When the winter season comes, everyone tries to get ready for it in different ways. If you are a jeep wrangler owner who has a soft top on it, then the above question will hurt your mind.
This is an old question that never gets old. In this article we’ll see, can a jeep wrangler with soft top use in winter, can a soft top handle snow and how to take care of your wrangler soft top in winter.
You can use your jeep with a soft top in the winter. But you have to take care of your jeep than when it has a hard top. Soft tops are more prone to damage in winter due to that extremely low temperature.
Especially soft top windows cracked easily in freezing temperatures. So don’t use an ice scraper to remove ice and don’t raise or lower the soft top in winter.
Can jeep soft top handle snow ?
The general and best advice is it is “best to use a hard top in the winter.” But normally due to various reasons jeep wrangler users use their jeeps with the soft tops in winter.
Some of them use soft top in winter because they don’t have a hard top while some use soft tops in winter because of their laziness even though they have a hardtops in their garages.
Fitting a hardtop is bit time consuming and it may need at least two people to lift it and fit to the vehicle properly.
You may be in one of the groups above. But if you have a hard top it’s good to fit that to your vehicle than using the soft top in the winter season.
But if you don’t have a hard top don’t worry. You can use it in winter with a little bit more care and patience.
Strength of soft top
Even the material of the soft top is thin, it can handle the weight of heavy snow. If your soft top is in good condition, it will not break.
But when removing snow you can’t do that like in a normal hard top jeep. I’ll discuss how you can do it safely later in this article.
Apart from the top, there are other things that can be damaged if you are not careful in the winter.
Temperature in the jeep.
Next thing is temperature inside the jeep. It’s true that hardtop jeep has better insulation than soft top jeep.
So the inside temperature may reduce due to freezing temperature on outside.
But jeep wrangler has a very good powerful heaters. Even you are under a soft top that heaters can produce the necessary heat in few minutes inside the vehicle and warm up everything inside the vehicle.
It’s not a problem at all. You just have to check and know whether your heaters are working properly. That’s all.
What damages can happen to soft tops in winter ?
Damages can happen in a few ways if you are not careful about soft tops.
One thing is damaging to the soft top when removing snow in wrong methods. cracks can happen to the top.
Next thing is damaging to the soft top windows. Because these windows are different from normal vehicle’s glass windows.
These are made of vinyl plastics. so in the freezing temperatures they become delicate and fragile easily even with your touch.
If you break your window (especially rear window) that may not be covered by your soft top warranty. Because it’s a cold crack and they are not usually covered by that warranty.
If you try to scrape these windows and if the scraper meets the window there will leave scratch marks and that can lead to hindering the visibility.
You can’t use the bouncing or tapping techniques by your hands to these windows like in normal glass windows to take off the ice.
These windows can stretch out or puncture easily with these freezing temperatures.
Because the quality of these plastic materials depends on the temperature.
As you know like plastics melt at high temperatures, in low temperatures also their properties are going to change.
That means if you pour hot water to the ice on the vinyl window the ice will melt down but, with that high temperature window also can damage. So don’t try to do those things.
How to remove snow from a soft top jeep safely?
To remove ice you have to do a simple thing and it may take a similar amount of time as scraping.
You just crank the vehicle and switch on heaters. While the engine is warming up for a few minutes at outside, heaters will do the job from inside.
By the heat produced by heaters all the things including windows and top get heat up. Because of that heat ice that sticks to the windows and top will begin to melt down.
Give the time to melt down snow on their own. Amount of ice will decide the time to clear the windows. But 15 – 20 minutes will be the maximum.
If you are really hurrying to go, you can use a soft brush to gently remove the snow on necessary areas like side mirrors(if they don’t have heating option) and backup cameras and on the top, while keeping heaters on.
But never try to touch the soft top windows.
How to protect the soft tops from damages in winter?
When ice collected on the top don’t try to beat from the inside and loosen them. It can crack the top and can leak water to the inside.
As mentioned earlier never ever try to clean the soft top windows when in freezing temperatures.
Don’t try to put the top down, open the back window or side windows when it’s in freezing temperatures.
If you don’t have a garage to park your vehicle on winter nights, cover the whole vehicle with a polythene tarp and cover the side mirrors also with a zip lock bag.
Then you will be free from so many morning hustles to clean the melted snow on the vehicle.
But be careful when removing the tarp in the morning. Don’t try to pull away the tarp with the ice.
First remove the snow as much as possible on the tarp.be aware about the areas where the windows are located.
After that safely take away the tarp and keep that in the vehicle safely throughout the winter season.
That tarp may be useful even in summer if you are caught to a sudden rain when you ride with your top off.
As an extra tip you can remove the rear window in the summer and keep that safely covered with a smooth piece of cloth.
By that way you can use that, a long time because that glass type easily gets scratches with the use. Careful use can protect it for a long time.
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Have fun and safe off-roading !!