Jeep Wrangler In Snow

5 Wrangler Projects to Jump Start 2015

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

Jeep Wrangler Engine
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

Wrangler Tire
Check your Wranglers 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.

Written by Andrew

"You're telling me it's got four wheels, two seats and goes faster than the speed limit? Good, I'm driving."

One comment

  1. I really think a better way to attack any salt build-up is to run your Jeep though a car wash on a regular basis. I have 35X12.50X17 tires/wheels and my Wrangler can go right into the automated carwashes. I always have them do the under-carriage spray and try to go through once a week. If you have tires any larger than 35″ I’m not sure they will fit on the tracks of the automatic car washes. That means you’d have to do it yourself but to me, that’s time well spent as preventive maintenance. My Jeep is 2 years old and except for the drive shafts (which are not stainless or even zinc coated) it still looks brand new. I think my family thinks I’m nuts because of the way I take care of my vehicles but as expensive as the cost of a new Jeep (or any other vehicle) is, it just makes sense to me to spend the time keeping them well maintained, both cosmetically and mechanically. That’s why I use synthetic Royal Purple oil and other top-end products.


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