Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tips for Making the Most of Your Convertible Car

Summer is officially here. The sun is out, and a well-deserved vacation is hopefully on the horizon for our readers! You’re probably yearning to pull your car top back and down already, and we’re right there with you. Summer time is officially the season of making the most of your convertible, since you’ll be riding around in it a lot more! Before you take your car out for a spin, however, we have a short to-do list of items you should check off before you officially unwind, roll down the windows, and enjoy the warm weather.

Keep it Clean
Since your top is down while driving, the interior of your convertible will be susceptible to outside elements that could bring debris and potential stains inside of your vehicle. It’s vital to inspect your car’s seats, carpet and soft-top for any rips, leaks or “weak spots” after driving.

Additionally, when you’re tucking your convertible in at night, be sure to carefully raise your soft top up a little bit to ensure the top deck and surrounding areas are clear of any small sticks, leaves or any outdoor “elements” that may have become stuck underneath. This type of debris or outdoor material can potentially cause damage to your convertible’s top, scratch its plastic window or cause splits in glass windows. 

While it may seem unreasonable or cumbersome, it’s important to remember that an easy fix, like a quick stain blot job, could very quickly turn into a larger and costly issue if you don’t remedy the situation at first sight!

Seat Covers
Whether you have a new convertible, one that is a few decades old or a vintage ride, protecting its interior is important, as we’ve discussed above. Since automobile upholstery can be quite expensive, or if you want to maintain the integrity of its original interior, we recommend you consider protective seat covers. Whether you opt for more affordable universal seat covers or custom-fit seat covers for your exact make, model and year, finding a seat cover in today’s online world is virtually painless and you don’t have to opt for uncomfortable plastic ones either. In today’s market, you’ll find easy-to-clean fabric, often a poly blend that is breathable and padded for optimum comfort.

Regularly vacuuming and spot cleaning will also increase the overall longevity of your seat covers while protecting the original upholstery underneath.

Wind Diffuser
Drop tops are notorious for wind noise. A wind deflector or wind diffuser will make your rides much more enjoyable! They are effective in diffusing loud wind noise and turbulence.

Essentially, a wind deflector attaches behind the driver’s seat and resembles a screen. Once attached, wind is actually diverted to the back of your convertible instead of travelling throughout and towards the front of your cabin. While there are many wind diffusers or deflectors for you to choose from, opting for a more durable material like acrylic can result in longer usage.

Sound System
While we’re on the subject of sound, installing a wind diffuser and a high-quality sound system work harmoniously so you can enjoy a more comfortable and much quieter cockpit. Depending on how musically inclined you are, you might want to invest in a top-notch audio system for your commute. The main components of a superior sound system can differ depending on the size of your vehicle and how high-tech you’re willing to go. If you’re thinking about overhauling your current system, you’ll want to replace:

- the receiver
- speakers
- add subwoofers
- an equalizer and amplifer

Because this does takes some rewiring, we recommend turning to a professional!

Drive it Everywhere

Lastly, remember to make the most out of your convertible by enjoying it and driving it just about anywhere! Too often, convertibles are deemed impractical by those who simply don’t understand the thrill of the drive. It’s up you, esteemed convertible driver, to get out there and drive to your heart’s content. A great quote that encompasses summer rides reads:

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

There’s a feeling of luxury and romanticism while driving a convertible. Couple that with the warm, bright sun on your shoulders and you have an indescribable experience! Where are you planning to take your convertible this summer? Let us know what you do to prep for the hot months ahead in the comments below!

Friday, June 9, 2017

5 Tips for Buying a Convertible Car

It’s just about any red-blooded American’s dream to own a convertible car. Almost nothing compares to top-down driving—it’s sheer freedom! With warmer weather upon us, you might be experiencing a slight itch. No, it’s not heat rash (we hope); instead, it’s a gnawing urge for owning your very own convertible. If this sounds just like your symptoms, we don’t blame you! Driving a convertible car is definitely a unique, must-have experience. So we’ve compiled five crucial convertible buying guide tips to make shopping and eventually buying a convertible car that much easier!

Compare Prices
Before you even start looking, really evaluate what you’re looking for in a convertible – whether it’s new or used. Prices for convertibles can range anywhere from the lower end in the $20,000s for smaller convertibles up to $100,000 for more luxury or high-performance vehicles. Of course, you’re able to find plenty of vehicles in between depending on luxury, sportiness & performance. Ask yourself how often you’re planning to drive your convertible. Weekends? Road trips with your significant other? Everyday vehicle? Fuel economy might be more important to you versus motor capabilities.

Did you have a specific model or year in mind? While the online market has made it that much easier to locate exactly what you’re looking for, specialized or vintage vehicles are going to add some serious zeros to the final price. As with any major purchase, you have to set a budget and compare prices once you narrow down your main motivators. This also really helps you focus on what works best for your particular lifestyle, making it easier to compare to other convertibles instead of being hypnotized by a particular manufacturer (we know it’s tempting!).

Compare Storage Space and Seating Room
Other than the ease between top-down and top-up, there are two main factors to consider—
storage space and seating room. Convertibles can range in size, but they mostly include roadsters, which are two-seaters, and larger four-seat models. While larger convertibles can fit up to four adults, most probably won’t. Who’s going with you on your long drives? Let that guide your seating room decision!

Once the convertible’s top is down, it will actually take up most of the trunk space. If you’re not planning on having passengers or storing anything of significant size in your trunk, then this shouldn’t really factor into your decision. However, if you are transporting larger sized items, opt for a convertible with a larger cargo capacity.

Research Maintenance Repair Costs
Whether new or vintage, all vehicles break down. It’s a matter of time and an unfortunate fact of life, however, it’s actually a misconception that convertibles cost more to maintain. Convertibles don’t cost any more in maintenance repairs than sedan or coupe counterparts do. If this is a concern, banish it! That being said, more vintage models (like most classic cars) could run you a pretty penny with motor or cosmetic repairs because of their specialty nature.

The top of the car is also something to keep in mind. If properly maintained, a top can last for a decade or more! When it is time to replace a convertible’s top, you can do so without breaking the bank. We’re partial to soft tops for a variety of reasons. You can choose the replacement type of materials and colors that best fit your budget. They are insulated with multiple layers for noise and reduction. They’re less cumbersome than hardtops, weigh less, and are easier to replace in terms of time and money. Soft tops are also more durable than they seem!

Compare Safety Features
Every manufacturer is different and because of the difference in classic and more modern convertibles, the safety features on each car is going to be quite different. Here are some key safety features to look for in your purchase:
  • fixed or pop-up roll bars
  • special airbags such as side airbags
  • blind spot warning sensors

Drive Them All
No research in the world is going to compare to being in the driver’s seat. You have to drive different convertibles with the top up and down to get the best feel for each vehicle. Go fast and go slow. Listen to the way the top moves positions to ensure the mechanics are properly working. If it’s a manual top, test removing it to see if you’re able to do this on your own. If the mechanics on moving the top’s position work but you can see that the top is a little raggedy, don’t let it scare you away. Top replacement is easy! Lastly, remember to simply enjoy the drive. It’s the main reason why you’re shopping in the first place!

Have a tip for those embarking on a convertible car hunt? Let us know in the comments below!

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