Is A convertible car good for winter & RAIN? [ Road trip in a convertible ]
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Sure, it is. Over the last few decades, convertible-top materials have changed, which has made the market for all-season fun bigger.
Thanks to improvements in surface technology or the way composites are put together, the car owner can now be sure that the top material can handle the wear and tear of everyday use. Modern convertibles are made with materials that can handle all four seasons and Mother Nature’s worst.
Driving a convertible is exciting and fun because you get to enjoy the scenery out on the road. Yet, you shouldn’t just pick a convertible for a road trip without thinking about things like the weather, the noise level, and the amount of space you’ll need.
When travelling for extended periods of time, a convertible car’s lack of structural rigidity and roof may prove uncomfortable.
Whether or not you opt for a convertible on a road trip relies on your own unique set of circumstances.
I live in Melbourne, Australia, so there is no much snow in here during winter , however because of the cold weather in Toronto or NYC Or In any Colder Places like London etc , you might want to think again if you’ve ever wanted a convertible but didn’t think it would be practical.
If you make a few small changes and think about some important things, you can get your convertible on the road this winter..
Some people buy a car for practical reasons, like because they need a car that is quick and easy to get to work.
The cars that make a statement are the cars that other people choose to buy.
Those people want something that is sleek and cool. Cars that make other people want to have them are ideal.
There are a lot of cool cars out there, but convertibles are one of the coolest ones. One of the best feelings in the world is to drive down the highway with the top down in the summer.
It doesn’t seem like a good time to buy a convertible at this point in time Store your convertible in the winter and you’ll miss out on a lot of fun.
Follow these 5 Nifty tips to get your convertible ready for the winter, and you’ll be ready to go.
Is A convertible car good for Road Trips?
Depending on your needs and preferences, a convertible car might be good for road trips. Here are some things to think about:
Comfort: Convertible cars can be comfortable for short to medium-length trips, but they may not be as comfortable for long trips, especially if you are travelling with more than one person. The small space and open top can be a problem, especially for people who are taller or need more room for their legs.
Weather: Convertibles are made for good weather and may not be good to drive in bad weather, like heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat. If you plan to go on a road trip in a place where the weather is hard to predict, you might not want to take a convertible.
Storage space is usually limited in convertibles, especially when the top is down. If you want to go on a road trip and need to bring a lot of luggage or gear, a convertible might not be the best choice.
Driving a convertible can be fun, especially on scenic roads, but they might not be as comfortable for long trips on the highway. It can be tiring to hear the wind and be out in the elements for a long time.
Overall, a convertible car is a good choice for road trips if the driving experience is important to you and you plan to travel when the weather is good. But if you need more room, comfort, and functionality, you might want to think about a different kind of car, like an SUV or a sedan.
Can I use SOFT-TOP convertibles for Road trips in winter?
Most of the time, you shouldn’t take a road trip in a soft-top convertible in the winter, especially in areas with a lot of snow and ice. Here are some explanations:
Insulation: In cold weather, soft-top convertibles don’t have enough insulation. Even with the heater on, it’s hard to stay warm because cold air can get in through the fabric top.
Visibility: In snowy weather, it may be hard to see out of a soft-top convertible. The soft top can get in the way of the rearview mirror, and fogged-up windows can make it hard to see.
Traction: Most soft-top convertibles have rear-wheel drive, which can make it hard to drive on roads that are wet. Also, they might not have enough ground clearance to get through deep snow.
Safety: In the event of a crash or rollover, soft-top convertibles don’t offer the same level of safety as hard-top cars. When driving in the winter, the lack of insulation and visibility can also be dangerous.
If you have to take a winter road trip in a soft-top convertible, make sure to take extra precautions like using winter tyres, carrying a shovel and ice scraper, and checking the weather forecast before you leave.
But if you can, it’s best to drive in the winter in a better car, like an SUV with four-wheel drive or a sedan with a hardtop.
However, Speaking from experience, I have a Boxster S & Mini cooper Convertible and have driven a couple of winters with it:
You must Put a water repelling coating on it. It’ll help if it’s slush/water.
Also Read: Dos and Donts of owning a Convertible car that you will be glad you know them
Don’t ever operate the top if it’s icy, just keep the top up , If you do there are chances you could damage the fabric or plastic windows if your top has that.
Never leave your convertible outside to accumulate snow, but some light snow of like 3-4″ wasn’t a big deal, just used a soft brush to brush it off.
As for heat and insulation, some convertibles ares really good, don’t really feel any different than a hard top, but I suppose manufacturers might differ. Check with your Dealer about the winder deals.
5 Tips for driving a convertible in the winter
1.Get winter tyres:
If you get snow you must use winter tires. If it just gets cold you should use winter tires anyway but all-seasons might be enough at lower speeds. Apart from that, it’s not any different from any car.
Yes, just like any other car, your convertible should have a set of good quality winter tyres if you intend to drive this season.
Get a pair with good traction to ensure your safety on the road.
Before leaving, make sure the heater is working properly. Many convertibles now have all-wheel drive, making winter driving a little easier.
You can put a water repellent on the soft top, and it will help repel snow and provide a bit of protection against soggy soft tops.
2.Frequent washes & treatments
Washes/rinses at your Local coin-operated car wash are a great idea.
These will keep the shine and lustre of your top by removing abrasive salt and sand that can dull the finish over time.
Hand washing is preferable, but soft-cloth car washes can also be used.
There are treatments available that provide cloth-top protection and water repellency and can be applied prior to winter driving for an added layer of protection.
A good cleaning and re-treatment application several times per year will keep your top looking the best, says Bill
Today’s soft-top convertibles are true, all-season vehicles,
3.Regular Check on the roof top
Keep your convertible roof clear after it gets snowed on. Remove all ice and snow from the roof.
You don’t want to cut or chip away at ice or heavy snow with your hands. Instead, use a soft brush or your hand wrapped in a mitt.
Make sure you don’t use a hard-bristled brush or an ice scraper to clean your teeth. To get rid of snow and ice, let your car warm up or park in a warm garage. Heavy brushes and scrapers could damage your roof.
Don’t use your roof in cold weather.
Cold-weather months aren’t the best time to switch your roof from “up” to “down.”
Rule: Don’t put your roof down when it rains. This can lead to premature wear, and it’s a good place for mould and mildew to grow.
You should be careful when you use that ice scraper to remove frost or ice from your windows.
One slip, and your convertible top could be scratched by a piece of metal. Pre-heat your convertible to get rid of the frost before you need it.
4.Avoid scratching the top to remove snow
Snow & ice won’t hurt the soft top. But if you try to scrape ice off of the fabric you can scratch & weaken it.
Also, if you let ice build up, that’s not good either. Finally, road salt may get into the roof hinges to speed up rusting.
Bottom line, store the car inside so you won’t get ice build up on the roof.
Also, soft top cars usually use a single layer of fabric for the roof. This can be very cold in the winter.
Yes, you can crank up the heat. But since the roof doesn’t provide any insulation at all compared to a solid roof, and heat rises, any heat from the heater quickly cools.
That said, I’ve seen ppl wearing snow-bile suit, gloves & helmet riving convertibles in the winter.
5.Park them inside garage
Make sure that you park inside your garage to avoid snow accumulation.
However, If you park your convertible in the driveway during the winter, always clear snow and ice from the roof before driving.
While this is good practise for any automobile, it is especially crucial while driving a soft top convertible.
Many convertibles have roofs that aren’t built to withstand a lot of weight, so snow accumulation might cause catastrophic damage.
We recommend keeping your top up throughout winter to avoid any unexpected occurrences – and ending up on the headlines, like this guy.
Vinyl or fabric roofs shrink in cold weather, and removing them may cause them to rip when reinstalled.
Are convertible cars good for rainy and winter weather in Canada or North Americas?
Yes. Any convertible made in the last 50 years will keep rain out, and dropping the top on a sunny winters day is fun. I’ve taken a convertible on ski trips. Contrary to what you may have heard about the “wet coast”, Vancouver has lots of sunny days.
Convertibles perform admirably in Vancouver’s rainy winter weather.
The weather isn’t too cold, so the soft top will keep you warm.
If you have a newer convertible, the top will keep the rain out. If you park it outside every day, the top will suffer significant wear and tear over time.
Because of the top and the smallish rear window, most convertibles have limited visibility to the rear; this is not ideal in rainy driving conditions. So, my answer is that a convertible can get by in Vancouver’s winters, but it is not ideal winter transportation.
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About the Author:
Toby Salvanos is a true travel enthusiast, traveller, and Road Trip Guide contributor. Toby is a luxury car salesman and a passionate blogger r at @PEP Travel & Road Trip