Freedom Is Not Carefree: Caring For Your Convertible Top

Freedom feels like cruising down a beautiful, lonely back road with your convertible top down. The wind in your hair, the sun glowing on your cheeks, it doesn't get much better than that. While you are busy enjoying your convertible top, it is easy to forget that your top can get dirty, mildewed, cracked, and generally nasty. On the other hand, with proper care, a convertible top will remain looking and functioning like new indefinitely. 


If you leave dirt and grime on your convertible top, the grains of dirt can wear at your top as you store it away. Furthermore, dirt can lead to stains and promote the growth of mildew. Thus, if you want to keep your car looking nice, and if you want to prevent unnecessary wear that can lead to leaking, you should clean your car regularly. Pay attention to manufacturer recommendations for a rag top or for a vinyl top, but in general, you should be okay with a mild automotive shampoo. 

Sealant and Protectant

Washing is important, but it should not be the sum and total of your efforts to care for your convertible top. Instead, you should apply sealant and protectant when necessary. The post-washing care will be different depending on whether you have a vinyl or rag top.

Care for a Vinyl Top—The key to keeping a vinyl top looking as good as new is to protect the vinyl. After every washing, you should apply a good vinyl protectant. This will prevent your top from fading and cracking. While driving a convertible can make quite a statement, the statement is somewhat muted when you drive around in a car with a cracked, faded, peeling top. 

Care for a Rag Top—A car with a fabric, or rag, top will be treated with a sealant at the factory. You do not need to apply any sealant until this sealant starts to wear out. When you wash your car, look for places where water is soaking into the fabric rather than beading up and rolling off. This will serve as an indication that it is time to apply a sealant. Again, follow your manufacturer's recommendations. 

You know what they say, "freedom doesn't come free." This is true of a convertible as well. Driving with the top down can be liberating, but you should not feel like you have to drive with the top down because you are embarrassed of what your top looks like. Proper car will ensure that you can always be confident with how your convertible looks. 

To learn more, contact a company like Fred's Auto Interiors