Wednesday, November 13, 2019

How To Protect a Soft Top in Winter Months

Properly maintaining your soft top in the winter is essential for longevity and efficiency. Keeping your soft top looking its best and performing like new requires a bit of effort, but you will be glad you did when spring rolls around and you are able to cruise with the top down, worry-free.

Proper storage of your vehicle can make a world of difference. Garages and carports can both help to extend the life of your soft top and prevent wear and tear.

Cleaning and conditioning are essential. It is pertinent that you do this regularly with a vinyl or fabric soft top. This cannot be understated. It is even more important in the winter months as the air tends to be drier. Allowing dirt or sand particles to remain in any crevices will slowly begin to wear down the material, causing seams to break and holes to form. If you only plan to do this once a year, it is best to aim for the end of fall/beginning of winter.

Test it. If you are unsure of how your top is holding up, a simple way to check would be a bead test. A tablespoon of water should bead up on your soft top and easily run off. If any of the water soaks in, you know it is time to clean, moisturize and protect your top (in that order).

Our suggestion for cleaning and protecting has been selected through years of testing, trial and error.

Potential seasonal hazards and the practices that amplify them are many, and winter months are no different. - Besides your standard maintenance and care, there are some common practices that should be avoided with soft tops:
  • Do not allow snow and ice to pile on top of your vehicle. The weight combined with the cold and moisture will wear your fabric down and cause it to sag over time. Of course, you also run the risk of your top completely giving in under the weight, which could prove disastrous.
  • Do not raise or lower your top in temperatures that are below 41 degrees F.
- Plastic Vinyl Windows have hazards of their own in the winter months. There are some common practices that must be avoided:
  • Do not use an ice scraper on these windows – this will cause cloudiness, cracking and eventually leaks, leading to a needed replacement.
  • Do not attempt to lower or raise vinyl windows during winter months – they can shatter like real glass when temperatures are low enough and the air is dry.
  • Do not pour water, hot or cold, on your vinyl windows to clear ice – they can crack.
  • Do not hit your windows to break ice free. Again, they can crack.
  • DO allow the ice to melt by warming your car up and turning on the heater. Sure, it takes a bit more planning but will make a world of difference when it comes to the longevity of the fabric.

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