Caring For Your Convertible Top This Summer

July 13, 2017

Driving around with your convertible top down is one of the perks of summer weather. The wind and the sunshine will put a smile on almost any drivers face. Convertibles are a great deal of fun, but there are some additional steps that you’ll need to complete in order to reduce damage and depreciation on your car. Cleaning and conditioning your vehicle's top requires some time and effort, but the results will save you money in the future.

convertible 2
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Common Enemies to Your Convertible Top

When your vehicle was brand new the manufacturer had already placed a protective coating on your top. Natural elements such as UV Rays can damage your top over a period of time. Another concern should be overexposure to things like acid rain. If you start to see "pooling" of water on your top that means that your water-repellent coating is wearing thin. This also an indicator that your top needs a thorough cleaning, and needs a protective coating applied to reduce any potential damage.

Typical Convertible Top Materials

If you own a convertible you likely have a canvas or vinyl top. If you aren't sure which material your top is made of you can always call the dealership or manufacturer to verify its composition, or you can do a simple water test. Pour a small amount of water, and rubbing it in with your hand or finger. If the water is absorbed, it is a canvas top, and if it smears and stays, it is a vinyl top. Proper material identification is the key to avoiding potentially expensive cleaning errors.

Consider Purchasing A Cleaning Kit

Thankfully, you don't need to be a chemist or an automotive specialist to keep your top clean and conditioned. After you assess what type of material your top is made of you can easily order the kit from an online source. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean and recondition your top. For the best results, clean your top not in direct sunlight and when it is completely dry. Make sure to not use improper materials to clean your top, such as household detergents, bleach, vinegar, or ammonia, as they deteriorate and damage the top.

RepairPal is working to mend the lack of trust consumers have in the car repair industry by providing them with in-depth knowledge and resources that connect them with dependable and reliable car repair shops near them.

Our goal is to establish an auto repair process that is less stressful and much more trustworthy for everyone involved. Our website hosts a car repair Estimator that gets rid of that "ripped-off" feeling. We also provide matches to local Certified shops that are guaranteed to do repairs with quality parts, a fair price, and a trained, awesome staff.

Have a question about RepairPal? Send us an email at

About the Author

Oliver Weiss is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

No comments yet...

Sign in to comment