With summer comes the peak season for topless riding. What convertible drivers should consider:
Push-button security: The electric top closes quickly and protects against theft.
Cabriolets have left the really big ride behind for a while. Gone are the days when Peugeot, for example, put a canvas cover on the small 205 model, which was in 1986, and the descendant 208 was only shown closed. Even an earlier classic like the convertible Golf is a long history, as are the fresh air variants of the Renault Mégane, Ford Focus or Audi A3.
Meanwhile, all-new convertibles have largely withdrawn into the luxury segment, with open versions of a Mini, BMW 4 Series or Mercedes COO E-Class on the road. The convertible had to give up its role as an image-enhancing lifestyle to a more practical SUV. In addition, China’s important export market has no weakness for “naked” leadership. In Europe, Germany and Great Britain are still somewhat fond of convertibles – so the costs of developing clean air vehicles are no longer feasible for manufacturers.
care after hibernation
However, according to figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), there are still about 2.2 million convertibles registered throughout Germany. With summer, they’re picking up speed again. But not only after winter hibernation, car lovers deserve attention. Most manufacturers now called the “all-season convertible” with the steel folding roof, which was especially popular with beginners, and instead preferred the classic canvas upper, which is a more aesthetically pleasing solution and is now more durable. Car washing does not cause any problems. Some stations also offer a special convertible program that reduces the contact pressure of the rollers and, with the help of preservatives, maintains the dirt- and water-repellent function of the fabric roof.
The ADAC warns against directing high pressure jets to the soft top and at the same time recommends impregnation before the first rain and, if necessary, replenishment in between. Trade retains special products for convertible tops, other textile products should not be used.
Protection against sunburn
Saturation is also common for convertible drivers. Cold winds often belie strong sunlight, and in the worst case there is a risk of not only sunburn, but even heat stroke. Parts of the body that are not covered, such as the face or arms, should be treated with sunscreen, and it also makes sense to apply lipstick with UV protection. Headwear protects people with hair thinning (or hair that no longer exists at all); A cover with “sunscreen” with sunglasses also protects against glare, although glasses are also essential because they block foreign bodies such as dirt particles or insects and at the same time prevent conjunctivitis that can be caused by clouds.
Speaking of drafts: When driving with the top down, the convertible can be quite loud, ADAC talks about a sound pressure level that can be on the order of 90 decibels (A) and more. It is therefore advisable to close the convertible top on long highway trips.
Theft: When Does Insurance Pay?
Cabriolets are usually among the highest quality cars, which is why they are so reassuring to thieves. You can hear from the insurance company HUK-Coburg that they spend about €3.2 million a year on stolen convertibles or on items stolen from cars parked in the open. IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Partial coverage only covers permanently installed or attached parts such as on-board electronics or in-vehicle assistance and infotainment systems. On the other hand, loose items such as sunglasses, child seats or purses may be covered by home contents insurance.
Even in the case of partially comprehensive insurance, it also depends on where and how long the car is parked. According to HUK-Coburg, anyone who leaves the roof open and carelessly allows theft to “expect the consequences”. That is: under certain conditions, this behavior can be assessed as gross negligence, and then the insurance company does not pay or does not pay in full.
You can “forget with confidence” the theme of a soft roof if a single lockable garage is used as a parking space. In underground car parks, which can be accessed by many people, and on the street, the roof can be left open only for a short time to get something quickly. That the situation was in fact this way – of course it may be difficult to provide such evidence in practice, there is always a risk that the insurance industry will oppose it. If you really want to be on the safe side, it’s best to close the top once you leave the car. And for vandal damage like a convertible sliding hood, comprehensive insurance should be taken.