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We give our 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ a new rug with an Auto Custom Carpets kit

Interior Refurbishment

Linda JonesPhotographerSusan MajichWriter

Jeeps are not well known for being clean vehicles. It's kind of the nature of the beast. We take the tops off to enjoy the sun. We take them hunting and fishing. We take them in the mud. We take them in the sand. Sometimes we may clean them, but more often than not, they quickly get dirty again.

Wherever we take our Jeeps, the carpet inside tends to see a lot of abuse. While most of us take pretty good care of the rest of our off-roader, the carpet tends to get overlooked. Our 2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ is no different. After enough dirt had been ground into it and enough sun had beaten down on it, the carpet was looking ratty and was ready for replacement.

With a call to Auto Custom Carpets, we quickly had everything we needed to get our TJ's interior looking, and smelling, new again. While not the thickest carpet on the market, the fit was excellent. It was very well contoured, taking a minimum of effort to install, and only the smallest amount of trimming. This was expected, as the tolerance range—especially for interior trim—is pretty broad. This means no two vehicles are exactly identical, and you should expect a little "customization" when it's time to re-carpet your Jeep.

01 This is how your carpet can look after years of off-road trips and abuse. It's amazing how much dirt gets left behind even after regular vacuuming. We should also mention that if you love that new-car smell, you should replace your carpet. Our TJ smelled brand-new after we were done with the installation.

02 When the carpet kit first arrived, we laid everything out in our driveway. There were a lot of pieces to this kit, and it wasn't obvious where each piece went. What seemed to work best was to remove our old carpet and lay it out on the driveway, using those pieces as templates to figure out which pieces of the new carpet kit went where.

03 Aside from the basic handtools needed to remove your seats, center console, and anything else on top of your carpet, this is all that's needed for installation. While not strictly necessary, the spray adhesive just made things easier by helping to keep the carpet in place during the job. The instructions said to use scissors, but we found a box cutter worked better than any of the scissors we had on hand.

04 While most of the cutting is already done for you, there are a few places you will need to cut or trim material to fit your specific vehicle. Shifter handles, the parking brake handle, and the center console are just a few of those places. On our TJ, we had to trim away the material under the console bracket so it would fit.

05 We'll admit that some of those non-critical little interior screws or clips might have been left out of our new carpet installation. Some of them were just too much trouble to reinstall for what little benefit they offered. These pictured, however, are critical items that need to go back in place. The two clips found behind the pedals are what keep the carpet from falling down and blocking your pedals.