When I purchased this 2000
Chevrolet Cavalier two years ago, the convertible
top was dried out. If a vinyl top dries out too much,
start cracking, and the cracks will get bigger
over time until the vinyl develops a hole.
There are many products that
can keep a vinyl top flexible, waterproof, and looking
like new. I prefer Maguire's vinyl treatment.
(It's also great for dashboards.)
One good thing about a black convertible top is
you can clean it with just water and a rag,
which will not remove any of waterproof
treatment left from the last time.
Car Washing Tip:
After two decades of
working in the auto body repair business,
I've learned that one of the best, most
economical cleaning products for washing a
car is ordinary laundry detergent. I'm told
it's gentle on the car's finish and is less
likely than dish detergent to remove any wax
that has been applied to improve the car's
There are many
excellent car wash products available, and
these products often have additional
ingredients that improve the shine and help
water bead up.
I cleaned the
top twice. You can still see in the photo the
water beading up. I like to treat the vinyl top
four or more times a year.
seem like a lot of trouble, but a convertible is
a special type of car that needs extra
In the two years I've owned this vehicle, the top
has not leaked and snow does not stick to it.
I park in a carport at night,
and in the winter if it's snowing I brush off
the snow as needed. The weight of the snow can stretch the
top and cause sagging.
After cleaning top with water,
the cloth had some dark grime on it, which is
Before the treatment can be applied, the top has to
I have researched
some of the detail shops
in my area (Traverse City, Michigan) and Meguiar's #40 was recommended
Caution: This treatment should be done
in the shade or on a cloudy day. Avoid direct
sunlight when applying this product.
View of back of spray bottle.
You do not
want to use a Terri-cloth towel... a dish rag or
old cotton sock will work well for an
I sprayed the treatment on the vinyl top, and
using a circular motion with the rag, I worked
the liquid into the vinyl. I did a small area at
View of small area
treated and drying. The white film will soak in
View of half of convertible top done. The left
part in the picture has been treated.
apply the treatment twice.
I try to use the same treatment rag that is soaked
with the product a few more times by placing it in a
dries, I like to rinse off the residue instead of wiping
Then I let the car dry and
cleaned the windows (on the outside) and wiped
the painted areas down with a chamois.
View of convertible top in the sun.
Ready to sell
in early spring.
Soft Cloth Rags
Meguiar's #40 Vinyl
and Rubber Cleaner/Conditioner.