Convertibles are a famous choice for car enthusiasts who like an open-air driving experience.
However, one perceived disadvantage of owning a convertible is that the car is not ideal for wet weather and might leak in the rain.
Unsurprisingly, one of the frequently asked questions is whether you can drive convertibles in the rain.
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So, Should You Drive Your Convertible During A Rainstorm?
Yes. You can drive convertibles in the rain. If the top is up, it will stay impermeable, but if the top is down, water might get into the cabin. The manufacturing processes and technology used by automotive companies to make convertible tops as waterproof as possible have improved significantly.
Driving in the rain with the roof up is normal, and people regularly find themselves in this situation, particularly those living in wetter climates.
So, What If It Begins To Rain While You Are Driving With The Roof Down?
If you are in traffic at a low speed, you will quickly get wet unless you find a place to stop and roll up the top.
When you are at high speeds, the wind from the windshield helps deflect the rain over your head towards the back, almost forming a bubble shield around you.
The speed you require to drive will depend on your convertible model, but the recommended speed is about 60mph. So, just ensure the rain does not catch you in traffic!
Are Soft Convertible Tops Waterproof?
While a convertible top roof in good condition won’t leak under normal circumstances, especially in modern cars, no soft-top convertibles are 100% waterproof, so some water might leak into the car.
Soft convertible tops are waterproof by design but need continuous care to protect their waterproof layer.
If not correctly maintained, the top will continuously lose its ability to resist water.
Therefore, while the soft tops might be waterproof at first, it might start leaking with time if not properly maintained.
Also, if the rubber seals between the roof and car have deteriorated, you may experience some leakage in the cabin.
It mostly depends on factors such as the car condition, engineering quality, and the extent of rain.
Therefore, while all contemporary convertible tops are water-resistant, they still need extra attention to retain their water resistance quality.
With time, the weather elements will degrade the water resistance, especially if the convertible is left outside most of the time.
Why Is Your Convertible Top Leaking?
Your convertible top might start leaking for several reasons.
Either the rubber tops between the car and roof have perished, the waterproof barrier has depreciated, or the top has physical damage such as a hole in the fabric.
If the soft top is not well maintained, the waterproof barrier will deteriorate with time and eventually begin leaking.
Another weakness that might cause water leakage is rubber seals that connect the roof to the body panels and windows.
The rubber seals also diminish with time due to exposure to extreme weather, ultraviolet rays, and temperature fluctuations.
Even some hard-top convertibles can begin to leak if the rubber seals deteriorate.
The final weakness you can check is looking for any tears or holes in the top fabric.
While the fabric is very durable, the material used on soft tops is susceptible to being torn. Any tear can easily begin leaking water in the cabin and cause severe damage to your car’s interior.
What Should You Do If Your Convertible Interior Is Soaked with Rain?
So, you are caught up by heavy rain in traffic with your convertible top down or leave the top down when the weather is sunny, only for rain to pour suddenly.
Even after rolling the top up, the damage has been done, and your convertible interior is soaked. Fortunately, you don’t need to panic.
Convertibles are not that delicate, and automobile manufacturers do their best to prepare convertibles to cope with occasional moisture overload.
Here are steps to get everything dried and back to perfect condition.
1. Vacuum Any Standing Water
If the convertible top has been open for long enough to be really hammered by rain, or the storm was aggressive, there is a high possibility you will be dealing with water on the car’s floor.
If that is your case, you should start using a dry or wet vacuum cleaner to suck as much water as possible.
While the car has drains to deal with such amounts of water, a vacuum will significantly speed up your drying process.
2. Remove The Remaining Water
Remove all the floor mats from your convertible to access the underneath carpet, then use a range of towels to soak up water sitting on floorboards.
You should also ensure to wipe down the seats, dashboard, and any other surface that becomes wet.
Vacuums and towels will eliminate a significant amount of water but won’t be able to eliminate all the moisture.
Evaporation can take care of the rest.
There are tools in the marketplace that you can use to enhance the evaporation process.
To start with, you can use a rotary fan to blow air current through the car’s cabin.
Next, get a dehumidifier and set it in the car to suck out the moisture still trapped in the car’s upholstery.
By combining these steps, things should dry quickly and help curb any mildew, mold, or smell.
How Can You Care for Your Convertible Within A Wet Climate?
Whether you stay in a snowy state or often experience a wet climate, having rain or cold blow through the top of the car isn’t fun.
The first step to consider is inspecting the convertible top regularly for any tears or holes.
If any, repair them to ensure chilly breezes, snow and rain don’t mess up your convertible’s interior.
Also, don’t leave snow sitting on the roof for long as I might damage the soft top frame.
Also, before you go for a long drive with the top down, consider bundling up to avoid getting caught up in cold weather, which might harm your health.
Get some gloves, a hat, and sunglasses.
Hopefully, we have answered your question on whether you can drive convertibles in the rain.
Generally, it’s fine to drive your convertible in the rain as long as the roof is in good shape.
Most convertible tops won’t leak, particularly in modern vehicles.
Taking proper precautions and care of your top allows you to enjoy your convertible even in the rain.