How to Use Your Wrangler's Drain Holes

How to Use Your Wrangler's Drain Holes

Last Updated June 13, 2023 | Andrew Boyle

The Jeep Wrangler has always been a go anywhere, do anything type of vehicle. Where other SUVs fail to go, the Jeep Wrangler goes with gusto. While the Wrangler’s ability to crawl rocks like a billy goat is well known, its amphibious skills are lesser known. In addition to being able to ford up to 30 inches of water and wear a snorkel with the best of them, the Jeep Wrangler is also equipped with a series of rubber drain plugs in the floor that can keep it from becoming waterlogged.

Even though these drain plugs don’t seem all too much like a big deal, they are a handy part of your Wrangler to be familiar with. There are plenty of situations besides fording water that makes these humble little plugs useful. Here are some of them.

How to Find Your Wrangler's Drain Holes

Drain Plug Under Wrangler Carpet

Many Wrangler owners don’t even know that these drain plugs exist. They are hidden underneath the factory floor mats, so you wouldn’t find them unless you were trying to clean your floor mats (or you were hunting for that quarter you dropped).

While not normally visible by default, there are removable pieces of carpet above each of the drain holes. Underneath the floor mats is an oval of slightly raised carpet. Beneath this is the drain plug. These sections of carpet should be easily removed by hand, but in the case that they aren’t, any small blade will do the trick.

On the JL Wrangler, there are four drain plugs, one under each of the seats. On the driver’s and front passenger’s seat, the drains are located near the outermost retaining pins. In the backseat, they are located straight in front of the back left and back right seats.

The plugs on the JK Wrangler and earlier are similar to the JL, but they are more numerous. There are two plugs for the front seat, and a myriad of drain plugs in the rear.

Jeep Drain Plugs Purpose

First and foremost, the standard use case for the Jeep Wrangler drain plugs is for when you are wheeling doorless and/or topless through high water. Any water that manages to clear your door sill will keep piling up on the inside of your Wrangler. Pulling these plugs here is an easy way to make sure that your Hydro Blue Wrangler isn’t taking the name of its color too literally.

There are plenty of other situations in which these drain plugs would be very helpful. For example, say you left your hardtop or soft top off and forgot to check the forecast. Instead of bailing out your Jeep, you could just pull the plugs.

Finally, say you spilled something sticky onto your floor. Instead of having to tediously soak up the spill with a towel and then do a deep clean, you can simply pull the drain plugs, hose off the spill, and voila, no more mess.

If you haven’t already replaced your Wrangler’s floor mats, then a great option is the official Mopar floor mat. This durable and rugged floor mat provides solid coverage for your Wrangler’s floor. The special feature of these mats is their integrated drain holes.

A mat that doesn’t include these holes allows for water to build up and eventually find its way underneath the mat. This not only means that you are probably driving with wet feet, but you are also running the risk of developing mildew and rust.

If you are curious how this floor mat looks in action, then be sure to check out this video from CJ Off-Road’s YouTube team. There you can get a closer look at this floor mat along with how it looks inside of a JL Wrangler.

Some Wrangler owners simply remove these drain plugs the second they drive it off the lot, others choose to only remove them when necessary. It’s up to you to decide for the most part. There isn’t a single universally correct answer here.

There are some owners who do note that there is a bit of additional noise that comes through the drain plugs when they are removed. Additionally, there is the risk that debris can come up from the road and make its way into your Wrangler’s cabin.

These are relatively minor concerns for the most part. If you are willing to deal with a risk of debris and a bit more noise, then keep your plugs removed. Otherwise, just take them out as needed.

If you are worried about having a swampy Jeep, then worry no longer. Understanding these drain plugs can help get you and your rig out of a variety of sticky situations. Be sure to check out other articles on CJ Off-Road's resource center that can help keep you and your Jeep prepared for whatever that trails throw at you.

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This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.