How to acquire a New Convertible Top
Most convertible owners are unaware that the cloth top of the car they have is made of chemically treated breathable fabrics and thus needs a lot of care and attention. As a matter of fact, there are two main types of convertible tops and the difference is in the type of material used - fabric or vinyl. One type is the classic top made with extra thick cloth that resembles the canvas material.
But this variety is actually woven with fibers like acrylic, polyester, olefin, or a synthetic and cotton blend. These fabrics are actually breathable and made water resistant by a chemical process at the manufacturing unit. The other type of convertible top is made of thick vinyl that is a plastic product composed mostly of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and made flexible with the addition of plasticizers. Both types of tops are however susceptible to contamination from acid rain, heat, ultraviolet rays, smog, tree sap, bird droppings, salt, tar, dirt, grease, grit, and mold.
Please know that there are over four million convertible automobiles on the road today. Every major auto manufacturer has at least one convertible in its product range. But the unfortunate aspect is many are under the misconception that the convertible top is simply a piece of cloth or vinyl that is weather-proof and can withstand all things hurled at it. Of course, manufacturers of convertible tops are aware of this over-simplification and use high-grade and heavy-gauge materials for the convertible top.
People planning to buy a new convertible top must understand that not all convertible tops are manufactured the same way. You should aim to acquire the best quality convertible top that suits your vehicle. You must inspect the original fabrics to verify its quality and choose the color that will match your car body color. Suppliers offer many choices of colors and different types of fabrics for you to decide. Most tops are manufactured to order and you can reasonably expect to receive your top in 1-2 weeks from the time of order confirmation.
When you fit a new top, you should also inspect the Cables, Pads and Windows, and replace them if necessary. If you find the new top does not fit, you can immediately contact the supplier and demand a replacement. But such incidents of buyer complaints are rare. When you buy the top, inspect it carefully before leaving the supplier's outlet. You should check for quality and ensure there are no ink marks or other stains and all stitching are tight and intact.
Lay the top over your existing top to ascertain whether it is of same measurements. Once your top is installed on the vehicle, let the top remain in position for at least a fortnight. This is necessary as the top needs to do some stretching and forming in certain edges. Find out from the supplier the terms of warranty as most of them would offer a 5 year limited manufacturer's warranty.
As soon as you buy a new convertible, it is essential to immediately treat the top right away. First vacuum clean the top with an upholstery attachment and thereafter wet the top down and mist with an approved cleaner. Rinse the top and let it dry completely. You may use a hair dryer to quicken the drying process. Once completely dry, apply three light coats of a protectant recommended by the original equipment manufacturer. Make sure to similarly treat the top every four to six weeks to increase the lifespan of the top.