There is an appeal to driving a convertible – the wind in your hair, the sun beating down on you. Unfortunately, all anyone talks about is the fun of driving a convertible. They tend to conveniently skip over some of the less flattering parts of driving one. If you have never been in a convertible, it is an experience you should have at least once in your life.
We want to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly associated with driving a convertible. We won’t sugarcoat it. You either love it or hate it, but you should know the ins and outs of owning and driving one, especially in every season!
The Dos and Don’ts of Owning and Driving a Convertible
Part of owning and driving a convertible is identifying how different it is from driving a non-convertible model. You can’t get into a convertible and expect driving it to feel like driving a traditional non-convertible model. On the other hand, you likely spent more on the convertible, so you should be prepared for what driving it will entail. Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of owning and driving a convertible.
DO Put The Top Up When You Aren’t Driving
Driving with the top down is great. After all, what would the point of owning a convertible be if you did not drive it with the top down? So when you are done driving, you should make sure you put up the top to your convertible. But, why?
First of all, leaving your car’s top down and unattended is just as good as leaving the keys in the ignition and a sign that reads “Free Convertible.” In 2019, the United States saw 721,885 motor vehicle thefts. It is untelling how many of these were because a convertible owner left the top down while running into the store or running some other errand.
On the lighter side, if you leave your convertible wide open, you leave yourself vulnerable to critters and their byproducts. How much fun are you going to have if you come out to a car covered in bird poop – inside and out? Think about that for a minute.
DON’T Park a Two-Door in a Narrow Space
A two-door convertible has longer doors than a four-door. So if you park in a narrow parking spot with a car on either side, you are in for a challenging attempt to get out. So instead, opt for a four-door model or choose parking spaces designed for regular to full-sized vehicles.
DO Learn About Sun Exposure
With the top of your convertible down, you are exposed to many different elements – the worst of all being the sun. Without the proper protection, the sun can cause severe burns and even make a person very sick if they do not care for themselves amidst the sun. So remember to carry things like long-sleeved shirts, hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses with you, while drinking plenty of water, so you don’t overheat. Turn the A/C on if you start to feel too hot.
DON’T Expect Your Drive to be Like The Movies
You have seen the movies; a couple rides off into the sunset with the convertible top down, hair flowing freely, they kiss, and the scene ends. If only we all rode off in our convertible like this – Unfortunately, it isn’t like the movies. If you have longer hair and do not have it restrained, expect a mess. If you have ever seen “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” think of Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones) in the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE with Hugh Grant (Daniel Cleaver). Her scarf flies off – that is the truth behind convertible hair.
DO Check the Weather
This statement should probably be immediately followed by “but don’t believe it.” You should always prepare for every potential weather situation. Even planning for the seasons is important. There are different ways to protect yourself from rain, snow, sleet, sun, etc. You will also find that leaves and other debris will accumulate in your car when you have it wide open like this.
Prepare for Hot Weather
When driving in hot weather with your car’s top down, you want to wear cool clothing, wear a hat, wear sunblock, wear sunglasses, and stay hydrated—anything you would do in extremely hot weather for a car ride in a convertible.
Prepare for Cold Weather
Cold weather in a convertible might not seem like two things that go together – but avid convertible owners do it, so it is best to be prepared. Like any time you are venturing into the cold, you will want to wear a coat, gloves, scarf, hat, use the heated seats, and make sure that the windows are up. You can even use the heater with the top down.
DON’T Go to the Car Wash Unprepared
Something as simple as washing your car may not seem like something you need to really prepare for, but you might be surprised. A soft-top has a greater tendency to leak under conditions like a car wash. You want to make sure you are closing the top properly, which will give you the greatest seal possible. You also want to make sure you remember to put the top down (it wouldn’t be mentioned if it hadn’t happened).
Also, don’t try to use your windshield washer fluid when your top is down – unless you want to skip your evening shower!
Enjoy Driving and Owning a Convertible
There are many different perks of owning a convertible. The car itself can turn a frown upside down, releasing endorphins and making people happier overall. With the convertible’s top down, blind spots are eliminated. Your trip can be safer, which is a huge plus for anyone on the road. Your convertible is also FUN! Depending on where you live, you may or may not see many convertibles on the road, so for some, these cars are literally a treat.
If all else fails, you can use your convertible to get off the phone with a telemarketer or someone you really don’t want to talk to – “I think you’re cutting out…”