: Vinyl Top Care



DopeStar 156
04-12-05, 05:09 PM
I just got a new top on my Caddy (garnet red) and I want to know what are the best methods of caring for it? Is there something to protect it from UV rays? What's the best way to clean it? Is it ok to wax it along with the body which I'll be doing soon?

N0DIH
04-12-05, 06:10 PM
Don't ever use a harsh brush or cleaner. I know... :(

cmgrafmc
04-12-05, 10:47 PM
Any auto parts store will have UV protectant spray for vinyl and rubber. NEVER USE AMORALL or however it's spelled...or another other of those gimicky shining products. Maguire's makes some good UV spray. (Tan bottle, black spray top.)

When you wash your car, wash the top normally, never scrubbing hard or using a bristled brush. For "crusted-on" (bird crap) stains, use something like a terrycloth towel (or paper towel, if you wanna toss it later) and dig lightly with your fingernail (um, put the towel OVER your hand, first) until it comes loose. Since your top isn't white, never use any chemical or cleanser designed to whiten...obviously. Don't use abrasive soaps. Mostly this is all common sense stuff and you already know it.

Use the UV spray like every other time you wash, if that often. Is your car garaged (I HOPE I HOPE!)? If birds are a problem, get a BB gun. LOL Otherwise, get bird stuff off the top ASAP. Bird stuff on the paint is bad, too, but not as immediate a problem. That stuff's acidic and will stain the top fairly quickly. Most of the time, if it's the rainy season, just hose the crap off. The car's gonna get dirty again right away so what's the point of washing? For summer crap, maybe keep a spray bottle of car wash soap mixed with water in the house and just spot clean as needed. Heh.

WORST case scenario, the roof lasts only 5-7 years. If garaged and cleaned as needed, I don't see why it wouldn't last another 20, probably longer than the rest of the car. Not a bad price considering you got new badges, too.

brougham
04-13-05, 12:03 AM
I just use soap and water to clean them. A couple years ago someone I know who owns a shop sold me a container of non silicone dressing that's to put on stuff like vinyl and the dashboard so I use that sometimes after it's clean. I figure if it's good enough for his restored car it's good enough for mine :)

DopeStar 156
04-13-05, 01:00 AM
I wish mine was garage kept. My dad's 05 Mustang GT and my mom's 03 F-150 occupy the garage. My dad's GT belongs in there but my mom's F-150 should be outside. It's black and always dirty anyway but they're my parents and it's their garage, oh well. I harely have a problem with birds nailing my car as they're attracted to lighter color cars. I have no problem scraping it off with my finger since we have a bird and he craps on us daily so as long as I wash my hand afterwards, my finger is good enough. I usually use a wet paper towel for those types of incidents. I'll have to pick up that UV spray.

90Brougham350
04-13-05, 10:30 AM
I use baby oil! Works like an absolute charm. Don't know why, but baby oil cleans the top better than anything I've ever used, and it really makes it glow when it's done. But yeah, make sure you use the UV protectant, it's worth it, especially since you have a new top.

Brian

BluEyes
04-13-05, 11:07 AM
So, what's wrong with Armorall? I've heard people rag on it before, but no-one has ever said why. Could someone explain?

I've used it on interior vinyl and plastic on several cars (including my Caddy) and been pleased with the results. It didn't just make it shiny, but the vinyl was softer and more pliable as well, plus the stuff says it protects against UV.

Be careful scraping the birdstrikes off the car with your finger. I understand you own a bird, but yours is kept indoors (I assume) and always fed good food, etc. Wild birds might not be as clean, and might have eaten something slightly diseased recently. There are plenty of wild animals that can be carriers for things that will make us weak-ass humans really sick but not really affect them. Just be sure to wash your hands very soon afterwards.

90Brougham350
04-13-05, 12:39 PM
If I'm correct, I believe UV light kills bacteria. Therefore, the birdshit should be fine to scrape off with your hands, if it's been sitting in the sun for a while. As for Armorall, there was a thead about using it on a vinyl top a while ago. I don't want to steal anyone's thunder, but basically the post said ,"the main ingredient in Armorall was like cooking oil. If you coat a vinyl top with it, the sun pretty much cooks the top of your car." And as for the UV protection Armorall provides, well, sure, I suppose it might, but I won't trust it on my vehicle. Armorall is cheap and tries to do too many things at one time. There's a reason they sell vinyl top cleaner, dash cleaner, leather conditioner, and tire shine all separately.

Brian

DopeStar 156
04-13-05, 01:12 PM
LOL! Ok, I promise I won't touch anymore birdshit with my fingers. This guy however won't hesitate to shit on you or anything you own.

cmgrafmc
04-13-05, 06:32 PM
Sounds like my last boss...

BluEyes
04-14-05, 10:47 AM
basically the post said ,"the main ingredient in Armorall was like cooking oil. If you coat a vinyl top with it, the sun pretty much cooks the top of your car."

Huh? Even if I put actual cooking oil on the car, the sun wouldn't cook it anymore than without. Heat cooks things, not oil.
Has anyone heard another reason?

DaveSmed
04-14-05, 07:42 PM
Huh? Even if I put actual cooking oil on the car, the sun wouldn't cook it anymore than without. Heat cooks things, not oil.
Has anyone heard another reason?

I heard it runs when it rains, and streaks down the paint.

cmgrafmc
04-14-05, 07:50 PM
Some people have had their dash crack from using Armorall. Using on your top would probably have a similar effect, depending on how often you use it, I guess. I just don't like that slick-but-tacky feeling you get from it. Use Armorall all you want, BluEyes, I don't have an scientific reason for NOT using it. It's just my belief from what I've heard that it's not really a great product for long-term care of your vehicle. It's more of a salesman's tool to spruce up a used car for a quick sale. IMHO.

90Brougham350
04-15-05, 04:53 PM
Armorall is cheap and tries to do too many things at one time. There's a reason they sell vinyl top cleaner, dash cleaner, leather conditioner, and tire shine all separately.

To reiterate what I said earlier.

Brian

Fleet
04-15-05, 06:03 PM
I've read that Amorall contains alcohol and will dry up leather and vinyl (and rubber).

madcap
07-26-05, 02:20 PM
My problem with armorall is that if you use it on your dash it will evaporate in the sun leaving a really wierd oily haze on your windshield. It builds up and is very noticable after awhile... Of course it's not that hard to remove with windex but it comes back again and again from the evaporation. Off subject for vinyl tops but armorall sux in general.

theGman
07-26-05, 10:44 PM
If anyone really knows how to clean a white vinyl top, let me know. Everything I've tried soon leaves dirty streaks on the sides; the streaks are very light, but they are there. I have even tried a detailing site with no answers.

caddieboy
07-27-05, 12:57 AM
Do you mind if I ask how much it cost to redo? What did it look like when they took the original top off?

I'm considering turning a sofgt top to a hard top by removing and painting but not sure yet.

adam_mcd
07-27-05, 03:14 AM
..in my old car, my dash was so faded i didnt know the original color. so i bought the armor all 2 pack, cleaner and conditioner. i cleaned the dash first (duh..), waited for it to try, and conditioned it. it has brought out the original butterscotch color and i couldnt be more pleased. its been a years now, even in sunlight, and the dash is still soft, shiny, and hasnt gone wrong. now ill never use armor all except for the dash/plastic, but they got plastics down all right. when i got my car detailed a week ago, they used some other product and although i like the results, i still feel armor all wouldve been better. like said though, dont trust armor all for anything else

DopeStar 156
07-27-05, 10:51 PM
Do you mind if I ask how much it cost to redo? What did it look like when they took the original top off?

I'm considering turning a sofgt top to a hard top by removing and painting but not sure yet.
It cost me $425 to remove two tops (yes two, he found the original top under the one that was already on the car) and replace it with a garnet red Cadillac top. Also he replaced the crests on the roof because they were badly faded. The guy did a great job, the top he put on was a Cadillac top, it looked identical to an original top. It was worth every penny and he deserved every penny for his work.

exclusive605
07-28-05, 10:24 AM
Is that guy far from NYC?