With the off-and-on spurts of warmer weather we’ve been having lately, you’re dreaming of riding with your Jeep soft top on again. You may be seeing things with rose-colored glasses, though, because boy can that soft top be noisy. Is there anything you can do to silence yours?
How to Make a Jeep Soft Top Quieter? To make your Jeep soft top quieter, reconsider investing in new materials, especially those from HushMat. You might also want to check the seals and bows, as these can create noise if they’re not secure. The same is true of the zippers if they’re not closed all the way.
As you can see, there are several culprits to your Jeep soft top noise issue. In this article, I’ll explain every single one in more detail. I’ll also point you in the direction of noise-dampening products you might want to try.
How to Make a Jeep Soft Top Quieter
As I mentioned in the intro, there are many reasons your Jeep ragtop may be making so much noise. As I elaborate on what the sources of noise are and how to fix them, I’ll start with the most straightforward issues to the most complex ones. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time (or money) reducing your soft top noise, then go from the top of this section and work your way down.
You can also combine methods to eliminate that soft top noise for good!
Check the Seals and Bows, Replacing Them as Necessary
If your Jeep soft top is making a lot of noise as you cruise along the freeway, the first places to check are the seals and bows. The bows are designed to maintain the shape of the soft top, so it doesn’t collapse while you’re driving. If you can feel a little bit of pressure up on your soft top, then the bows are doing their job. If not, then you could have a problem on your hands.
Soft Top Bows
With time, the soft top bows can seemingly vanish out of thin air. Sometimes you don’t even realize you lost one or several until you start hearing all this noise from your within your Jeep’s soft top. If you’ve had the same bows that came with your Jeep years ago, they could be in desperate need of a replacement. The same is true if they’re ripped, torn, or in otherwise bad condition.
You should not try to keep driving with your soft top on if even a single bow is missing. You’re risking the soft top potentially collapsing, which is dangerous for you and every passenger in your Jeep.
Well, that is, unless you by chance have a Jeep that has a bowless soft top. These do exist, and you’ll never have to worry about any bows becoming loose, coming off, or being damaged. If you’re not sure if your soft top has bows or is bowless, I recommend you get in touch with your Jeep manufacturer just to be sure.
Soft Top Seals
Besides the bows, you’ll also want to give your soft top’s seals some attention. The seals should always be secure and tight. Sometimes these can go missing as well, especially those seals that surround the bows. If your seals crack or become brittle, they necessitate a replacement, too.
To make sure your seals are where they should be, start at the soft top’s inside and move towards the top of it. Look at all the straps and mountings and make sure they’re in alignment and none are missing. While you’re doing this, inspect the condition of the seals as well. Repair or replace the damaged ones as needed.
Lubricate the Zippers
After spending some time with the bows and seals, you can get back in your Jeep and listen for noise from your soft top. Sometimes doing the above is all you need for a quieter ride. If so, good for you. Your work is done.
If you find the problem persists, there’s more work still you can do. The next noise culprit is the zippers. You may not have zipped up the soft top securely or entirely. If that’s true, then, of course, you’re going to hear the noise when you drive. Wind is going to get trapped underneath the zipper and make quite a ruckus.
Do your zippers tug or give you a hard time when you try to close them? This doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be replaced. Instead, you should first try cleaning and lubricating them.
Mopar Jeep Wrangler Soft Top Cleaner is a favorite product for Jeep owners. This inexpensive cleaner will lube up stubborn zippers while ridding them of any gunk that prevents them from fully opening or closing.
Once you do get your zippers working, you’ll want to lubricate/clean them every so often, so you don’t run into this issue again. If you find your zippers absolutely will not budge even with the Mopar or a similar product, then you might need to look into getting new ones.
Upgrade Your Soft Top Materials
Like with most things in life, when it comes to your Jeep soft top material, you get what you pay for. Inexpensive stuff may seem like a bargain at the time until the soft top rips when you’re driving on a particularly windy day.
Rather than go for the same cheap material, again and again, try some higher-quality options right out of the gate. What are some materials you might choose instead? Here are several top picks.
Sailcloth is a favorite for Jeep owners because of its durability. As the name might tell you, this is the same fabric that goes into making boat sails. While it’s not completely impenetrable to damage, it’s tough and quite versatile.
These days, sailcloth can be made with carbon fiber (molded, spun, or woven), aramids, polyester, nylon, synthetic fibers, sail canvas, cotton, hemp, and even flax. Sometimes several materials are combined into one sail—or, in your case—the Jeep soft top.
Another option you have for your soft top is canvas. One of the biggest perks of this material is the range of colors available. If you don’t want a plain black soft top, you can choose from a variety of natural hues, often beiges, grays, tans, browns, and even deep greens.
If you want great durability, twill is a lasting soft top material. It’s all the parallel ribbing of twill that makes it able to withstand years of use. Twill can be colorful as well, giving you the benefit of a canvas soft top but with an even better lifespan.
Once you choose which material you’re most interested in, you can order your new soft top. Make sure you pay attention to the number of factory openings. Having a single back window and dual front doors is typical. More advanced soft tops might include openings for the sunroof, a flip-back top, and even side windows in addition to the above.
The reason you should carefully count the openings is that the more you have, the greater the chances of your soft top making sounds as you drive. Luckily, there’s something you can do about that…
Invest in HushMat
My last piece of advice if you still hear loud noises from your Jeep soft top is to get a HushMat. If you’ve never heard of it before, HushMat is a brand that manufacturers noise-reducing and deadening mats for RVs, boats, trucks, cars, and more.
Not only will you hear less noise, but HushMat products can also boost the comfort of your driving experience and cut back on heat. The brand promises a heat reduction of 70+ percent as well as a noise reduction of 50+ percent.
HushMats can be designed to fit your exact Jeep make and model. You just have to input all the info on your vehicle, including the year, on the HushMat website. You can then order a kit that will fit perfectly. Otherwise, there are always special requests or a universal kit. You can trim this down with scissors, so the HushMat fits inside your Jeep better.
Through a combination of any of the above methods, driving your Jeep with the soft top on should be a much quieter, more enjoyable experience.
Jeep soft tops are a great feature until you start driving in high speeds or windy conditions. Then, the noise of air getting caught within the soft top kind of sours the whole day.
There are plenty of ways to cut back on all those unwanted sounds. You can reseal the soft top or get new bows. You can also order a new soft top altogether in a much more durable material. Just be careful to get one with only a few openings.
Finally, you can get a HushMat if your soft tops are still too noisy. These mats cover the interior of your Jeep. Not only will driving be quieter, but there’ll be less heat, also. Now that you know you can quieten your Jeep soft top, you have many more relaxing rides to look forward to this spring and summer.