Owners of vehicles that require a soft door or soft top often encounter a variety of issues such as leaks and malfunctioning seals. Because soft doors are made from either plastic or fabric materials, these issues are unavoidable. Fortunately, they can be easily solved once the underlying cause is identified. If it's your first time to use a soft door for your vehicle, check out this list of common problems and what to do to solve each problem:
Leaking Jeep soft top or door
Water leaks and wind noise usually happen when the soft door or top isn't attached properly into the frame. When driving at high speeds, the fabric or plastic door can easily flap away, allowing water and wind to leak inside the vehicle. To solve this, you need to double-check if the fabric of the door has enough sealing surface to attach itself to. In some cases, you have to bend the door frame inwards to maximize the sealing surface. Another tip is to check if you've actually attached the door properly. If not, make sure to snap the fabric into the grooves along the side and door frame to lock it in place. A tight and snug fit ensures a leak- and wind noise-free driving experience.
Another possible cause of leaks and wind noise is daily wear and tear. Over the years, the fabric material will lose its elasticity, causing it to lose its grip over the door frame. For minor wear and tear, a stick-on weatherstrip can solve the problem. But if the material is filled with tears and holes, it's time to get a new door.
A brand-new top soft door won't attach to the soft top
In some cases and with some brands, the door frame may have to be bent inwards so that the new door will seal properly to the existing soft top. Now don't worry about breaking the frame since this is made from high-quality tubular steel and is engineered to withstand huge amounts of force. If the problem is with a lower half door that won't attach properly to an existing top or upper door, simply adjust the hinge pins until the upper and lower doors snugly seal or close together.
Dirty or stained fabric
Because of the nature of the soft door's material, it can easily get dirty or stained. To keep it looking new, clean it regularly with a cotton rag or soft terry cloth dipped in a Jeep top cleaner. Never use bleach or household hold products that might contain petroleum solvents or silicone, as these chemicals can destroy the fabric. Using a Jeep-specific cleaning product also offers more benefits because it's usually designed to provide UV protection and repel dust, dirt, and grease. So if you want to not just remove stains but also prolong the life of soft doors and tops, use the right cleaning product.
When cleaning the plastic or vinyl windows of a soft top or door, don't use paper towels or abrasive cloths to avoid scratches. Also avoid wiping in a circular pattern since this can create unsightly swirls on the surface.