In this article, we go over some of the most common convertible problems followed by an FAQ section. 

Common Symptoms

  • Slow convertible top movement - If your convertible top is moving slowly, it could be due to several reasons. Worn out lift cylinders. Low fluid level or air in the lines. Corroded relay contacts.Binding of links or cable. Weak car battery. 
  • Convertible top won't raise or lower - The convertible pump is not getting power, or it is not working. Relay of fuse could be bad. Bad convertible switch. Damaged or misaligned hinge. 
  • Beck lid won't open - Bad limit switch. Low fluid level. Defective deck lid solenoid. Pump not working. 
  • Convertible top won't go down - Bad relay. Flow fluid level. Burned out motor. Excessive friction at hinges and linkage arms. 

Common Problems

Let's take a quick look at some of the most common convertible top problems. 

Low convertible top fluid

Low hydraulic fluid level

Low convertible top fluid is the #1 cause that will prevent your convertible top from going up and down. A small leak due to aged seals can cause the convertible top fluid level to go below the min.

Get the correct convertible top fluid for your car, Pentosin Hydraulic Fluid CHF11S 1405116
is commonly used fluid. 

The reservoir for the convertible top in most cases can be found in the trunk area. 

Failure of limit switches

Failure of limit switches

These small switches are all over the place on a convertible.

The one that fails the most is the switch for trunk divider. When it fails, it will stop the convertible top from working at all.

Failed hydraulic pump

Failed hydraulic pump

The hydraulic pump may fail. Before you replace your convertible pump motor, check the fuse and relay of the convertible top.

They may be the culprit instead of the convertible top pump/motor.

Worn lift solenoids

Worn lift solenoids

If you use a convertible top a lot, the cylinders may start to wear out.

If your convertible top is very slow to go up and down or gets stuck, a worn or leaking convertible top cylinder may be the problem. 

Relay / Fuses

convertible  top not working due to blown fuse

Check the relay and fuse for convertible top. You can visibly inspect the fuse to check if it is blown. The relay can be tested as well but requires a multimeter. Most makes use a simple automtoive relay for the convertible top that is cheaper to just replace than go through the trouble of testing it if you don't know how to. 

Rust

Defective relay or corroded contacts

Rust will kill anything including your convertible top.

Inspect your convertible for rust and fix the problem before it gets even worse. 

FAQ

Small patches can be glued. The repair will be visible when near the car. If you are looking for the best solution, you should consider replacing the convertible top.

If you only have a small gap between the top fabric and the rear window a convertible top repair shop should be able to fix. If the rear window glass has started to come off, it will be almost impossible to reattach it to the old fabric.

First, you need to make sure you are following all the instructions in your owner's manual on how to operate the convertible top. If you are following all the steps but still can't get the top to go down it could be due to a bad convertible top relay, burned fuse, hydraulic pump needing to be replaced, defective limit switch, weak cylinder, or a hydraulic line leak.

Slow convertible top movement can be caused by low hydraulic fluid level, worn lift cylinder or a pump that is failing.

If one side is getting ahead of the other, you may have a worn lift cylinder or a stretched or broken tensioning cable.

Rubber strip that goes between the convertible top and the frame of the car.

Yes. If you have experience working with car, you should be able to change a convertible top yourself. Make sure you have another person help you as you replace or install the convertible top.