Protect Your Jeep's Exterior: Top 5 Products for Optimal Protection
Whether you’re an avid off-roader or use your Jeep as your daily driver (or both!), when your vehicle is made to truly Go Anywhere and Do Anything, protecting it from the elements is an essential part of Jeep ownership.
From harsh winter weather and extreme summer heat, to rock climbing and high-speed highways, your Jeep will be exposed to a vast range of temperatures and conditions, not to mention the fact that the Jeep windshields are notorious for breaking. Protecting your Jeep as much as possible is key to maintaining the quality of your car and will ultimately prevent it from becoming rusty and dusty.
We put together our top 5 exterior Jeep protection products to make sure that your Jeep is protected from head to tow (sorry…we had to) for wherever your adventures take you.
1. Grille Guard
A good grille guard is a great way to protect your Jeep from rocks, mud, and other debris that can cause damage. The grille guard is basically a bar that protects that classic Jeep grille and designed to absorb impact, deflect debris, and reduce the chance of major damage. This can be especially helpful if you are off-roading and driving on any rugged terrain.
When looking at your options for a new grille guard, there are a few things to consider:
Model: this might be obvious, but making sure your grille guard is built for your specific Jeep model is key. If you have any other exterior products like light bars, you’ll want to make sure it’s a fit
Ease of installation: check the installation instructions before you place any orders to make sure you have the tools (and the desire) to do it yourself (or take it to your favourite shop).
Overall Design: while this is a mostly functional product, you want to make sure that it fits with the overall look of your Jeep! Luckily most shops carry a few different options so you’ll more than likely be able to find something that fits your style.
Installing a Jeep grille guard is relatively simple. It can even be done yourself if you’re a relatively handy person and if you carefully follow the instructions provided by the specific Jeep grille guard kit to ensure correct installation. Professional assistance is recommended if you’re not a DIY fanatic or are unsure about the installation procedure.
Ideal for: Everyone
2. Underbody Protection
Honestly, the last thing you need while driving in secluded areas is a busted oil pan! Your Jeep’s front lower control arm mounts are relatively low, and are frequently struck while off-roading, and built of surprisingly thin material, so underbody protection is definitely a must.
A good set of underbody skid plates will help your Jeep navigate pretty much any hard terrain. These will almost always ensure you make it home from your off-road adventures without any expensive damage to the undercarriage of your Jeep.
When purchasing skid plates, do a significant amount of research on what will work best for your Jeep. Once you have found the right fit, it is ready to install. Similar to installing a Jeep grille guard, adding skid plates can be a DIY project if you’re so inclined, but you’ll need a few more tools for this one so if you’re not sure about it, we suggest leaving it to the professionals! You can take your Jeep to any manufacturer specializing in off-road vehicles for skidplate installation if help is required.
Ideal for: Trail riding, Extreme off-roading, Rock crawling
3. Windshield Protection
Look, we all love the classic Wrangler look, but that windshield could use some help.
Flat, vertical windshields like the one on the Wranglers (and now Gladiators) are nothing short of rock chip magnets. Here’s a fun game to play - check out the windshield of every Jeep you see on the highway and count the UNbroken windshields - we promise it won’t be many.
While Jeep owners are no strangers to having to pay for windshield replacement here or there, newer and higher trim models have windshields that are pretty pricey. Windshield protection is quickly becoming a must-have for any Jeep owner - whether or not you’re off-roading. In 2023 windshield protection film has come a long way from where the technology first started 20 years ago. There are even DIY products that make the installation a lot faster and less expensive than having to take it to a restyling shop. We just launched a Jeep-specific windshield protection product, ExoShield ULTRA which is even more impact resistant than a standard windshield protection film to help Jeep owners avoid windshield damage, which is also available in a DIY kit for anyone who would rather work on their own vehicle.
If you’re looking for more full-vehicle protection, you can also consider adding paint protection film to your package to keep the paint free from scratches and stone damage.
Ideal for: Everyone
ExoShield ULTRA: Windshield Protection Film
Get durable windshield protection film made especially for Jeeps and other industrial applications. 60% thicker than the standard premium ExoShield GT3 windshield protection film, ExoShield ULTRA is designed to give you more protection, all in an easy-to-install DIY kit .
4. Soft Top
Part of the allure of a Jeep is getting to really experience the open air, and for many of us, ditching that hardtop as soon as the weather is decent is essential. A soft top is a great way to protect your Jeep from the elements and keep it looking great. A soft top helps protect the interior of your Jeep from rain, snow and dust plus also helps keep out UV rays that can damage your vehicle’s interior over time. When choosing a soft top, consider the type of material, size, and durability you need. Soft tops are usually made of either vinyl or fabric and are available in kits of different sizes and styles depending on what you’re looking for. Although none will last as long as a hardtop will, there are various options for durability, so make sure to consider how much protection you really need.
Installing a soft top is relatively easy and can be done in a few steps with the right tools. Every manufacturer will be a little different, but if you’ve got a driveway and some basic tools you should be able to comfortably make the switch yourself!
Ideal for: Everyone
5. Roll Bar
This one is primarily for the Wranglers. The sports bar on Jeeps with open-air structural designs is intended to act as a minimal safety feature to safeguard your Jeep in the event of a low-speed rollover. For thrill-seekers who plan on taking a path that’s a little more…rugged… you’ll definitely want to add some more resistance to up the safety and security in your Jeep. Adding a roll bar or roll cage is one way of ramping up the protection - your rig should be a lot more sturdy and secure when a roll bar is attached to the existing sports bar.
The roll bar spans body points, connects them, and creates a sturdy brace. Should there be a rollover, your Jeep will be better braced to prevent the frame from bending or caving in. There are several options for cages or bar kits that provide various levels of protection.
Ideal for: Extreme off-roading, Rock crawling
Whether you confine yourself to paved roads or are climbing verticals in your Jeep, taking some basic protection steps will protect your ride and in some cases, you. As summer approaches, now is the best time to be looking for the protection products that you’ll install and love for years to come.
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