Jeep Wrangler Hard Top Leaking Fix – Step by Step Guide

If anything is going to make you mad, having your hardtop leak is probably it. When the hardtop leaks it lets winter, precipitation get inside and mess up your carpets and upholstery. It lets cold wind enter so your heater can not keep the interior cozy and comfy. It aggravates you and is simply annoying.

You do not have to live with the aggravation or get a new cover. There are a few things you can do to stop a hardtop that has started to leak.

How to Stop Your Jeep Wrangler Roof from Leaking (5 Practical Tips)

a jeep hard top from leaking

1. Clean Rubber Seals

Your rubber seals may be the problem with the top that is allowing a leak. If you have not already cleaned around these rubber seals completely then now is the time to do so. Sometimes when you go topless dirt and debris get a free pass and land next to your seals. When you put your top back on the dirt and debris stop the rubbers from sealing totally and you have a leaky situation on your hands.

You need to get a clean cloth and wet it. Use the cloth to wipe down all of your seals to remove as much of the dirt and debris as you can. The cloth will wipe away a large amount of the dirt, but you are going to need some cotton swabs to get down in the cracks and get all of the dirt out of the way.

The dampened cotton swabs can reach down into the creases and crevices to remove every bit of the sand, road dirt, and debris that has accumulated there.

2. Check The Bolts

If you have a leak it could be that the bolts on the front of your top have vibrated and become loose. Before you spend any money or go to great lengths to stop your leaks you should check the bolts and make certain that they are tightened up properly. If they are loose, they let the top move slightly and that is just enough space to let the water come in when you do not want it to.

You are going to need a hex wrench to tighten the bolts back. Check these bolts periodically because simple driving over slightly rough terrain can cause them to vibrate and become loose again.

3. Take Hard Top Off

You might need to take your top off, make a few adjustments, and put it back in place. After you have checked the bolts and the seals the next logical solution is to remove the top so it can be realigned and made to set properly. The slightest bit of alignment problems can create leak problems.

You want to make certain that the seals are folded outside properly so they push the seal out correctly and into proper placement.

When you are adjusting put the passenger side panel in place first. This panel needs to secure down first in order for the seals to be properly aligned. After you have this latch fastened you need to work around the vehicle in a crisscross pattern tightening each of the lug nuts. After the lug nuts have been tightened there are two front latches that need to be secured. These latches are metal and they are crucial to holding the top properly in place.

Finally, you use the screw in bolts. You have to tighten these bolts down well because they compress the seals and form the water-tight barrier.

green and black jeep wrangler with hard top

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4. Check Door Seals

Is the leaking problem happening at your door seals? The doors are designed with a water-out but water can find a way in past the door seals. A damaged door seal will allow water to come inside the vehicle and run onto the floorboards. If this happens you can remove the carpeting from the floorboard and pull the plugs you find there to drain the water from the floorboard and eliminate any pooling that might occur.

The first thing you should do is clean all of the seals and check for wear and tear. Check to see if they are intact, if any small pieces are missing, or if they are dry and crumbling. The seals may be peeling away from the vehicle and no longer making proper contact. If the seals are wearing out or if they have been compromised you will need to change them.

Sometimes the problem is a buildup of dust or dirt on the seals. If you ride with your windows down or you take the doors off when you are cruising the beach, there is a good chance that nothing is wrong with the door seals, they might just be dirty.

Clean the door seals in the same manner that you did the hardtop seals. Use a clean cloth that has been dampened and then use cotton swabs to reach into the cracks and crevices that the cloth cannot access.

5. Use Weather Stripping

weather stripping man smiles

You may have to add some extra weather stripping to solve your dilemma. The additional weather stripping can compress and create a tighter seal that can stop the water or wind from being able to penetrating your interior sanctum.

You can find weather stripping at your local hardware supply stores. The stripping can be cut to length using scissors, and although it may have a sticky residue on one side you will want to get some glue to help these new strips form a tight seal.

Run the stripping pieces along with the current liner. This will allow you to position the strips so you create a water barrier that will seal off your interior from wind, cold, and water.

A Quick Video on Prevent Jeep Wrangler Hard Top from Leaking

Final Thoughts

A leaky roof can be frustrating, but lucky enough the most frequent causes of this condition are simple things that you can fix without taking the Jeep to a body shop. If you do exhaust all of the possibilities of dirt buildup on seals, loose bolts, or seals that are cracking and still have a leak issue then you should consult a local certified Jeep body shop to discover what the problem might be.

About Brendan Burnett

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