Jeeps aren’t luxury liners, they’re built for adventure. But even rugged warriors deserve some quiet time. So, how much cabin noise is normal, and when is it time to tune out the noise? Let’s tackle the whistles and whooshes that can plague our brick-on-wheels chariots.
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2019 Jeep Wrangler Wind Noise
So, at which point do you have a problem, and when is it just, “a Jeep Thing”? Well, usually these aerodynamics and wind issues manifest themselves anywhere from around 55mph. A strong crosswind or headwind will aggravate and exaggerate any pre-existing noises inside the cabin.
What is a good noise-to-speed gauge? Expect to hear only subtle wind noise between 55-65mph. This is normal. From 65mph and up you can expect audible wind noise but not overly intrusive.
Don’t expect the Wrangler to offer similar sound deadening to that of a premium SUV. The Wrangler is purpose-built and more utilitarian in design, so it lacks a lot of sound dampening and padding than other manufacturers in a similar category.
Freedom Panel Alignment
The factory design of the freedom panel is very poorly insulated. The reason for this is, that its only purpose is to protect you from natural elements and not to carry any loads or form part of the vehicle’s support structure.
- The panels are thin and designed from SMC (Sheet Molding Compound).
- Sheet Molding Compound is made up of a compressed fiberglass base.
- SMC is used in applications where high strength and lightweight are required.
- There are absolutely no sound-deadening properties built into it.
Let’s look at that in more detail next
The first thing you should do is inspect the hardtop for sagging or any visible misalignment. Next, you need to disengage the latches on the windshield frame.
- Adjust the hardware bolts down as much as possible.
- This will increase the seal and drastically decrease any audible wind noise and whistling inside the cabin.
- Adjust the hardware latch mechanism as well for a better seal and lock the panels down better.
- Do the same for door hinge hardware if you experience excessive whistling from the side.
Next, let’s look at the cause and solution to the buffeting sound
As mentioned previously, the design of the hardtop and freedom panels are rather flimsy and lack decent structural reinforcement. This is apparent when traveling at a certain speed or when you hit a bump in the road, the roof begins to resonate.
- The hardtop resonates with the sound throughout the cabin because of the square cabin shape.
- You can add the optional headliner which helps reduce resonation. Like a sound dampener, it reduces vibrations
Buffeting is a well-known Jeep Wrangler phenomenon and if you pop on over to your local dealership to test drive a new Jeep, you’ll find the symptoms are similar to yours.
- A simple DIY fix to eradicate this buffeting is by wedging something to support the roof.
- Squeeze it between the roof and the overhead roll bar directly over the rear seats.
- This is the weakest, least support section of the hardtop, and adding support to this section of the roof will make a massive difference.
- As an initial trial run, use a pool noodle or a few dense pillows.
Water Spray Technique
The soapy water technique is always a good method to identify leaks quickly. The problem is you are working inside the vehicle while stationary when the problem is caused from outside while in motion.
So, to successfully recreate this problem, you need to create some sort of vacuum pressure inside the cabin. Follow the below steps.
|Start by ensuring all doors and windows are properly shut
|Seal your tailgate by using a plastic bag to seal the vent in the tailgate.
|Crank up your AC blower to max level
|Target all the potential areas with the soapy water spray
|Pay close attention to any bubbles appearing
Once you’ve identified the leaking/whistling area, you can apply a sealing technique of your choice.
Rear View Mirror Plastic Triangle
If your wind noise is coming from outside, close to the front of your doors, then you want to investigate your rearview mirrors. The triangular plastic sections around the mirror can become worn over time and not sit properly seated and flush.
- This causes a tremendous amount of wind noise and whistling that becomes increasingly invasive the faster you drive.
- As an additional check, always ensure your door seals are still sealing properly too.
- You might need to adjust your hinges again.
As a quick way to isolate the plastic triangular fittings, tape them up and go for a quick spin. Make sure you can get up to speeds of 65mph to test properly. Make sure you replace both the driver and passenger sides.
Top Windshield Bolts
If you are 100% convinced the noise is coming from the front top section of the windshield then you should adjust the hardware in the front of the panels. Make sure all four bolts that hold the windshield in place are properly secured. This will help with front wind noise.
- Adjust the two bolts that hold down the panel in the front center.
- These allow you to adjust up and down, adjust them all the way so you can pull the panels farther down when you flip the handles over.
Also, make sure your latch me mechanism is adjusted as securely and tight as possible. 2x bolts allow for adjustment.
- To make it extra secure, you can add a brass 1/2” shim washer .010” between the panel lever and the bolt.
- You need to widen the holes to accommodate a 13mm bolt and washer.
The Wrangler door and windshield sealing properties are poor. Unfortunately, this makes them susceptible to leaks when driving in rain and excessive wind noise.
- The door seals can be drastically improved.
- They are very thin.
- The dated structural design also has a few flaws which create insulation and sound deadening issues.
- Outside noises are audible, even when stationary due to the large gaps between panels.
It’s always recommended to visit your dealership first for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it’s a well-known fact that certain dealerships are a bit reluctant to investigate or do anything about it. I guess the level of support, in this regard, varies from dealer to dealer.
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