How to keep a Convertible Top
There cannot be two opinions that Convertible tops look fabulous when a car is new. But somehow it loses its charm with passage of time and due to lack of proper care. One of the principal reasons why convertible tops lose their appeal is constant exposure to Sunlight. Quite a few of present day convertible tops have a glass rear window.
If yours has rear plastic windows, then remember that rear plastic windows are most susceptible to damage. Too many scratches and discoloration of convertible tops is not only an eyesore, but also functionally distort visibility. Here are some valuable tips to retain the original shine of your convertible tops.
Please bear in mind that convertible tops should be cleaned at least twice a year and still more frequently if the car is parked in the open. Select only high quality convertible top cleaners even if they cost more as cheap substitutes may not be effective. It is preferable you use a cleaner that's biodegradable. Scrupulously avoid using abrasive detergents or scouring powders that contain chlorine-based bleaching agents. They can badly affect a convertible top's seam threads and also deplete essential oils in vinyl tops that are specifically needed to safeguard against the sun's UV rays.
Always wash the top in the shade and not under direct sunlight. Also make sure the top is not hot before wetting. After wetting the top thoroughly, spray a light coating of top cleaner evenly across the top and gently work the cleaner using a soft sponge or brush to scrub away dirt. After cleaning thoroughly, rinse off the cleaner while brushing and using lots of water from a hose without nozzle.
It is not advisable to use glass cleaners if the window is plastic, as glass cleaners may be somewhat crude and damage the plastic. Use cleaners and polishes specifically recommended for plastic windows. The stores attendant will be able to suggest cleaners that will effectively remove minor scratches as well as dirt and also prevent the plastic from discoloring.
You must find out if your convertible top is made of cloth, fabric, canvas or vinyl. Determining the type of convertible top is critically important as using the wrong cleaner can harm your convertible top.
If the top is overly dirty, use a gentle, pH neutral car wash and make sure to rinse thoroughly. After washing, allow the top to dry completely before folding it down, to prevent dampness and mildew. After the cleaning process is entirely over, apply a top protectant to preserve the color and texture of the top material and prevent fading and cracking.
Bird droppings can be a real menace and you should be ever vigilant to remove them instantly. They are very acidic and can quickly and irreversibly damage convertible tops. Avoid, as far as possible, leaving your convertible exposed to the elements. Try to park your convertible in a closed garage or carport. If you do not have such facilities, then use a high quality, porous car cover.
It is said that there are over four million convertible automobiles on the road today. Every major automotive manufacturer has at least one convertible model in its line. Yet most car owners are not aware of any standard procedure for the maintenance of convertible tops. Of course, manufacturers of convertible tops are fully aware of this and thus use high-grade and heavy-gauge materials for the convertible top.
Nonetheless, if we can regularly clean and protect the top, it will help to make it more durable. If you acquire a bit of knowledge, use proper chemicals, and adopt the right procedure, the convertible top care is rather simple and can be quite beneficial.