If your convertible is still sitting under a dusty car cover in the driveway or garage, you might be going crazy. When the sun is out and the temperature is warm, under a tarp is no place for any Ford Mustang, Lexus IS-C or Mazda Miata roadster.
Now is the time to plan that extended drive up the coastline or to your favorite weekend spot. Before you fill up the tank and drop the top, make sure your convertible is properly outfitted for the journey. Based on when you last turned the key, or pressed the ignition button, you should heed a few of the best convertible tips going into summer.
How long has it been since you checked the tread on your tires? It might be time for a new set. Don’t risk having to take a couple of sweaty, grimy roadside hours out of an otherwise perfect afternoon drive to change a tire. Plus, worn tread increases your risk of a blowout, which could mean disaster on the freeway.
Check your tire pressure before you go, too, as changes in temperature can cause air pressure to fluctuate. Between the coldest and warmest times of the year, TireBuyer estimates the pressure in your tires will fluctuate approximately five pounds per square inch. Maintaining proper tire pressure will help your tires last longer, give you the best handling and increase your gas mileage on a road trip.
Everyone has their own idea about what to load up on for a road trip. Twinkies and Cheetos are good starters, so is anything that won’t get the leather seats all sticky. Other non-negotiables include:
- Air pump
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight and batteries
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable snacks like granola bars
Also, make sure you have some type of navigation system or mobile device with GPS you can count on in a remote location.
Attention to the detail
Of course, you should get regular oil changes and make sure your fluids are topped off. There are other maintenance issues you might want to consider before you roll out, too. Convertibles need a little extra elbow grease than the average vehicle. Whether it’s a fabric top or a vinyl top, it needs to be cleaned.
If you start the summer with a dirty car, you’ll inevitably waste a morning or afternoon on a nice day in the future cleaning it. If you have a little vinyl window on the back of your convertible top. Clean that, too.
Picking out a drop top
Did you read this article even though you don’t have a convertible? Perhaps some of the pictures below of the most popular used convertibles will inspire you to shop on Mojo for your very own drop top.
The Ford Mustang is probably the most legendary American car and the Mustang convertible stands out anywhere from Detroit to New York City to Seattle. Then again, be careful when putting the top down in Seattle, their weather isn’t always the most conducive to convertibles. The Mustang convertible is more expensive than its coupe counterpart and heavier, too, but the most drivers won’t notice the extra heft. Thanks to a powerful base V6 engine and an optional 5.0 V8 on newer convertibles
While the Mustang charges extra for its topless look, the Miata can only be bought as a convertible. The Miata is one of the most famous roadsters in the world because of its near-perfect handling, simplistic interior and fair price. No other automaker has found a way to compete with the sprightly little Mazda. This includes Scion, Subaru, Pontiac, Saturn and Nissan among others.
The Camaro is a big winner for General Motors and the expansion into convertibles has helped Chevy capitalize on demand for convertibles. The Camaro’s closest competitor is the Mustang as the two are is a constant battle for horsepower supremacy. Even with the vinyl top, the Camaro’s interior is rated as quiet and completely weatherproof. Time will truly tell how weatherproof that roof actually is.
Lexus IS C
The Lexus 250 and 350 C is the luxurious take on a convertible. While the Miata, Camaro and Mustang are built for speed and summer cruising, the IS C is more about a year-round driving experience. The two-door IS C has a hardtop that luxury car buyers appreciate when driving during inclement or cold weather. The hardtop convertible has been dinged by reviewers for bringing down quality and performance, though.
BMW 3 Series
The 3 Series convertible, like the IS C, is only available in a hardtop coupe. Older 3 Series convertibles were outfitted with the vinyl top while newer generations feature a hardtop. The 3 Series convertible has rated higher than the IS C by reviewers for a far superior design and driving experience. Nonetheless, the 3 Series still posts average quality scores.