of Bridal Falls and Telluride are some of the most amazing in Colorado. Well most all views in Colorado are amazing. Weather conditions only allow the complete route to be open for a few weeks from late summer through the early fall. 

Engineer Pass, Colorado 👉 Watch Here

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Along the Northern Rim on the Arizona Strip is some of the most remote places in the United States which makes for a great overland adventure. You just need to plan good because gas stations are non-existent. 

Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon 👉 Read More

Dalton Highway

A slightly more civilized ride than other trails on the list. It's still not an easy ride crossing the Yukon River and ending at the Arctic Ocean. It a 414 trip through the wild Alaskan bush and barren tundra. Built in the 1970’s as the service road to the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. There are steep grades, avalanche danger, and hundreds of miles between gas stations. A brutal gravel highway is not for the faint-of-heart. However the dramatic views and a glimpse of the Northern Lights are a good reward. 

Coconino National Forest

This trail in Arizona covers nearly two million acres in northern Arizona with a massive network of trails surrounded by stunning red rock formations. 

Other Overland Ideas

Tillamook State Forest in Oregon
Sierra National Forest in California
Big Bend National Park in Texas
Pan American Highway 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A "Must Have" Recovery Gear Item

Colby Valve Review

Colby Valve Emergency Tire Valve System

Jeep Momma Vendor Discount Code

Colby Valve Permanent Valve System

Lessons Learned

I have learned a lot during my off road adventures and when I learn a lesson, good or bad, I always do my best to pass it on to you. 

Must Have Off-Road Recovery Tool 👉 Watch Here 

Trying to repair my popped bead. 

During my Fall 2019 Adventure, I learned the importance of the Colby Valve, an emergency tire valve system. I had heard of the Colby Valve, but didn't fully understand the importance of the Colby Valve until I needed it. 

Off-road mishap when I popped my bead of my tire

Valve Stem Dilemma

As I was crawling up a rock on the Homecourt Trail in Kingman, Arizona, I tore a valve stem. My tire went flat, and I popped the bead.  My Jeep was in a precarious position on the rocks which made for a dangerous tire change. Luckily a fellow Jeeper on the trail had an Emergency Colby Valve.

22 minutes into this video you see how I tear my valve stem on the trail and the easy fix using the Colby Valve.

Homecourt Trail in Arizona, Valve Stem Disaster 👉 Watch Here

Wheeling in Arizona - Homecourt Trail.

It was simple and easy to install. Simply take out the old valve stem and screw in the Colby Valve, air up and you are good to go. 

Use your mirrors to watch your rear tires.

I have torn three valve stems over the years. Paying close attention to tire placement on the rocks is so very important. One way to watch your rear wheels is the adjust your side mirrors so you can watch them as you crawl over the rocks. 

Wheeling the Rubicon Trail. 

Permanent Solution

On the Rubicon Trail I once again tore a valve stem. I didn't notice until I returned to Colorado when I discovered a slow leak. I replaced the valve stem with a Permanent Colby Valve. 

Replacing my valve stems with Colby Valves. 

Again super easy to replace just be very careful not to over tighten as you don't want to tear the gasket. I was very close to it. They should be snug, no rocking back and forth. 

Adding the Colby Valve to my tires. 

When tightening it with a socket wrench be careful not to tighten it until you can't anymore. That means you gone too far. 12 - 16 inch ft lb torque is the range Colby Valve suggests. 

Ultimate Tire Valve System

I am thinking maybe I should have gone with the Ultimate Valve (Extra Short) since I like to rub those rocks. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Wheeling the Rubicon Trail

Rubicon Trail Dream Achieved

Six years ago. I discovered the Rubicon Trail from videos on YouTube. I had no idea there was even such a trail. It looked amazing and difficult. A fellow Jeeper told me, with practice, one day I would be able to wheel the trail. 

My Jeep on the rocks.

The time was finally here, my chance to take my Jeep off-road on the Rubicon Trail. Not only was I going to get to wheel the Rubicon Trail, I was going to get to do it with my two sons.

Ben & I on the way to the Rubicon Trail. 

Day 1 👉 Watch Here
Day 2 👉 Watch Here
Day 3 👉 Watch Here
Day 4 👉 Watch Here
Day 5 👉 Watch Here

Family Time

I picked my kids up at the Denver airport on Thursday night and Friday morning we were off to the Rubicon Trail.  We took our time getting from Colorado to California where we were meeting the rest of the Jeep crew that were going to wheel the Rubicon Trail with us. 

Primitive Camping with my boys

Spending time on the road with my kids was amazing. I was able to show them the amazing beauty of the west. The first night we found dispersed camping in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. 

Selfie with my kids camping. 

Their first experience at dispersed camping. They liked the fact we were the only ones for miles and out in the middle of nowhere with just nature. 

Making Awesome Memories 

It was a great time and an awesome memory. We took a little hike just me and my kids then came back and Michael got the fire started. Then we ate dinner and hung around the campfire. A moment in my life I will cherish forever.  

On the Road to the Rubicon Trail

Those three days on the road with my boys are ones I will never forget. Jeeping across the West showing them the amazing remote beauty. 

Crossing the Colorado River. 

One of the most amazing parts were the views along Highway 95 in Utah between Blanding, Utah and Hanksville, Utah. It's one of America's Scenic By-ways. The views were absolutely breathtaking.  

We pulled into South Lake Tahoe Sunday afternoon and meet the fellow Jeepers at the hotel. That ride into South Lake Tahoe coming over the mountain and seeing the lake was spectacular and scary. I created a traffic jam because I was so freaked out at the heights. I wish I had pictures but I couldn't take my hands off the wheel and Ben was secretly recording me freaking out. 

Selfie at the entrance to the Rubicon Trail. It's a Jeep Thing! 

Surreal Moment

The next morning it was off to the Rubicon Trail. It started with Ben, my youngest son,
asking me, "Why are you so excited for being on the Rubicon Trail?" Ben said, "It's fun but why are you so excited?" Unless you are an off roader it can be hard to understand the excitement.  


Our first camping spot on the Rubicon Trail. 

We set up camp that first night on top of the obstacle Whale Bones. My boys, Dixie our dog, and I in the tent. Michael eventually slept in my Jeep. 

One of the Rubicon Obstacles. 

I made it up the obstacle with no winching, however my winch was put to good use getting some of the other Jeeps up the rocky incline. Thanks to Quadratec for my winch. I was selected to be the proud owner of the new winch during a giveaway at a Women's Wheeling Event I attended at Rausch Creek in 2019. 

A pit stop on the Rubicon Trail. 
We left Whale Bones that morning with our bellies full. Angela brought breakfast burritos for all. The first half of the Rubicon Trail is through the Loon Lake interior and is mild to moderate. We were making pretty good time

My Jeep posing on the Rubicon Trail. 

To wheel the Rubicon Trail was a dream of mine from the moment I discovered it. That was back in 2014, and I never in a million years thought I would have the skills to tackle this iconic trail.

Buck Island Camp spot. 

We finally made it to Buck Island Lake and found some really amazing campsites. It was a needed break for everyone.

Buck Island Lake. 

 The lake cooled off some.

Rock Firepit at Buck Island camp spot. 

Other enjoyed the fireside chats. 

Ben exploring the rocks. 

Ben even did a little exploring. 

Buck Island Lake. 

Our last day on the iconic 4x4 trail.Early that morning we left the coolest camping spot on Buck Island Lake.

My Jeep crawling over the obstacles. 

Leaving the area was a sign of what was to come on the trail. The most difficult obstacles were ahead.  Big Sluice, Saw Toot, Scout Hole, Squeeze Rock and Cadillac Hill. ;

Overlooking part of the Sierra Nevadas. 

There were some very intense moments for all of us. It was an amazing day for me as I traversed a lot of those obstacles on my own. I have come such a long ways from those first days at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pennsylvania.    

The Steel Bridge

It was so cool to see those places you always would hear about. 

Rubicon Springs

Rubicon Springs

Some took a swim in the frigid waters. My boys and I opted not too. 

Part of the crew waiting for the rest

The trip up Cadillac Hill to Observation Hill was intense. It was just me and my boys. They were awesome giving me the courage I needed to keep moving forward. Once off the trail we found a place to eat. It was nice to all be together to celebrate our accomplishment. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Tips: Places to Take Your Jeep

Jeeps can Go Anywhere, Do Anything!

The Mojave Desert

I have videos of all the places I have wheeled my Jeep on my YouTube Channel "Jeep Life with Jeep Momma" 👉 Watch Here. There are some videos that always seem to get those negative comments “That’s Not a Real Trail”.

Where to Wheel Your Jeep 👉 Watch Here

On the trails in the Mojave Desert

Off-road trails don't always have to be extreme with difficult rock obstacles on it to be a trail. It is completely okay if you only like to wheel those easy trails. We all have different likes and dislikes.

Driving out West

I have found I really enjoy those “Not Real” trails. I still like those adrenaline pumping trails, but to be out in my Jeep checking out the natural beauty of nature does wonders for my soul even if it’s on the black top.
Off road Insiders Podcast: Finding Trails 👉 Watch Here

Jeep Momma Tips to Finding "Not Trails"

1. Google Scenic By-ways to find some really great black top road trips. There is one in Moab that parallels the Colorado river. It is absolutely amazing. Hwy 95 from Blanding, Utah to Hanksville, Utah is most spectacular.

2. Change Map Settings if you aren’t in a hurry. If you use Google Maps to get to your location, go into your settings and click the avoid toll roads and highways. 

3. TrailsOffRoad.com This website is cataloging trails all over the US. It will give you information such as length, difficulty, location, elevation, duration, plus a map with way points that has directions and mileage.

4. Black Canyon National Park a black top ride outside of Gunnison, Colorado on Hwy 92 through the Black Canyon National Park. If you are afraid of heights or ledges it’s a pretty intense Ride.
5. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is another one. It’s said to be one of the most scenic drives. 

6. Backroads Books - Search Amazon.com for Backroads and 4 Wheel drive trails. There are guides for Colorado, Arizona, California and Moab. These guides have tons of photos that show the scenery as well as trouble spots. There are tips and advice from local experts to help get you through the trails. The trails are BLM approve and are legal routes.
7. TAT Trail - The founder Sam has been mapping public back roads and forest roads all over the United States for decades. He is still mapping. When he originally mapped the roads back in the 80’s all were gravel, but now some have been paved over time. This trail was originally designed for motorcyclists but Jeepers have begun to use these trails. It’s a great way to get away from big cities and get a look at America’s country Roads.  👉 Read More

What is the Jeep Sway Bar Button

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