Properly maintaining your convertible top is important to prolonging its lifespan and optimizing the appearance of your vehicle.
You need to develop a regular maintenance regime that keeps your convertible top clean and mechanically sound. The following are six tasks you need to work into your maintenance regime to keep your convertible top in good shape:
Never take your convertible through a car wash
A fabric convertible top cannot handle the pressure of a car wash. This is especially important to know if you have a soft fabric convertible top that will likely be more susceptible to damage from high pressure washes than hard top convertible covers are.
Wash your convertible top periodically with a soft brush
While you shouldn't take your convertible through a car wash, it is a good idea to regularly clean your convertible top by hand. You can clean your convertible top without causing it any damage with a squirt bottle (or a hose that sprays water gently) and a soft brush.
You can spray water and a gentle soap cleaner on your convertible top. Try to use a biodegradable cleaner, and don't use bleach or any product that has a petroleum base. Scrub any debris off with the brush and give the top plenty of time to dry out thoroughly.
Make sure your convertible top is dry before operating it
Operating your convertible top when it's wet could cause creases to form in the fabric. It can also make mildew growth likely if you put your convertible top down into its storage compartment when it is wet.
Always park your car in a sheltered area
Ideally, you should park a convertible with a fabric top in a garaged area or at least under a carport. This will protect your convertible top from the elements and minimize the chances that dirt and debris will soil your convertible top and create blemishes.
Periodically put lubricant on moving parts of your convertible top
A modern convertible includes a mechanical system that automatically opens and closes the top. If parts like joints and hinges become rusty and excessively dry, they can begin to creak when operating or even malfunction. You should periodically lubricate moving parts to prevent this from happening.
Avoid opening and closing your convertible top while your vehicle is moving
Some convertibles are designed to open and close the top while the vehicle is moving. However, you should avoid opening and closing your top unless your vehicle is at a complete stop to prevent damage and malfunctions.
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