Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tips for Staying Warm with the Convertible Top Up

While most people might see a convertible as a non-conventional vehicle to drive during the winter, convertible owners know that it’s perfectly practical to drive one year-round. Over time, winterizing your convertible has become easier to do. Today’s modern convertibles are designed to adapt to their environment. However, if you have an older convertible or you’re concerned about how to stay warm in the winter with your convertible, we can help you.

1.     Hard Top vs Soft Top

A hard top convertible will allow you to have more insulation against cold weather and will also prevent heat from escaping once it comes into contact with roof, as it would do in a soft top. Soft top convertibles, although they’ve advanced to weather-proofing fabric, are still composed of fabrics which will allow some hot air that rises to escape your vehicle at a faster rate than a hard top. Although, a soft top will still provide you with a protective barrier from the cold while you drive your convertible around in the winter.

2.     Don’t Operate Roof in Cold Temperatures

If possible, try to store your convertible with the roof up. This will prevent damage to the interior of your convertible. Along with that, you should prevent operating your roof while it’s cold. Operating your roof between “up” and “down” can cause soft top convertible fabrics to rip due to the effects of the cold air on the fibers of the fabric which can weaken elasticity and inhibit the ability to stretch normally. When this happens, it can cause the fabric to rip as it stretches out to close after being left down in the cold for long periods of time. Not only can the fabric rip, but extreme cold weather can stiffen windows while the top is up. So, if you lower the top, this may cause cracking along the seams. To prevent this from happening, it’s safer to ride with your convertible top up at all times when the weather is extremely cold.

3.     Check the Weather

Soft top convertibles will effectively prevent snow and rain from getting into your car. That being said, check the weather. Soft top convertibles aren’t made to withstand the same weight as a hard top. If there’s heavy snow predicted for your day, storing your soft top convertible outside may not be the wisest choice. While the fabrics are extremely durable and weatherproof, they’re not able to carry as much weight on top. Checking the weather and brushing off your soft top can prevent damage to your roof during the winter months. Be smart about when you use your convertible when it’s cold outside and always keep it free from settling snow and debris.

4.     Dress Appropriately

Don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable to the extreme winter weather while driving your convertible. Be aware of road conditions and the weather before you leave to your destination. Wear layers when necessary and, more importantly, opt-in for driving gloves. Driving gloves are designed to enhance your safety while driving, allowing you full functionality and grip while providing you with warmth. As convertibles have advanced, the heating systems have improved as well. Many convertibles today are made to provide you with optimal heating so that you are never cold while driving. The major difference in how warmth compares in a soft top and hard top convertible during winter is that a soft top will require that your engine is running to maintain its heat since the top will allow warm air to escape more rapidly. So plan accordingly and you’ll be able to stay warm and enjoy the drive comfortably.

Keep in mind how severe the winters get where you live and plan ahead. With the right precautions you can enjoy traveling on the road in your convertible year round and store it safely, regardless of the weather. If you need more information on how to prepare and winterize your convertible, check out our previous blog post here. Tell us about your experiences driving in the winter in your convertible and feel free to share your favorite ways to keep warm in the winter while driving in your convertible with the top up down in the comments below!

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