How to Repair Leaks in a Convertible Top

Written by andy kyle
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How to Repair Leaks in a Convertible Top
Repair a leaking convertible top. (floride image by Patrick CRONNE from

Convertibles are one of the most exhilarating cars to drive. Driving with the top down and a warm summer breeze flowing through your hair can be great, but what happens when the warm summer weather turns to rain and you notice that the convertible top is leaking? Taking your leaking convertible top to the repair shop can be very expensive. Fixing it yourself may be the best option.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Heavy-duty vinyl glue
  • Seem sealer
  • Vinyl thread
  • Vinyl patch
  • Thick needle

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  1. 1

    Determine where the leak is coming from. This should be simple. With a hose or bucket of water, slowly pour water along the top and look to identify the exact location of the leak. If the leak is a rip in the seam or tear in the vinyl, this can be fixed on your own. If the leak is caused from top not closing tight enough to the car then it is generally recommended that you take the car into the shop for repair.

  2. 2

    Start stitching the tear. Once the tear is identified, take the vinyl thread and needle and stitch it tightly back to together.

  3. 3

    Apply a small code of heavy-duty glue. At this point, only apply a small amount of glue. Simply use your finger to spread a thin coat over the entire seam and stitching on the topside of the convertible.

  4. 4

    Repeat step 3 for the tear inside the car. Let both sides dry for 24 hours.

  5. 5

    Prepare the vinyl patch. Cut the patch so it completely covers the tear. Apply a coat of seam sealer or heavy-duty glue to the patch and apply the patch to the area of concern. Do the same for the underside of the convertible top. Let both patches dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Patch repair is best done inside a garage. If you don't have access to a closed garage, then make sure that the weather is sunny for the drying process.
  • Before you roll the top of the convertible back into the storage, it is vital to make sure the patches and glue are completely dry. Rolling the convertible top down before the glue is totally dry could result in the patch moving.

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