We have some tips about maintaining convertibles.  One of the things that you have to be aware of is that convertibles have a lot of moving parts.  Now there are two things that will save you a lot of money and a lot of aggravation over the life of the car: a simple can of white lithium grease and a can of silicone spray.

We’ll start with the grease first.  What we’re going to do with that is spray it into some kind of a small container like so, just need a little bit of it.  Then we’re going to use a Q-tip to lubricate the various parts under the mechanism for the convertible top. Now if you look on this type of top there’s all kinds of moving things and every one of them that moves has a hinge and some kind of control, all of those need to be lubricated.  And don’t just spray the white lithium all over everything in there because it can discolor plastic and so on. 

The top mechanism itself, whether if it’s a hidden one or a conventional one, the mechanism itself is the same.  There are all kinds of hinges and pivot points and so on.  All of these need to be lubricated.  But let’s take it a step further.  We’re going to take the silicone spray and we’re going to protect all the weather stripping all the way around the top.  This will keep it from squeaking, it’ll make the rubber last longer, and make the car feel tighter.  But again, we’re not going to spray it onto the car, we’re going to spray it onto a cloth.  We’re going to put a liberal amount on the cloth, then we’re going to wipe the cloth along the rubber.  One thing that will shock you is how much dirt comes off of that rubber when you do it. 

With the conventional type of top, it’s fastened down under the body, and when the top is up, water and dirt get down beside it.  It can build up at an impressive rate.  So once or twice a year put the top up like we have it here, get down in and clean all the dirt away.  It’ll make the top last longer, it’ll make the fasteners for the top last longer, and you’ll be happier with your convertible. 

If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.