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Cabriolet owners - how do you look after yours in the Winter months?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by rze99, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hi I've got a Mercedes cabriolet, I'm running it as fair weather fun car and I don't need to drive for work.

    I'm thinking about how best to look after it over the worst of the Winter months when it'll likely be driven irregularly. It lives in a little drive at the side of the house, with no shelter.

    I've got an all weather cover for it already. Never used one before. I guess when I use that I wipe the car down fully dry and then put it on. Will the fabric hood develop damp green slime under it? I'm in London, UK so it's hardly the driest of climates.

    Also it has a brand new battery, but even so, I'm figuring that it'll need a regular run (how often?) to keep charged. Or is it best to buy a trickle charger and keep it charged that way?

    Finally, can I prevent doors seals, windscreen wipers etc., from freezing in place under the cover when it gets sub zero for a while?

    Thank you for your guidance.
     
  2. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    A battery tender is good. The tough thing about whole-car covers is that the vehicle needs to be spotless clean every time you put the cover back on.

    I use a half cover on my Boxster. It protects the rag top and keeps uv off my leather. I drive it 2-3 times a week. I maintain the paint religiously. Some would say OCD:lol:

    I don’t know anything about freezing temps. Winter is actually prime roadster time here. Summer is too hot except for early mornings and evenings.
     
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  3. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    We had a Boxter that was always out in the open. We bought a Porsche car cover for it that self destructed. Back to the dealer who told us what we bought (that he sold us) was an indoor cover. We left with an outdoor cover that wore the clear coat off both trunk lids in three years. We have an SLK now and no worries. I’ll never chance a rag top again.
     
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  4. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Best thing to do-- keep driving it during the Winter! Parking a car is the worst thing ever.
     
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  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My S-2000 couldn't be called a Cabriolet, but I'm lucky enough to be far enough south (even in western North Carolina) that I can still drive it some in winter, and still avoid road treatment.

    The top I have got damaged in a hailstorm, so I'm not taking any measures to protect what's left of it. I make sure the windshield wiper fluid is designed for sub freezing temperatures.

    Clean it up real good, clay bar it, apply a coat of wax.

    I also put the less perfect of the two sets of wheels/tires on the car and keep the good ones indoors.
     
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  6. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Meister

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    I have owned convertibles (that's what we call them in the states) since the 1990's. Living in California I don't have lot's of experience winterizing them. However, the worst thing for the top is not winter, it's sunlight. The UV rays causes the fabric to deteriorate. I think the freezing in winter won't really be a problem.
     
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I must say, that current events have cut my mileage in half, at least, and it is beginning to show that some of these 6 vehicles are not getting enough exercise. And when you're not under there watching the crankcase oil drain out, you might not notice a damaged hose or exhaust component. People slough off and stop caring for their rides so much, when they park them and that's part of why I don't let them sit up. Or, I do my best.
     
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  8. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

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    Not good where I live. Too much salt dust on the road in the winter. However, if the pavement gets a good rain to wash the salt off you're good to go.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  9. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    If that Benz is a fabric top, you definitely want to preserve it as best you can. I treated mine with 303 Fabric Guard https://www.303products.com.au/ It’s one of their marine products but it works on all canvas. It might take two bottles to do a 4-seater’s top. Or just buy a quart without the sprayer. It’s easier to apply it with a chip brush anyway. There’s you tube vids to show you how.

    Water, bird poop, whatever; it just beads up on the canvas and never soaks in. Amazing. A company called Ragg Topp makes a similar product, which used to be the standard - but lots of people prefer 303 now.

    303 also makes the best rubber/vinyl protectant I’ve ever used. It’s called 303 Aerospace Protectant.
     
  10. TomK

    TomK Tele-Holic

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    +1 on the 303.

    Our family has a truck accessories business, and 303 is the only manufacturer we recommend—especially for tonneau covers.

    No ArmorAll. Ever. Several of our product manufacturers specifically caution against ArmorAll. I was told it has too much alcohol in it, but I’m no chemist so don’t quote me on that.

    By the way, the original 303 company sold a few years ago, so the current 303 isn’t exactly the same operation but I think it’s still pretty much the same product . . . The original owners then relaunched under another name that I can’t recall at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  11. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, thanks for the confirmation:)
     
  12. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ill get some of that 303 stuff. Many thanks.
     
  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    this may be the best way to go.
     
  14. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, even if you don’t drive it at least start it once per week and roll it back and forth a little. Just like us, ya gotta keep moving.

    And if your driving is limited during the winter/cold, a battery tender or a periodic two amp trickle charge would be a good idea.

    But the main thing is to enjoy the car:)
     
  15. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    :)
    thanks yeah I'll get a trickle charger. thanks

    R
     
  16. Chuckster

    Chuckster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    We have a Battery Tender trickle charger on our NA Miata. Once the salt trucks make their first spin around town, that's it. Its in a detached unheated garage, so my son starts it every day.
     
  17. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    My motorcycle gets pretty infrequent use in the winter - I try to put fuel conditioner (Seafoam) in the tank when I fill it up in the fall in case it doesn't get run for a while - also a full fuel tank gets less condensation than a partially full one, so a good idea to keep it topped off. I usually change the oil at the end of the season so it is sitting with clean oil inside. I use a battery tender Junior as well, you can leave the harness installed on the battery so you just plug it in when it's parked and it monitors/charges as needed.

    Can't help with the finish protection, but I'd be nervous keeping it covered for long periods of time, in case the cover traps moisture under it.
     
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