People keep their old convertible tops in great shape by regularly replacing the top fabric. Depending on the material, some convertible tops have a lifespan of 10 years or more, but most convertible tops last less than 10 years. This is because convertible tops are subject to abrasion and wear, and they need to be replaced at regular intervals, which is typically once every five years or so.
Good Materials Can Last Long
Convertible tops can last anywhere from 10 to 12 years if you take care of them. There are convertible tops that last 15 years and still look great too, so there is a lot of consideration to think about before purchasing one, because not all convertibles will last the same amount of time.
The average life of a convertible top is 10 years, with exposure to the elements and usage. Vinyl tops age differently than cloth tops. With time and exposure to cold weather, vinyl loses its elasticity as well.
Manual or Motorized
Most convertible tops are either manual or motorized, meaning you may push a button on your top and raise it manually, or a small hydraulic mechanism powers the power to lift up the top. If one component of your car’s convertible is broken, replacements are available at an easily affordable price – just as long as you can rebuild them yourself.
Types of Convertible Top Materials
There are two types of convertible top materials: vinyl and fabric. Vinyl is commonly used for windows, while fabric is most commonly used as an interior surface. When comparing the durability, both have similar life spans – about ten years- but one lasts longer than the other in certain conditions we might not be able to control. On average, clear vinyl will last 3x as long as regular clear vinyl which has been replaced with scratch resistant material.
Convertible top pads are 6-8 inch wide strips that appear from the inside of a vehicle and extend from the back window over to the visors. They hide convertible top seams, hold up convertible tops at mid bow position, and provide support for them.
If you know what to do, a convertible top repair may not require the help of a mechanic. Some repairs are just as easy for someone with average skills to complete on their own. Sometimes being able to fix your own car is even more valuable than paying out for it in service garage fees or waiting weeks and months until new parts arrive.
The first step in repairing your vinyl convertible top is to thoroughly examine the damage. If the tear is less than 12 inches long, you should be able to fix it yourself by doing stitches or using patches especially made for convertible tops. If repairs are impossible, then you’re going to need a replacement vinyl top for your vehicle.
We hope this post was helpful and has given you a little more insight into the steps that are involved in getting a soft top replaced for your convertible. With this information, we think that you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when it comes time to replace your soft top.