If you own a convertible vehicle, it is important that you maintain it regularly. You would be wise to maintain a convertible top. If you ignore convertible top maintenance, you may end up having to pay thousands in repair bills to get the top working again. If you think general car maintenance was expensive, wait until you have problems with your convertible top. In this article, we will go over some important tips that will help you extend the life of your convertible top.
Convertible Top Maintenance Tips
- Lubricate your convertible top joints, hinges, and cables using lithium grease.
- Avoid taking your convertible into high-pressure car washes. It is recommended to hand wash a convertible car. High pressured water may get past the weatherstrips and come in contact with convertible top components such as switches and limit lift cylinders. Over time corrosion may develop and convertible top malfunctions may develop. Water may also make it into the interior of the vehicle.
- Don't open the convertible top if the top is wet. Make sure the fabric is dry before lowering it into the storage compartment.
- Do not operate the convertible top if the temperate is below 0°F (-18°C).
- Do not operate the convertible top while moving. Even if your soft top or hard top can go up and down when the vehicle is moving, don't do it. In most convertibles, you can't operate the top unless the vehicle is in Park. Some Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus convertibles can be operated at slow speeds.
- Only drive with the convertible either completely open or closed and locked.
- Make sure there are no items in the trunk that will hit the convertible top when it is lowered.
- Don't operate the top when there is ice or snow.
- Do not push items too far into the trunk. Especially when the top is lowered into its storage area in the trunk.
- Operating the convertible top up and down with the engine turned off, may drain the car battery. If you operate convertible top several times with the engine off, your car battery will drain, and you won't be able to start the car.
- Only use the recommended hydraulic fluid type to top off the convertible top reservoir. The hydraulic fluid used in most convertibles.
How to clean a convertible top?
Spray the convertible top with hose water. Don't use high pressure. Gently scrub the fabric with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly with running water. It is recommended to us convertible top protectant such as 303 Fabric Guard which can protect the fabric, increase water resistance and help to maintain the convertible top fabric color. Don't use bleach, citrus or any petroleum based products on your fabric or vinyl convertible top.
Always wear your seat belt when operating a convertible. This has nothing to do with maintenance, but it is a safety reminder. Rember that the convertible top does not provide much of protection. You can get seriously injured or ejected from the vehicle even during minor accidents.
Follow these ten convertible top maintenance tips to keep your top looking its best and last longer. Proper cleaning and maintenance are important to keep your vinyl or cloth top in the best condition.