Three Things To Consider When Buying A Used Convertible

Posted on: 29 September 2016

The absence of a roof makes a used convertible very different from a conventional car. This means shopping for the right convertible should also be different from shopping for a conventional car.  Here are three things you should evaluate when shopping for used convertible:

The Integrity of the Roof

Convertibles are just like their sedan counterparts in many aspects; the main difference is the operation of the roof. A hardtop convertible's roof is designed to fold in several places during retraction. This complexity means any failure of the hardtop roof is likely to begin at these joints.

Therefore, as far as the roof is concerned, you need to confirm that its operation is smooth and doesn't require any coaxing to work. You also need to confirm that the roof is not leaking. Leaks in hardtops usually occur at the joints, but, in soft tops, they can occur anywhere.

Look For a Convertible with a Roll Bar

Most fatalities in convertible accidents involve rollover crashes. This is because, unlike other cars, convertibles don't have a protective roof, so you are left to the mercy of the road. However, relatively new convertibles have roll bars (in addition to other safety features) that reduce the risk of rollovers in case of a crash. Therefore, if you are shopping for a convertible, look for one with roll bars in addition to other standard safety features, such as side bars and stability control. You will have more options with newer cars because many older convertibles did not feature roll bars as a standard.

Examine the Interior for Weather-Related Damage

A convertible's open top is its main joy, but it can also be its main source of frustration. For example, weather elements such as sunlight and rain can wreak havoc to a convertible's interior if its owner isn't careful. Therefore, watch out for weather-related damage when shopping for a used convertible. Here is a couple of things to look out for:

  • Faded, cracked, and peeling interior upholstery that may indicate sun damage
  • Musty odor that may indicate moisture damage

Use these tips together with the usual precautions for buying a car. For example, you should also check for the convertible's accident history, take it for a test drive, and ensure it doesn't have rusted parts, and have it inspected by a qualified person before purchase. To learn more about what to look for, talk to a dealer like Comet Auto Sales.