If you’re considering purchasing a convertible as your next vehicle or you currently own one, it’s important to understand the difference between hardtops and soft tops. If hardtops aren’t your preference, read on to learn whether you can use a soft top roof during the winter.
Understanding the Challenges
Is it impossible to use your soft top convertible during the winter? No. Is it easy or enjoyable? Also no. First and foremost, soft tops are not suitable for outdoor storage as the frigid temperatures weaken the soft top material, which is often vinyl, and lead to cracking. Frozen soft tops are prone to ripping while driving as their natural flexibility is limited by frost.
Using a soft top during the winter is only practical if you store your vehicle indoors. Even still, older convertibles that lack high-performance heaters and air-tight insulation struggle to maintain warmth while out on the road. Plus, you can’t safely use a soft top convertible during extreme weather, like hail. Ultimately, there are ways to make a soft top car work in a winter environment, but the challenges and disadvantages are significant.
Winterizing Your Car
If the above challenges are unappealing to you, consider winterizing and storing your car until spring. Storing a soft top convertible is surprisingly simple, and doing so properly boosts the longevity of your vehicle. First, replenish all fluids inside your engine and have the oil changed, if necessary. Next, inflate your tires to the proper pressure level.
Lastly, give your convertible one last bath, dry it completely, and crack the windows to better prevent mold. Keep the soft top up throughout the winter season and consider treating it with industrial strengthening solutions or products. Now, you can cover your vehicle and let it rest for the next few months without worrying about the possibility of damage.
Switching to a Hardtop
Perhaps your convertible is your only personal car, which means storing it for an entire season just isn’t practical. In that case, switching over to a hardtop automobile is a quick way to eliminate the struggles of maintaining a soft top throughout the winter. You can search for a new model or purchase a used ride from the secondhand market. Or, you can see if your soft top car can convert into a hardtop with a simple modification process.
While you can use a soft top roof during the winter, there are plenty of drawbacks that make the experience unpleasant for some car owners. If you’re in the market for a new ride, consider your environment and preferences before committing to a soft top automobile.