Hood Flutter - 2012 Jeep Wrangler Long-Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport: Hood Flutter

April 19, 2012

2012_Jeep Wrangler_1325_hood_flutter_still.jpg 

So there I was, driving home across the desert in our 2012 Jeep Wrangler. I was going 70 to 75 mph into a headwind that was blowing at least 25 mph. Probably more.

From the Jeep's perspective, the air flowing over it was traveling over 100 mph. As you might imagine, the wind noise was deafening. 

The video on the next page shows how the upper flat surface of the hood was oil-canning a bit just behind the windshield tie-down. And check out how much the hood was moving as the rubbery straps that hold it closed were stretching under the strain. The centrally-mounted metal safety catch was never going to let the hood fly open had anything failed, but still.

This Jeep is new. I wonder how the hood latch bands hold up after they've dried out after 5 or 6 years in the sun and smog of SoCal.

Is it time for the Wrangler to go to a normal hood latch system? And what about the windshield tie down u-bolt and the rubber bumpers that go with it? I saw no JKs with folded windshields in Moab -- the windshield hinge itself is an accessory that's not included with the vehicle. Can these legacy hood protruberances be optional, too, as part of some sort of Heritage Package? If they were, would you buy that option?

Would your answers differ for the 4-door? Or does all of this talk represent Jeep blasphemy?  

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 14, 543 miles

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