Convertibles are great during the summer, but if you look around and see them with their tops up, some of them are not as pretty as others. This is due to the fact that there were windows which are usually made of vinyl or plastic have worn or oxidized due to exposure to the elements and the sun. This is much like what happens with plastic headlights on cars. Plastic and similar products photo oxidize which means that they degrade from contact with the sun and the elements.
The rear plastic windows are convertible degraded and then become hard and opaque and eventually crack and become extremely ugly and unsafe. This oxidizing and degrading process can be avoided with proper treatment. The best treatment is to use a product made specifically for this type of plastic or vinyl like the New Lite headlight restoration kit from MDWholesale.com. This kid is the most effective product of its kind and has been proven effective and millions of customers cars primarily for headlights but also in restoring convertible plastic windows to new again and in protecting them from future oxidation.
Do you have cloudy, ugly headlights?
The only other choices you have is to either always leave your car in a garage and never take it out in the sun where you put the top up or, when your car needs it and the rear window becomes opaque unsafe, you can replace the whole top or in some cases the rear window insert (this depends upon the manufacturer of the top and how it is designed). Replacement of a convertible top is not cheap and will easily cost over $1000 and that doesn't include installation. A new top installed correctly you're looking at probably $2000 or more.
Yes, you can find a discount repair shop that may do it for $1400 or so, but remember you do get what you pay for and usually anyone down and around this range will do a repair job that will in itself need replacement within a few years. A cheap vinyl top or convertible top replacement job usually has cheap stitching, ill fitting parts and will not last as long as they professional repair job at a more expensive inexperienced shop.
Do you have a hard time seeing at night due to worn, cloudy and ineffective headlight lenses?
Now some cars, in an attempt to avoid this problem with vinyl and plastic rear windows in convertibles have gone with glass windows. These definitely last longer, except that they can break and also, due to their heavier weight, can cause seems in the top to pull, tear or rip and come undone prematurely. This is why most manufacturers have decided to stay with the vinyl or plastic or window instead as the glass windows tend to require expensive repairs or replacement during the original three-year 36,000 mile warranties.
Plastic rear window convertible tops tend to last a couple years longer to where they're out of the three-year or 36,000 mile warranty (which tends to be a better financial decision for the manufacturers). In any case don't let this scare you away from owning a convertible. I owned one myself and it was a great car - a 2004 Mustang GT convertible. A convertible this gives you a feeling of the wind in your hair and freedom and is just an experience like no other. But now you have learned how to fix and restore rather than replace the plastic or vinyl rear window in a convertible and this should save you money, they could convertible look better and give you better driving safety as you will be able to see much better and clearer through the rear.
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