Wintertime is a fun time for Jeep owners. Whether you want to go out and play in the snow or you just want to get to work safely, make sure your Jeep is ready to go.
Plan on using a hard top if you’re in a cold climate where you get measureable snow more than once or twice a year. A hard top can be washed off with the rest of your vehicle as needed. While it’s unnecessary to wax your hard top or put protectant on it, a liquid wax for painted surfaces that’s applied before winter weather hits will help it to keep some of its luster.
Keeping your side-view mirrors free of ice and snow can be cumbersome, especially for older models. Rugged Ridge offers a side-view mirror outfitted with LED lights and an imbedded heating element to speed up defrosting and minimize damage to the mirror’s coating.
It’s wise to keep some microfiber towels in your vehicle for rainy and snowy days. Drips, mist and rogue bits of ice on your interior should be cleaned off as soon as possible. Wipe down the doors and dashboard with microfiber towels to keep your surfaces clean and dry. Microfiber prevents scratches and absorbs water nicely.
- Remove sand and dirt with a quick vacuum. Shake out or vacuum your floor mats and cargo liners. If you have the all-terrain type in plastic or silicone rubber molding, the dirt will be funneled away from your feet.
- If you have access to an outdoor hose that won’t freeze or a local do-it-yourself carwash, these mats can be hosed off with little effort.
If you’re in a mild climate that doesn’t get a lot of ice and snow, your Jeep Wrangler soft top will weather the winter just fine with a few tweaks to your year-round routine. Clear off any snow accumulation, but especially more than four or five inches, even if you’re not planning to drive your Jeep. This will prevent the soft top from sagging, stretching and splitting under the added weight.
- Keeping it in the garage is a nice bonus, but not a true necessity.
- Avoid zipping and unzipping your Jeep Wrangler soft top or putting the top down when it’s 55 degrees F. or cooler. The material doesn’t stretch as well in cooler weather and will stress the threads and the zipper.
- Zipper cleaner and lubricant or oil is a wise step. Choose a brand that has a brush on top of the bottle to gently clean that film of debris out of your soft top zipper. Lubricant will prevent the zipper teeth from extra wear and falling out prematurely.
- The standard soft top is made from breathable materials, including polyester, acrylic and cotton. A protective coating will help you keep it waterproof and help it to last longer. Use a cleaner and mildew remover specially made for convertibles and the Jeep Wrangler soft top. Over- the-counter household cleaners can damage the fabric.
A regular ice scraper is fine for glass windows. To clean them on the inside or outside, use glass cleaner, then dry them with paper towels or shop towels. Use newspaper to make your glass windows shine. If you have a Wrangler model with a soft top, however, don’t use a scraper on your side and rear windows. They will scratch. Instead, clean them off with a soft rag or nylon brush as needed, but avoid a circular motion. Go up and down or side to side. If there is considerable build-up of film on the exterior, use cleaner made for a convertible or Jeep soft top windows.
Keeping It Clean
Road treatments are a challenge for any vehicle owner. While most street crews use a saline solution and sand to treat the roadways to make them safe for winter weather, some still use harsh chemicals. Either way, road treatments mixed in with road grime and acid rain can leave a nasty film on your vehicle that will dull and deteriorate your clear coat. It’s important to rinse off the outside and undercarriage to prevent corrosion, and to keep your Jeep in top driving condition.
Hot air takes up more space than cold air. Check your tire pressure periodically in cold weather to ensure even tread wear and better handling.
Driving a Jeep in the wintertime can be fun and improve your safety. Following these tips will make your vehicle last longer and look better.