Convertible roof repair - The Best Tips

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Cabriodak reparatie - De Beste Tips
Keep your convertible top in top condition through good regular maintenance with the right cleaning agents.

In our little country, a good convertible top is often badly needed. Do you have damage to your hood? Replacing the entire hood is not always necessary. A small convertible repair is sometimes sufficient. Read my handy tips!

Convertible roof is vulnerable

Keep your convertible in top condition! How? By ensuring regular maintenance and the right cleaning agents. Car owners know that maintenance is part of it. It is no different with a convertible. The big difference with a normal car is the convertible top. This requires extra maintenance. The most vulnerable part of the convertible is and remains the hood.

Good maintenance convertible top can prevent problems

You can partly control how quickly the roof of the convertible causes problems. Ensure proper maintenance. Pay close attention to the following points:

  • Location temperatures? Leave the hood on!
  • Never lower the hood for more than 24 hours in a row.
  • Raise the hood after every ride, reducing the risk of contamination.
  • Never choose the car wash.
  • Do not use a pressure washer.
  • Never clean with aggressive standard cleaning agents.

What exactly do you do?

  • Close the roof if you park somewhere.
  • Place convertible in garage or under carport.
  • Check hydraulic fluid regularly.
  • Clean with lukewarm water.
  • Impregnate regularly.

Cleaning the convertible top

This can be done with lukewarm water and a soft brush. Preferably regularly. This means that dirt does not have a chance to adhere to the cloth. Because dirt attracts dirt. So avoid!

Have a convertible roof cleaned? You can do it yourself!

Have it cleaned or do it yourself? Both choices have their pros and cons. If you do it yourself, use Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo. The perfect convertible top cleaner. Strong pollution? Then I recommend the extra strong Ultramar Power Cleaner. If you work with these products, follow a number of steps. This way you get every convertible top perfectly clean.

Have the convertible top cleaned

Would you like to have it done thoroughly and professionally? Having your convertible top cleaned is then an option. The hood is simply a safety net for dirt. You probably don't want to drive with a green hood. It is best to have the hood cleaned every year. And especially impregnation. If you often park your car under a tree, this is definitely necessary. If you keep it in the garage, skipping a year is usually no problem. In all cases, make sure that you know what you are doing. Standard cleaning agents and impregnating agents are often used to treat your hood. In that case it doesn't make much sense.

Impregnate convertible roof

After a good cleaning, the hood is no longer fully protected. Impregnation is then absolutely a must. During a professional treatment, the hood is given a protective and water-repellent layer. You are then ready for another year. Apart from regular cleaning of course. Thanks to a good impregnation layer, this only needs to be done with water and a brush. This way you can really enjoy your convertible top for many years to come. Without additional expenses.


Maintenance soft top

Do you have a soft top? Then never use a high-pressure cleaner! For stubborn dirt, take a good cleaning product and apply it to the roof. Brush gently and then let the product do the work.

Impregnate your dust roof

Annual impregnation of a convertible roof extends the lifespan considerably. Moreover, the appearance of the roof after an impregnation treatment is many times more attractive. Get the right product! There are various impregnating agents for sale that provide poor protection against dirt, UV radiation and bird droppings. If you do impregnate, do it right. If you use Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Protector, the hood is protected against, among other things:

  • bird pop
  • All kinds of pollution
  • UV radiation
  • Exhaust gases
  • Resin from trees
  • to the rain

Vinyl roof maintenance

Gentle cleaning is important. Never use sharp objects. Before you know it, you'll be damaging the top coat. How do you work?

  • Rinse the roof thoroughly first.
  • Check that all loose dirt particles are gone.
  • Otherwise, rinse again with plain water.
  • Do not use a pressure washer at all.
  • If necessary, apply a cleanser with a soft brush.
  • Let it work.
  • Wash down.
  • Still dirty? Use PowerCleaner.
  • Allow to dry very well.

Need a convertible roof repair?

A convertible roof does not last a lifetime. It depends a bit on what the defect is, but doing nothing is often not possible. Leakage and flooding may be unpleasant consequences. So don't wait too long. Before you know it, you will suffer from, for example, mold or weathered spots.

Repair, replace or sell convertible?

Several options are possible. Which one do you choose? Repair, replace or sell the car completely? Points to consider here:

  • Convertible brand
  • Age convertible
  • Type cabrio

Hood frame is broken

You do not want to drive with a defective hood frame. Why not?

  • Soft top does not close properly.
  • Risk of leakage.
  • Wear on the soft top itself.

If any parts are torn or broken, have them repaired.

Rust on hood frame

There is a risk of rust, especially with older convertibles. One option is to have the hood frame disassembled. Broken or bad parts are replaced. Then have the rod system treated at the same time. Maybe powder coating is an idea. You can remove the rust stains further from the cloth with Ultramar Rust Remover.

Holes in convertible roof

What now? So-called melting is possible with some hoods. Unfortunately, this often only offers a solution for a short period of time. Holes in the convertible top should certainly not be too large. Sew a new job in the hood? Very precious!


Repair tear in convertible roof

Starting cracks in the roof? You can get started with tape, but it won't last very long. Tear-Aid may be a solution.

Tear-Aid for cracks in the roof

With this product you can permanently seal cracks or holes. Features of this are:

  • Waterproof
  • airtight
  • elastic
  • Does not dry out
  • Does not discolour

How does it work?

It is very easy to apply and can be compared to sticking a bicycle tire. How do you handle it?

  • Make the area you are going to treat grease-free.
  • Cut a piece to size.
  • Stick it on the tear or on the hole.

Have cracks repaired

It is also possible to have small tears or holes professionally repaired. In that case, the hood is often disassembled. With fabric hoods and PVC, a piece of vinyl is stuck under the hole. With a fabric hood, you can even put a whole strip of fabric in the hood. The question is how long this will help. Sometimes replacement is the best remedy.

Leakage convertible top

Leakage can be a reason to replace the hood. However, first make sure that the windows are properly closed. And the side windows, do they still fit well on the window rubbers? Also at the right angle? Still leaking unfortunately? Then ask someone for help and perform a kind of leakage test together. How does this work?

  • Someone is in the convertible with a lamp.
  • The other is outside and has a garden hose.
  • Check where the leakage is coming from.
  • Rubber interlayer dried out or damaged? This can be remedied!

Need a new convertible top

Do you really need a new roof for your car? Repairing your convertible roof is no longer an option? Read the main differences between the convertible tops below.

Different convertible roofs

One swears by a soft top and the other never wants anything other than a hard top. The differences between these two convertible tops are significant. I'll list the pros and cons for you. Then you immediately know what is important with regard to maintenance. And thus avoiding repairs.

Advantages soft top

  • Woven cloth and therefore lighter in weight.
  • Cheaper.
  • Usually takes up a lot less space.

Disadvantages soft top

  • Makes quite a bit of noise.
  • Burglar sensitive.
  • Wears out a lot faster.
  • Need more maintenance.

Benefits hardtop

  • Looks sleeker.
  • Less burglary prone.
  • Long lifespan.
  • Less risk of many repairs.
  • Requires slightly less maintenance.
  • Makes much less noise.

Disadvantages hardtop

  • More expensive.
  • Takes up more space.
  • Is heavier.

How long does hood last?

Difficult question! Of course, the answer also depends on how you handle the hood. Good maintenance extends the life. But in general, the hood should at least last 10 years. If you have a budget cap, count on about 5 years. In both cases, you can extend the lifespan considerably by properly cleaning and, above all, protecting.

Replace convertible top

Anyway: the hood must be replaced once. Not fun, but not an insurmountable problem. A loss item that sooner or later just adds up.

Convertible tops prices

How much does a new convertible top cost? Several hundreds of euros. Are you looking for a hood for one of the popular convertible models? A Saab or a Golf for example? Then count on about 1500 euros. Some more examples of convertible roof prices to give you an idea:

  • Audi TT - about 800 euros
  • BMW Z3 - approximately 750 euros
  • VW Golf - about 600 euros
  • Mini - around 900 euros. Probably a little more expensive after construction year 2008

New or second-hand

Obviously I can't look in your wallet. And fortunately that is not necessary. If you are somewhat hesitant about purchasing a new hood, consider a second-hand model.

Used convertible top

Know where to buy a used car! Do not go overnight on a platform such as Marktplaats. Is the hood still in good condition? Otherwise, opt for a convertible specialist. They also often sell second-hand caps. These are then checked and you often also benefit from the warranty.

Glass maintenance

Especially with the windows of the convertible, the lifespan depends on various factors. How do you deal with it? Read my tips and your windows will last for years longer. Glass windows require a different approach than plastic windows.

Plastic window

Does your convertible have a plastic rear window? Then clean it regularly. Especially on a nice day, there is quite a bit of dust and dirt on the window. And after all, these are the days when you grab the convertible, right? Remove this immediately after the ride so that it cannot cause any damage. Is the window less transparent?

Plastic rear window is less transparent

This can happen after a few years. Don't be surprised at all. What to do? Just take a polish and treat the window with it. You will see how well you can see through it again! Tip: always roll up the window without kink. This prevents cracks and tears. This mainly applies to the winter period. Does the lozenge remain milky? Then it's the end of the story. The plasticizer is then out of the foil. It's time for a new window.

Glass rear window

With glass it is also important to clean immediately after the ride. Simply use glass cleaner. I advise you not to spray this on the window. It is better to apply the liquid to a cloth and thus clean the window. Otherwise, the liquid could enter the window seal or seams.

Convertible window replacement

Convertible window broken? Repair no longer possible? Then it is probably a convertible window replaced. What should you take into account in this case? It is only possible to replace the convertible top if it is not older than 5 years.

Help! Glass rear window comes loose

I am familiar with this problem. Chances are you drive a Saab, Audi or Chrysler. This often has to do with an adhesive that cannot withstand a lot of sunlight. The glue will dissolve and you will notice that the glass is loosening. Solution?

Install convertible roof or new hood

The window must be glued again. This is difficult when the hood is on. It is possible, but the chance of releasing the window again is high. It is therefore best to remove the hood. Because this is very labour-intensive, opting for a new hood may be the best option.

The hood does not fold properly

Does the hood no longer fold up nicely? There is a good chance that you are ready for new elastics/tensioning straps. These bands pull the rafters of the frame together when you open the hood. Over time, the elastics stretch a bit.

Convertible roof replacement at home

Have you come to the conclusion that replacement is the best option? Then opt for convenience and have the convertible roof replaced at home. If you don't have a workspace or carport, it just happens on a dry day.

Convertible in winter

Just drive through in the winter, or not? If the convertible is your only car, this is quite an important question. If you only drive for fun in the summer, this is less important. But what about now? The advantages and disadvantages and useful tips at a glance:

  • Also in winter there are many sunny days.
  • No need for a second car.
  • If you have a good hood, there is no draft on a cold day.
  • Wash well after brining!
  • Do not drive with the hood open.
  • Rub rubbers with Vaseline if necessary.
  • Do not drive when it snows.
  • Buy a good cover.
  • Provide accurate convertible maintenance.

convertible cover

There are covers that only cover the top, but you can also wrap the car completely. The regular cover protects the roof and windows. Attaching the cover is quick and easy. If you want to drive, the cover can also be removed in no time. The covers are available in various price ranges.

The advantages?

  • 100% Waterproof.
  • Protects against resin from trees.
  • Perfect protection in winter time.