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Convertible Top Care Tips

The average life of a convertible top is about ten years, depending on its exposure to the elements and usage. Vinyl tops age differently than cloth tops. A vinyl top loses its flexibility with age and when it is exposed to cold temperatures. As a vinyl top ages, it develops cracks at the key folding points. An older vinyl top is vulnerable to cracking if put down in cold weather. Vinyl windows are especially vulnerable to weather. Do not put your vinyl top down when the temperature is below 40 degrees F.
Cloth tops age more internally than externally and tend to look newer longer. Cloth tops are less vulnerable to cold weather; however, it is not a bad idea to keep the top up if the temperature is below 40 degrees F. Always store your top in the up position to retain its fit and shape.
To clean your top, use a cleaner specifically formulated for convertible tops; a mild car wash soap or dishwashing soap will work, too. Use a sponge or a piece of boat cushion foam (polyether foam or poly foam) to clean your top. Wash your top in the shade whenever possible. If you have a clear vinyl window, wash it first, the top second, and rinse well so your sponge doesn't pick up dirt from the top and then scratch the window!
The two most damaging things to a convertible top are sun and dirt. There are cleaners available that are specific for vinyl or cloth tops. Using a cleaner that has a UV protectant in it is a good idea or follow cleaning with a protectant specifically for UV.