Convertible Top Care & Maintenance Guide

Cleaning & Maintenance Tips:

1. Clean debris, have minor rips, leaks, and weak spots repaired ASAP.  Minor problems can turn into large issues quickly.

2. Factory recommendations for convertible top cleaning: use no citrus, bleach, silicone or petroleum based products. These products break down a convertible top’s resistance to water.  In most cases it will also void the factory warranty and promote the deterioration of factory seams and seals.  

3. A mild, natural non-detergent based auto shampoo that does not contain a glossing agent is best for convertible top cleaning.  Use this type of product on the convertible top only.  The only cleaner recommended by the Haartz Corporation (the world’s #1 manufacturer of convertible tops) is Wolfstein’s RaggTopp Cleaner.

4. Be sure to rinse thoroughly immediately after cleaning, any cleaners left on the top may fade the color!

5. Never take a convertible through an automatic car wash!

6. Caring for plastic convertible windows: never use paper towels or windex.  The best option is a soft microfiber towel and cool water. Household glass cleaners will deteriorate the window, and could leave it spotty and prone to fogging.

7. Caring for cloth convertible tops: for heavily soiled areas only, use a very soft bristled brush.  Rub gently and brush lightly after washing.

8. Caring for a vinyl convertible top: use a soft microfiber cloth only, never use a brush or paper towel on a vinyl top.

9. With proper cleaning and care, extra spray on protectants are not necessary.

General Usage & Problem Areas:

1. A properly maintained convertible top lasts an average of 5-7 years.

2. Never put a convertible top down when the temperature is below 60 degrees.

3. Never leave a convertible top down over night.

4. Never store a convertible for extended periods of time with the top down.

5. When putting down your convertible top, make sure the top deck area is clear of all objects.  Any materials left there can scratch or puncture a plastic window and has the potential to shatter a glass window.  With enough pressure, frame components can also be damaged by these objects.

6. After a new convertible top installation, most factories recommend waiting 7-10 days or until the temperature exceeds 60 degrees before putting the top down.

7. If you are considering convertible top replacement, please do not “help” your upholsterer by attempting to remove the top yourself.  There is a process for removal and installation that should be left to a professional.

8. If you are having a problem with the convertible top motor or closing the top, please do not force it, seek the assistance of a professional.  Dark Dog Customs can repair frame and motor issues, not all upholstery shops do.  If your local convertible top specialist does not service frame or motor issues, visit a reputable mechanic.

9. When water stops beading on your convertible top, the water and sun protection has worn away and it is time to have the top inspected by a convertible top repair shop.  Dark Dog Customs offers free convertible top inspections with a written report summary, click here to schedule an inspection.  It is recommended you have your convertible top inspected when you purchase a vehicle, if you notice any worn areas or leaks, and/or every 3-5 years you own the vehicle.

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Related Links:

Choosing an Upholsterer
Vinyl & Leather Maintenance Guide