Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Replacing your Convertible Soft Top: What to Know

There’s no better way to enhance the value and look of your convertible car than replacing your worn out convertible soft top. While convertible tops are designed to withstand the elements, they will eventually breakdown and require replacing. Replacing the top will not only improve the look of your convertible, it will help preserve the interior from moisture and inclement weather, as well as help reduce wind and road noise. While the process can be complicated, it can be done at home with the right tools and a little dedication. Here are the most important steps for replacing any convertible soft top.

Order the Right Parts

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many convertible owners make the mistake of trying to find cheap alternatives to properly manufactured parts. Whether it’s replacing tension cables, the convertible top motor or the entire mechanism, you should be using quality parts specifically designed for your car’s make and model. Using parts not designated for your convertible may cause failure of other parts, costing you more money and possibly voiding any warrantees. OEM and upgraded parts will ensure a perfect fit with little worry about damaging any other parts.  

Clean Everything

After removing your old convertible soft top, you should do a thorough cleaning of all exposed surfaces. All surfaces must be smooth and free of residue to ensure a perfect seal when installing the new soft top. This is also a chance to get into the nooks and crannies that are normally unreachable when the top is installed. If any parts will be reused, they should be removed and thoroughly cleaned, as well.

Follow Instructions

When installing a convertible top yourself, it is extremely important to follow the instructions exactly as they are written. While parts of the installation may require some strength to accomplish, no parts should be forced into positions that will strain the motor, cables or frame. Remember, if you reach a point in the installation that is beyond your abilities, there’s no shame in handing it over to a professional to finish the job.  

Check your Work

Once your convertible top has been installed, it’s time to check your work. You should manually raise and retract your convertible top making sure it does not snag at any point. Perform a thorough visual inspection checking that no light shines through the seams and that the top closes tightly when latched. With the top up and windows closed, have someone run water over the convertible top while you check for any moisture or water leaks using a flashlight. Once the convertible top has passed your inspections, it is safe to use the motor to raise and lower the top. Once on the road, listen carefully for air leaks and wind noise.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Now that your convertible top is installed and fully functional, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. Always keep a soft brush handy to remove any debris and your convertible top will have specific cleaning solutions depending upon the material. Make sure to do a thorough cleaning at least once a month and only use approved products to clean and/or polish your convertible top.

Taking these steps will ensure that your convertible looks great, your interior is clean and quiet, and your top lasts for years. We have everything you need to repair and replace your convertible top and all of our convertible soft tops come with installation instructions.

What are our tips for installing a new convertible soft top? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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