Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5 Ways to Know You Need a New Convertible Top

For convertible owners, there’s no sensation more satisfying than cruising along the highway with the top down. Unfortunately, if the top remains unused for a prolonged period, its material could degenerate or shrink. Whether the material is canvas or vinyl, it’s inevitable that your ragtop roof will eventually need to be retired and replaced.

If you’re unaware of the warning signs, your next drive could be interrupted by an inconvenient rip and then the sudden influx of rushing wind. Unless you like getting wind-blown or wet, it’s important to educate yourself about the life stages of your convertible top. Read on to discover the top 5 subtle signs to look for when evaluating the condition of your convertible top and to avoid expensive convertible upholstery repair.

1. Rust and Discoloration
Rain can leak through your top’s canvas material and leave residual moisture on the frame of your convertible. Over time, this leftover moisture will cause the metal frame to rust—causing discoloration and tears in the process. To avoid this inconvenience, make sure to carefully inspect your metal frame for signs of degeneration.

2. Mold and Mildew
Besides rust, excess moisture can also lead to bacterial buildup. If you’ve taken your convertible for a drive in the rain, it’s important to wipe off wetness. A wet convertible stored idly in a garage can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Malicious bacteria, including mold and mildew, thrives in warm environments with high humidity and moisture. Thankfully, minor mold can be removed from a convertible top by simply using a soft cloth, water and an abrasive soap. If you aren’t seeing any results from your deep cleaning, it may be time to invest in a replacement top.

3. Mechanical Trouble
Whether your top is automatic or manual, it needs to be able to function in a pinch without a hitch. When you’re surprised by a sudden gale of wind or torrent of rain, you don’t want to be caught with your roof stuck only halfway up. Before investing in a new top, be sure to clean out the internal mechanisms within your old roof’s motor. If dirt, mud or other contaminants have built up inside of your automatic motor, it may be hindering the proper deployment of your top.

4. Ambient Noise
Even with the top up, a convertible is never entirely silent. If the interior of your car sounds like a wind tunnel, however, it’s possible that your roofing material has aged and lost its ability to dampen sound. Carefully examine the top and consider replacing completely if it appears that there are gaps in its seal.

5. Window Damage
When the back window of your soft top roof is cracked or scratched, it could present a serious safety hazard. If the strength of your back window has been compromised, it’s susceptible to shattering—showering your unsuspecting passengers with sharp shards of glass. We recommend replacing your top if you see anything more than a minor scratch on your window.

By watching closely for these 5 warning signs, you’ll be able to recognize a deteriorating top before it completely exposes your interior to the elements. If you spot an issue quickly enough, you may be able to use a relatively inexpensive soft top repair kit instead of replacing the top entirely. Be sure to contact us online or at (888) 254-7679 to receive individualized advice from our convertible top experts.

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