What Are Lockers on a Jeep?

So, you are looking to buy a jeep when you come across jeep lockers. You’re curious, “what are lockers on a jeep? How does it work? “When do you install it?” As it seems like an important feature, you will want to know everything about it.

In that case, you are in the right place. In this post, we will discuss what jeep lockers are and their importance. Read on to find out why you need a locker, when to use it, and how to install one in your jeep.

What Are Jeep Lockers?

Lockers are a tool that helps transform a jeep into its best mode that does well in terms of safety and adventure. Lockers are also known as locking differentials. It does exactly what its name suggests.

It locks the car’s axles together, so they move at synchronized speeds. As a result, the jeep can avoid slipping when driving on uneven surfaces. This makes jeep lockers essential if you use your jeep to do rock crawling.

What do lockers do for a jeep? Typically, the wheels of a vehicle slip on sand, snow, or ice. But when you install a jeep locker, the wheels will continue to spin like a wheel on firm ground. It turns steadily and at the same speed as before.

How does it work, though? Well, this video about differential lockers and how they work gives a brief, concise, and clear explanation of how jeep lockers work. We suggest checking it out for extra information.

When Are Jeep Lockers Used?

So, now you have the answer to “what are jeep lockers?” and have a better idea of what they are. Now your question is, “When do you use jeep lockers?” Should you use it all the time?

You should only ever use jeep lockers if you use them for drag racing or extreme off-roading. Using lockers when you will not be driving in rocky, rugged terrain or somewhere muddy is unnecessary.

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On the other hand, it is dangerous not to have jeep lockers installed if you are off-roading. Without the lockers, you can get stuck in mud or lose traction and end up in an accident. You need jeep lockers if you want increased safety while doing the sport.

Does All Jeep Come Equipped With Lockers?

Not all Jeep Wranglers have lockers. Jeep Wranglers are among the most capable jeeps for off-roading, but they are not all alike. Different models of the vehicle have different capabilities, and some even already have a locking mechanism.

But even if your jeep doesn’t have a locking mechanism, you can likely equip it with lockers. Some Jeep Wranglers and other types of vehicles like SUVs have this capability. This means you can transform the jeep into having the same feature as a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

What Are Different Types of Jeep Lockers?

What are lockers on a jeep? As you know by now, this gear keeps your jeep safe when off-roading. Well, what are air lockers on a jeep, then? The answer to this question relates to the types of lockers you can install in your jeep.

There are two main types of jeep lockers, to be exact. One is the automatic type, and the other is the selectable type. The main difference between automatic and selectable lockers is their driving characteristics.

In an automatic locker, it will release on its own once it has released the throttle. This means the locker has done its purpose. On the other hand, a selectable locker will continue to lock the axles until you deactivate them manually.

Pros and Cons of Automatic and Selectable Lockers

Each type has its pros and cons, which you need to consider in choosing the best locker for your jeep. In the case of automatic lockers, the advantage is it is easy and quick to install. It is also always ready anytime you need it.

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On the other hand, it has several disadvantages, such as the impacted on-road handling. There is also a lot of resistance when you do a sharp turn. Moreover, automatic lockers are constantly engaged as long as your foot is on the throttle.

Selectable lockers are great because it acts as a standard open differential when disengaged. While disengaged, it also doesn’t have an impact on on-road handling. When activated, you have precise control over it.

It also has several disadvantages, namely that it is more expensive and has more components that tend to fail. If you forget to disable it, the locker can also cause severe damage to the car’s differential, not to mention installing it is a bit complicated.

What Are Air Lockers?

Air lockers are manual lockers, a new type that uses compressed air to turn the locker on and off instead of an electronic switch. The compressed air holds the collar into a locked position, released when the locker is activated.

Compared to other jeep lockers, air lockers are quicker to engage. You can activate them at any speed, locking the jeep’s axles almost instantaneously. Air lockers provide the benefits of a manual locker, plus some added speed.

Because of the extra benefits of an air locker, it is a bit more expensive. However, investing in an air locker is still worth it because of the long-term benefits. Right now, the standard air locker you can find in the market is the ARB air locker.

We recommend checking out this video about different types of lockers. It will help you know which one is the best locker for Jeep Cherokee XJ and other applications.

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How to Install Lockers on a Jeep?

You are interested in equipping your jeep with an air locker. So the question now is, “How to install lockers on a jeep?” Installing a locker on a jeep is a difficult task. This is because the procedure may differ depending on the type of locker you plan to use.

Moreover, it will involve many different steps. Ideally, you can do it as long as you follow the instructions in the locker installation kit step by step. However, it is best to bring your jeep or call a professional to install the lockers if you are having trouble.

If you are handy with vehicles and have the tools, installing the locker yourself is feasible. It should help you save a lot of money than hiring a professional. But as we said, you should hire a mechanic if you can’t install it on your own.

In any case, this video – Installing and Testing the TORQ Locker for Jeep 8.25 XJ Axle – can give you some idea.


What are lockers on a jeep? As you know by now, it is a device used to lock the axles on the wheels of your jeep. By locking the wheels and keeping the differential equal in both, it becomes safer to drive while off-roading.

Jeep lockers are helpful and necessary if you often do rock crawling, drag racing, and similar sports. Lockers ensure your safety while on rough terrain but remember not to use them in ordinary driving. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble making sharp turns.

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