Convertible Top Care

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While, convertible tops look great when a car is new, without proper care they won’t look nice for long. Material like fabric, clear plastic and vinyl are far more delicate and vulnerable to the elements than painted surfaces. Sunshine can be especially damaging. Here are some tips on to keep your convertible top looking like new.

You should thoroughly clean your convertible top at least twice a year, but more frequently if the car is parked outside. Make sure that you use a cleaning product that is specifically designed for convertible tops and, if possible, bio-degradable. Do not use detergents or powders that contain chlorine-based bleaching agents. These cleaners can remove essential oils in vinyl tops that are essential in protecting the vinyl against the sun’s UV rays.

Before you even wet the top, try to move the car out of the direct sunlight and make sure the top is cool. Once the top is wet, spray a light coating of top cleaner evenly across the top and gently work the cleaner using a soft sponge to remove dirt. Once the top is cleaned, rinse of the cleaner while brushing a using lots of water. You want to continue to until the water runs clear.

Now, you don’t need to use a top cleaner every time you wash your car. Usually you can keep it clean with water. But if it is dirty, just use a pH neutral car wash and make sure that you rinse it thoroughly.

When you are cleaning the window, you do not want to use ordinary glass cleaners if the window is plastic. They can cause damage to the plastic. You want to use cleaners and polishes that are specifically designed for plastic windows. They will remove minor scratches and dirt while helping to prevent the plastic from discoloring.

After the top has been cleaned, use a top protectant to preserve the color and texture of the top material. This will prevent fading and cracking, and help repel dirt, grease and oil. Should you get bird dropping on your top, remove them immediately. They are very acidic and can quickly damage tops.

Once the top is thoroughly cleaned, you want to let it dry before folding it down to prevent mold and mildew.

Here are a few extra tips to make your convertible top last:
  • If possible, park your convertible in a garage or carport. If not, then use a high quality, breathable car cover.
  • To prevent creasing and scratching plastic windows, place a soft towel or baby blanket over the plastic rear window before folding down the top.
  • Use a lint roller to remove dust and lint from the top and clean the plastic window without scratching.

 


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Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
 

With summer coming to a close and cool weather approaching, now is the time to think about getting your vehicles prepared for winter. While we don't see a lot of snow in the Savannah, GA area, it can still get down right chilly. The colder weather is hard on your engine and your vehicle in general. Vaden Automotive Group wants to make sure that your vehicle is prepared for the up coming winter. Here are a few items that should be checked when getting your car ready for winter.
 

Battery

 
In order for your vehicle to start properly in colder weather, your motor needs to be fully charged. When looking over the condition of your battery, make sure that your battery post are cleaned and have it tested. Also check the charging system and belts to make sure they are all working properly.
 

Ignition system

 
Checking your ignition system is just as important as having your battery checked. The last thing you want to to go to work on a cold morning and not have your vehicle start. Be sure to check the ignition wires, spark plugs, and the distributor cap.
 

Lights

 
Your lights are something that should be checked year round, but it gets darker sooner during the winter months. Plus there’s the snow that reduces visibility as well. So to endure that you can see properly, have all your lights checked.
 

Brakes

While it may snow every 10 years in the Low Country and Coastal Empire, it is important that your brakes work properly. Check your brakes to ensure even braking. Pulling, change in pedal feel, or unusual squealing or grinding may mean they need repair.
 

Windshield Wipers
 

When the weather turns cold it begins to rain or snow. You will want to make sure that your wipers are working correctly. Rain and snow will restrict visibility. Check the wipers to make sure that no streaking occurs.

Heating and cooling system

 
To prevent a sudden breakdown in the cooler months, be sure to check your radiator hoses and drive belts for cracks and leaks. Plus, make sure the radiator cap, water pump and thermostat work properly. Also, test the strength and level of the coolant/anti-freeze. To keep yourself toasty warm in the vehicle, you will need to make sure that the heater and defroster work properly.
 

Tires

 
Checking your tires may be the most important step to getting your vehicle ready for winter. The tire pressure should be checked, this includes the spare tire. Properly inflated tires will give you best traction on winter roads and increase fuel efficiency. Plus, the tire should be checked for the proper amount of tread and any possible damage to the tire.
 

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Preparing Your Car for Hurricane Season
  • Maintenance
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Registration
  • Insurance papers
  • Extended Warranty contract, if applicable

The registration, title, and insurance papers are essential to your vehicle. But, so are the warranty documents. If a mechanical breakdown were to happen while you were on the road or away from your home, you will may need you factory warranty or extended warranty documents along with your maintenance records in order to obtain repairs that may be needed. Also, the warranty documentation will have the number to roadside assistance if needed.

If you have more than one vehicle and you decided to leave one at home, then your vehicle needs to stored correctly. Usually, an enclosed garage would be the first option. But if you do not have one, it is best to park your vehicle away from trees and low lying areas. Most damage from a hurricane is caused by wind and flooding. So, if a garage is not an option, find the highest point in your yard, that is away from trees and park your vehicle there.

Hurricane season is a time to prepare. When preparing for an upcoming storm and/or for evacuation don’t forget about your vehicle. Make sure that it has all it is up to date on maintenance, that you have all documentation regarding your vehicle, and if it is staying behind, make sure that it is stored correctly. Doing this can give you one less thing to worry about during a very stressful time.

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Emergency Car Kit
If you have had your license for a while, you know that anything can happen. You can break down anywhere at any moment. And usually it’s usually out in the middle of nowhere. If you are lucky your cell phone will work, you have a membership with an auto club, or you have OnStar. As for the the unlucky ones, you will either have to hail a passing car or spend the night where your car broke down.

To make sure that you are prepared for all situations, keep a roadside emergency kit in your car at all time. It can mean the difference between getting back on the road or being stuck for a long time waiting on help or rescue. Some of the basic items include:
  • At least two roadside flares
  • a quart of oil
  • small first aid kit
  • extra fuses
  • flashlight
  • A multipurpose tool commonly containing pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, bottle opener, screwdrivers, files and an awl
  • tire inflator
  • rags
  • pocket knife
  • pen and paper
  • a help sign
  • emergency blanket.
This will all take up minimal room in your trunk if you have a smaller car or little trunk space. But if you have a large SUV or full sized truck that can haul more stuff, here are some other items that might come in handy:
  • 12-foot jumper cables
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Gallon of antifreeze
  • First aid kit (including an assortment of bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors and aspirin)
  • Flat head screwdrivers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Vise Grips
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Rags
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Ice scraper
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Bottled water
  • And heavy-duty nylon bag to carry it all in.
There are a few companies that offer pre-assembled emergency roadside kits. While these kits contain the basics items in a small convenient carrier, you might want to a supplement yours with a few of the items listed above to suit your needs. Before you actually use your kit in an emergency situation, take some time to familiarize yourself with the items you've collected and learn how to use them properly. Unfortunately, there isn't one tool for all your roadside emergencies, but with a little planning and a little trunk space, an emergency roadside kit can save the day.
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