Convertible Top Maintenance
Convertibles have always made a striking statement of freedom and individuality to the general public. But without proper care and treatment, a luxurious top can quickly deteriorate. In this article we will tell you how easy it is to maintain your convertible top using the best products and procedures available.
Although fabric tops are essentially different from vinyl, they are both maintained in a similar fashion. The key point here is to select cleaning products that are engineered specifically for cleaning fabric tops. Once you have done this, the rest comes easily.
When washing your vehicle, use a brush to gently scrub the convertible top. Avoid gloss-enhancing shampoos, as they aren’t necessary for cleaning your fabric top. For more rigorous cleanings, use a cleaner designed especially for convertible fabric tops, like RaggTopp Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner. Once you’ve picked the right product out, use a brush of medium stiffness to remove or loosen some of the dirt from the fabric itself. This will enhance the products effectiveness by allowing it deeper access into the fabric.
If the brush you’re planning on using for your top is the same one you have previously used on your tires – forget about it. Using one tool to clean 2 different areas of your vehicle is like slicing raw meat and vegetables with the same knife. Designate tools for specific tasks by labeling the handles with permanent markers and masking tape. This will prevent cross contamination from occurring.
After you do this, apply the protectant of your choice to a clean and dry top using light coats. Fabric tops are chemically treated to repel water and contaminants when they are manufactured, and little by little, these repellants will wear away completely. Therefore, it is recommended that you use products that help restore the repellency of the fabric itself, like Raggtopp Fabric Top Protectant or 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. Here is a list of steps to keep you on the right track.
1. Spray the product onto a section and work it in with a microfiber cloth. Wipe your cloth in neat, even strokes. If you must, use a safe bit of leverage like a stepping stool to give yourself access to the top of your car. Doing this can save you a lot of energy and will allow you to see the whole picture. 2. Repeat this procedure until the entire top has a similar, even coat of the product. Be sure not to over-saturate the fabric, however. If you see pools of the product gathering in some places, you may have used too much. Try to work the puddles into untouched areas with your towel and avoid using too much in the future. 5. Allow the product to dry according to its specific instructions and then enjoy your well-protected, beautiful fabric top.
First off, avoid using any shampoo intended for improving gloss. These shampoos are not necessary for washing a vinyl top and won’t work any extra miracles on it. Stick to gentle car shampoo like Pinnacle Bodywork Shampoo and simply wash the top the same way you would any other part of your vehicle. To avoid having to go through with any special steps, it is recommended that you do this as often as you wash your car. Despite your best intentions, you may notice mold or mildew gathering in places on the vinyl. Try to break up the spot by first spraying it with water and then tackle it with RaggTopp Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner. Most of these cleaners will work on either vinyl or fabric tops, and don’t contain any soaps or detergents. Even greater is the fact that these products also slow or stop the growth of mildew altogether. Again, use a brush to work the cleaner in to maximize your results.
Using a vinyl protectant will protect your convertible from degredation and it won’t leave your vinyl top looking greasy or glossy to the eye. Instead, it will restore it to its former satin elegance. One of the most highly recommended products on the market is Raggtopp Vinyl Protectant, which is backed by names like Haartz and Colgan Custom Bras. Coupled with its ability to repel all types of grease and oil, and its amazing UV protection, it’s no wonder that this product is so easily endorsed by such big names.
Sadly, some types of damage are irreversible. There is no real remedy for peeling, cracking vinyl, but there is an effective way to prevent it from happening. A diligent regiment of weekly shampoo washings will keep the mildew at bay and a monthly application of vinyl protectant will keep that color shining strong, all day long.
Sometimes the vinyl windows on your convertible may deteriorate more rapidly than the rest of the top. Conditions may include unsightly yellowing, or even scratches and abrasions. Maintenance of your vinyl window is very important. While these blemishes may be unattractive by day, they may impair your ability to see traffic behind you at night. An excellent solution is to treat the windows with Wolfgang Plastik Surface Sealant. You may even want to apply this product as soon as you come into ownership of your convertible. Doing so will prevent the aforementioned problems from pestering you on your driving experience and will keep your visibility safe and clear.