Introduction to the Convertibles
Convertibles are still considered as luxury vehicles everywhere across the globe. Not many people in the world drive a convertible simply because these models are priced higher than the regular one...
Convertibles are still considered as luxury vehicles everywhere across the globe. Not many people in the world drive a convertible simply because these models are priced higher than the regular ones. But that does not confine convertible cars only to the super-rich and the famous, the demands are rising and we have definitely seen an increase in the number of convertibles roaming the streets.
In case you are not familiar with the concept of Convertible cars, you can consider them as normal cars with a foldable and often retractable roof-top. This option gives the vehicle a stylish and posh look while allowing the luxury of having either an open-air cabin or an enclosed vehicle at the touch of a button or turn of a lever. There are models from some of the major car manufacturers that come in convertible variants to offer a choice to the buyers. There are also car customization companies that can transform any car from good to great by adding a retractable roof but this is mainly aftermarket stuff and definitely not a great option if you care about your car warranty.
Convertibles can either have a hard top or a soft top depending on the nature of the retractable material. Hard tops are made from the same steel/aluminum alloys that form the car body but these are usually made lighter and contain joints and hinges along with levers and circuits. These tops usually retract into the boot of the car and they definitely last longer than soft tops that are made of fiber and canvas. Hard top Convertibles don't come cheap owing to the complex machinery involved. Comparatively, soft tops are cheaper and they also don't occupy as much space when retracted. These usually fold and rest on the boot of the car and usually don't involve any complex mechanisms.
There are however much greater disadvantages of having a convertible with a soft top. To start off with, soft tops hardly offer any kind of protection against break-ins. You can cut through a soft top even with a kitchen knife and run away with the car. No wonder the number of theft cases are much higher in case of soft top convertibles than any other vehicle. Owing to such a heightened security threat, insuring a soft top convertible will definitely cost you more. Even then there aren't many insurance companies ready to insure a soft top convertible. If the kitchen knife is a threat, then you would be surprised to know that on an average a soft top lasts 4 years. That means you can tear it even with your bare hands after that. This is due to the process of weathering. The cloth material, nylon and canvas deteriorates with rains, heat, snow and other vagaries of nature and believe me, drive a car with a deteriorated roof only if you hate your ears. That is because it will flag and ruffle with wind making you feel like you are on high sea battling gigantic waves in your little sailboat. To no surprise, such a car wont be fit for rainy days either with chances of water creeping in through fissures. Soft tops when deteriorated don't close properly and leave out gaps near the ends.
The greater risk however comes in the form of safety while driving. Convertibles have a poor safety record already and even with hard tops, a roll-over can be potentially deadly. You can never have a convertible with a wide rear window. That means poor rear-visibility and almost an impairment while driving with the top drawn up. It is a fact often proven that convertibles don't necessarily have the best drive quality either. This is because of vibration and shaking as a result of an unsupported frame.
A retractable roof, whether mechanical or electronic is a complex piece of engineering and even minor repairs can sometimes become really costly. This is a prime reason to stay away from a convertible if you don't like spending much on repairs and maintenance.
A convertible whether hard top or soft top is definitely stylish and there is no doubt about that but there are numerous facts you should consider before buying one. In case you already own a few other types of vehicles, I would definitely suggest that you add a convertible to your collection but if such a car is supposed to be your prime vehicle, you might need to reconsider your decision and go for a better option. These vehicles are mainly for special occasions and need a whole lot of care when compared to a normal car. Unless you are ready to provide such care to your vehicle, stick to the normal cars.
Quality Auto Parts
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Rodham is the Information Architect at Quality Auto Parts