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Old 19-08-2016   #1
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Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

I cleaned up my pre owned 500C's roof. Filty mess.

Now that it's (almost) back to original standard, I wonder how you guys go about regular maintenance?

Do you wash it with the same stuff you wash the car with, or do you take caution when washing the car at regular intervals? I was wondering if I can just foam it all up, then spray it down like usual, or if that will destroy the water repellent?
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Old 19-08-2016   #2
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by cbastus View Post
I cleaned up my pre owned 500C's roof. Filty mess.

Now that it's (almost) back to original standard, I wonder how you guys go about regular maintenance?

Do you wash it with the same stuff you wash the car with, or do you take caution when washing the car at regular intervals? I was wondering if I can just foam it all up, then spray it down like usual, or if that will destroy the water repellent?
For regular washing I only use water on the roof, and never use a brush. Annually I give it a treatment with Autoglym's fabric roof cleaner and repellent kit. I think it's important to keep the lower rim of the back window free of dirt, especially during winter if the car lives outside as mine does, because I've seen a couple of cars with green growth around there.
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Old 19-08-2016   #3
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by Piccolo Nero e Bella View Post
For regular washing I only use water on the roof, and never use a brush. Annually I give it a treatment with Autoglym's fabric roof cleaner and repellent kit. I think it's important to keep the lower rim of the back window free of dirt, especially during winter if the car lives outside as mine does, because I've seen a couple of cars with green growth around there.
I agree on the back part being susceptible to moss, seen it on many cars. I've also heard to avoid park under or near trees, especially in pollen season.

Mine had moss all over the ceiling, so I went to town with the Autoglym, wrapped it in plastic for 6-7 hours, then brushed rigorously with the supplied sponge and a hard textile brush. Not sure if the brush or sponge gave the best results, but it all went well enough. Still needs another go to be mint though.
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Old 19-08-2016   #4
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Never had a open top but have heard good things re Autoglym roof care products.
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Old 19-08-2016   #5
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

The success and longevity of most cleaning work is all down to the last stage preparation you apply after you've cleaned it thoroughly.
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Old 19-08-2016   #6
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by cbastus View Post
I agree on the back part being susceptible to moss, seen it on many cars. I've also heard to avoid park under or near trees, especially in pollen season.

Mine had moss all over the ceiling, so I went to town with the Autoglym, wrapped it in plastic for 6-7 hours, then brushed rigorously with the supplied sponge and a hard textile brush. Not sure if the brush or sponge gave the best results, but it all went well enough. Still needs another go to be mint though.
In this country UV light is your worst enemy. I'm battling with the local council to get approval to build a carport for our two but, in the meantime, a bespoke FIAT cover goes on during hot weather (not waterproof and has to come off if it rains). I daresay the sun isn't such an issue in Norway.

My car's black roof is now three years old and still looks new but my wife's, with its red fabric, looks a little pinkish.
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Old 19-08-2016   #7
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Quote Originally Posted by Piccolo Nero e Bella View Post
In this country UV light is your worst enemy. I'm battling with the local council to get approval to build a carport for our two but, in the meantime, a bespoke FIAT cover goes on during hot weather (not waterproof and has to come off if it rains). I daresay the sun isn't such an issue in Norway.

My car's black roof is now three years old and still looks new but my wife's, with its red fabric, looks a little pinkish.
Looking for a half cover for winter myself, as I do steep-sided parking I don't want to hassle with covering it fully all the time.

Rained today though,looks like it holds up pretty well
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Old 19-08-2016   #8
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

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I don't have a fiat any more, I'm not sure the material is the same but I use the autoglym kit 6 monthly as per the instructions, then inbetween I use a cloth and water to wash the roof, so as not to remove the water repellent coating.

Not a great picture but sort of gives you an idea.

You'll find the original coating quickly wears out and the water will start pooling or soaking in
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Old 20-08-2016   #9
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by cbastus View Post
Looking for a half cover for winter myself, as I do steep-sided parking I don't want to hassle with covering it fully all the time.

Rained today though,looks like it holds up pretty well
Looks like you've done a good job there.

As Andy suggests I might start doing mine on a six-monthly basis as it gets older.

I found with practice I can have the full cover on in two or three minutes but that's in the driveway in ideal conditions. The main drag is whether to fold it up properly before putting it away each time or leaving it in big bundle ready to go on again - I usually opt for the latter I must admit.

I'm thinking of getting a turret-type cover so I can easily cover the car when I'm away from home - this one;
http://shop.500madness.com/fiat-500-...00dome-pid3163
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Old 21-08-2016   #10
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by Piccolo Nero e Bella View Post
I'm thinking of getting a turret-type cover so I can easily cover the car when I'm away from home - this one;
http://shop.500madness.com/fiat-500-...00dome-pid3163
I've been using the SILA Concepts 500DOME cover for almost a year now, it's brilliant. Fits really well and protects the rear of my 500 which is where all the bird poop likes to land for some reason.

More importantly, it protects the fabric roof from the sun.

It's weird that the front leaves a gap on the lower part of the windscreen, but in practice it doesn't really seem to affect its performance -- car still stays relatively cool in the sun.

Works much better than the California PopTop which disintegrated after about 1.5 years (material turned powdery and started ripping and tearing). Also, the 500DOME can be properly secured with the velcro straps on the door handles, unlike the PopTop which flew off a couple of times during wild storms/gusts. The 500DOME also seems to scratch a lot less than the PopTop, which left quite a few marks on the rear side pillars of my 500.
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Old 22-08-2016   #11
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Given that recommendation I'll put in an order for the 500DOME now - thanks Sunsets.
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Old 22-08-2016   #12
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by 44sunsets View Post
I've been using the SILA Concepts 500DOME cover for almost a year now, it's brilliant. Fits really well and protects the rear of my 500 which is where all the bird poop likes to land for some reason.
I've ordered one of these. Just a query Sunsets; Is it waterproof or do you have to remove it when it rains, like the full cover?
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Old 22-08-2016   #13
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

I've never actually heard of an (outdoor) car cover having to be removed when it rains.

I leave mine on 24/7 -- the only time I don't bother putting it back on is when I've returned from a drive and it's pouring rain. I'll usually put the cover back on the next day if the rain has stopped and the fabric roof is relatively dry.

SILA seems to say it's suitable for use in rainy weather:
http://silaconcepts.com/index.php?ro...&product_id=65

Though there isn't really such a thing as a waterproof car cover, water will find its way under there eventually, and you'll always get morning dew etc.

I guess the crux of the matter is whether you get get rainy weather all the time which might promote fungal growth etc. I've never had any problems here in Sydney, but we don't get rain that often. Even if we have week-long heavy rain (happens maybe once a year), I haven't had any concerns.

Needless to say, nothing beats having the car garaged. But if that's not an option, a good car cover is not a bad way to go

BTW, for those wondering about the purpose of the car cover for the 500C: it's mainly to protect the fabric roof from UV damage. Eventually the sun will break down the waterproof membrane. Oh, and the cover saves you from having to clean up bat/bird poop all the time. Plus keeping your car's interior cooler during summer means you don't step into an oven when you take your bundle of joy for a spin
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Last edited by 44sunsets; 22-08-2016 at 06:34.
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Old 22-08-2016   #14
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by 44sunsets View Post
It's weird that the front leaves a gap on the lower part of the windscreen [...]
Stab in the dark: Maybe it's for parking vouchers and such? Here in Europe we usually are obliged to have a valid parking voucher/special needs card on the driver's side of the front windscreen where such apply.
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Old 22-08-2016   #15
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Re: Cabriolet, how often/thoroughly do you wash/maintain the roof?

Quote Originally Posted by 44sunsets View Post
I've never actually heard of an (outdoor) car cover having to be removed when it rains.
Well, it doesn't have to be removed. I wasn't entirely accurate when I said it isn't waterproof, water doesn't go through it but it's recommended not to leave it on for too long (as you suggest) when wet because of condensation forming underneath which may have a deleterious affect on paintwork if left for too long. Also I use the car at least four days a week and if the cover's wet it's got to be hung up or laid out so it can dry. It's a lot less trouble to remove it when rain threatens.

It may be made for a small car but there's an awful lot of fabric there (especially on a windy day). I use it to keep the sun off and being a full cover it also protects the paint in that regard but it's not really suitable for carrying in the car - 500C boot space is at a premium as it is.

The SILA one would be handy when parking at work for a few hours I reckon. Anyhow, it's ordered so I'll get to try it out soon.
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