The vinyl rear window on a Mazda Miata convertible soft top is made well but is susceptible to damage. The vinyl can crack or tear due to pressure on the window in extremely cold temperatures, or the surface can become cloudy with age or excessive sun damage. Preventive care is the best way to keep a Miata soft top window is top condition. But if damage does occur there are options for repairing the window instead of replacing it.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Vinyl patching kit
- Vinyl cleaner and polish
- Soft sponges and cloths
- Measuring tape
- Small paintbrush
Repair cracks or holes in a vinyl window with a vinyl patching kit, which usually includes sheets of patching material, an adhesive and an applicator. The procedure generally involves washing the window first with warm water and a mild detergent and drying it with a non-abrasive cloth. Next, cut the patching material so it is approximately 1 inch wider and longer than the hole. Use a small brush or provided applicator to brush the adhesive on one side of the patch. Place it over the crack or hole with the adhesive side down and press down firmly for at least one minute. The adhesive should completely dry and create a permanent bond with the vinyl window in 24 hours.
Restore a cloudy or scratched vinyl window by applying an all-purpose plastic cleaner, such as Meguiar's #17 Plastic Cleaner and #10 Plastic Polish. Use a foam applicator to gently rub a small amount of the cleaner with a circular motion onto the vinyl window. Wipe away the residue with a clean microfiber cloth. Follow the same steps to apply and wipe away the polish. These products are also recommended by Miata enthusiasts for regular use in keeping the vinyl window clean and protected.
Replace the vinyl window if none of the above fixes work. Driving with a cracked or cloudy rear window can impair your ability to see traffic behind you, thus causing a safety hazard. Have a professional convertible top installation company install a new vinyl window or consult www.miata.net for tips on how to do it yourself. The window can be replaced without replacing the entire soft top.
Tips and warnings
- Prevent Miata soft top window problems before they start by keeping the vinyl window clean and free of dust and dirt. When the soft top is down, use a "boot," or custom cover to protect both the top and the folded vinyl window from dirt, debris and sun damage. Also, wrap a soft, clean towel or felt cloth around the folded window to protect it from dirt and scratches.
- To avoid cracks or tears, never tap or hit the vinyl windows in extremely cold temperature and never use an ice scraper on the window when removing snow or ice.
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