Once the snow melts and the days get longer, it is a great time to do a thorough inspection and cleaning of your Jeep Wrangler. Here are the top areas you need to hit.
Good Deep Undercarriage Scrubbing
Throughout the winter, ice, snow and salt can build up on the undercarriage. This buildup can cause permanent damage to the undercarriage by causing components to rust or, in extreme cases, clogging up the drivetrain and causing damage to the gears.
The best course of action is to do a thorough spraying of this area with a power washer. Yes, this will entail you to lie on the ground for a considerable amount of time, yet the benefits are worth it.
After you have thoroughly sprayed the undercarriage, let it dry and then do it again. Often, materials will work themselves out while spraying and you may think you have it clean only to find a buildup of salt has fallen free.
Inspect the Soft Top
Whether you drove around with your Wranglers soft top on all winter or stored it, it is always a good idea to do a thorough inspection. Taking the extra time now, can save you stress later.
When you are inspecting the soft top, don’t just do a once-over. Big holes or rips are easy to see, what you are looking for is the smaller ones that may grow. Also, make sure you inspect the seams. Often, you can do a little hand sewing to prevent a seam from busting that extends the life of the soft top.
If you stored the soft top, it is especially important to do a thorough inspection. Unless, you stored the top in a pristine, weather-proof area, the soft top was likely subjected to change in temperature, moisture and maybe even mice. Mice have a nasty habit of chewing through everything they find, so make sure you really inspect your soft top.
Check Under the Hood
Another key area to inspect is the engine components, under the hood. During the winter, snow and ice can cause damage to the belts, battery terminals and other items. For this reason, it is a pretty important to pop the hood and give it a look.
When doing your inspection, it is smart to carefully look over all the items and even unhook the battery cables and clean them. Also, check the air filter and replace it as needed. Lastly, it is always a good idea to check the belts.
If you really want a clean engine bay, you could also use a power washer; however, you do need to use caution. Excessive amounts of water can seep into air filters and even the engine itself. It is advised to do a thorough inspection and make sure everything is sealed up. Then do a light spray of the engine bay being careful to not let the hose linger too long on one specific area.
Fill Up the Tires
During the winter, changing temperatures can cause your tires to lose air. When the temperatures warm up, the rubber tires will expand slightly and may visually show this reduction in air. Make sure you check the air pressure and fill them up as needed.
While, you are filling up the tires, it is also a good idea to inspect them for punctures and tread wear. Icy, snow covered roads can stop you from noticing odd tire vibrations.
Taking the time to inspect the tires and filling them with air can extend their life and save you money in the long run. It’s also a perfect time to start the New Year with a new set of Wrangler tires.
Vacuum the Inside
Last, but not least, is the inside. Throughout the winter, you carry in salt and other ice melting materials in the cabin. These materials are just as bad for the interior as they are for the powertrain.
While you vacuum and clean up the interior, pay attention to the areas under the seats and especially under any rubber mats on the floorboards. These areas do have a covering applied at the factory; however, over time this barrier can wear down or crack. Salt has a nasty habit of finding these cracks and, if it builds up, will cause the floorboards to rust.
Even though doing a comprehensive cleaning an inspection is a big task, just remember the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” For Wrangler owners, these means a thorough power wash is a lot cheaper than a new part.