Are you tired of not being able to see what’s behind you in your JK Wrangler? You’re not alone, but thankfully some enterprising owners have come up with some solutions to the dreaded rear visibility problem.By Brett Foote – November 12, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
Wrangler JK owners don’t have a ton of complaints regarding their prized vehicles, but one sticks out as being both annoying and potentially dangerous—the poor rear visibility you experience when sitting in the driver’s seat. It makes backing up a perilous experience, and one that could lead to a fender bender. Thankfully, as automotive enthusiasts often do, Jeep owners have come up with a few solutions that can fix the problem (or at least make it a little better).
- Flat head screwdriver
- Bungee cords (optional)
Step 1 – Turn the rear view mirror upside down
Interestingly enough, quite a few Jeep owners report experiencing much better rear visibility by simply turning their rear view mirror upside down, which places the wide part of the mirror at the bottom instead of at the top. The mirror is also about 3/4″ higher when flipped, placing it up against the interior trim piece above it. As a bonus, flipping the rear view mirror also helps with forward visibility through the windshield, especially if you’re tall. The only downside is that flipping the mirror places the dimmer control at the bottom, but the added visibility it provides is well worth it.
Figure 1. Turning your rear view mirror upside down will increase visibility.
Step 2 – Remove the rear headrests
The rear headrests in the JK Wranglers hog up a lot of space, and in turn can severely limit rear visibility. Unfortunately, Jeep engineers didn’t have the foresight to engineer the headrests, so that they could flip down when not in use and the alternative is to simply remove them. This is a no-brainer if you don’t generally have rear seat passengers, but might be a no-go if you do, since headrests help prevent whiplash in the event of an accident.
To remove the headrests on a 2-door, simple lift them up and push the buttons to release. On a 4-door, a few extra steps are required. Use a flat head screwdriver to push the spring clip off the base of the headrest post. Push the headrest down and locate the cutouts for the headrest release. Push down on the release and pull on the headrest to remove it.
Step 3 – Rear headrest mod
Instead of just removing the headrests, you can also use bungee cords to hold them down and out of the way until they are needed. Fold the seat forward so that you are able to fold the headrests back, then loop a bungee cord through the hook at the seat back and around the metal posts of the headrest. If you need to raise one, you can simply pull it back up even with the cord attached.
Figure 4. Use a bungee cord to hold the headrests down.