Buying a new CAR
Not as easy as it should be...
Owning a cabriolet is a lot of fun, but when it comes to renewing the car hood, the fun seems to ebb slightly. Knowing about the different types of car hoods out there is one thing, but knowing which type of vehicle hood to use on your car is another. To try and help you get a better idea about the types of soft top hoods out there, and their different qualities, read this article. It might just bring all that technical jargon into perspective!
Firstly, some cars have an option of the type of material
- Vinyl or Cloth (Mohair).
Vinyl, like its name suggests, is a plastic hood. This is the cheaper option of the two, as it is cheaper to manufacture the material, and its life is not quite as long as that of a Cloth (Mohair) hood.
Mohair used to be made from the come from Angora goat wool, but luckily these days mohair hoods are more goat-friendly and are made from modern materials such as stayfast, sunfast, sonnenland cloth etc.
Mohair or "cloth" hoods are made to withstand all weather conditions, but like all things it only has a limited life span - still a few more years than the PVC or "vinyl" hoods.
A vinyl hood looks a lot different to a mohair hood, as it is a lot shinier and it can have quite a large grain in it. One positive thing about vinyl is that it is easier to clean than a mohair soft top. As it's basically plastic, any stains or marks rub off with a sponge and some soapy water. Mohair on the other hand needs a bit more TLC than that.
When trying to clean a mohair soft top, your best approach would be to use a brush with relatively hard bristles, but not too hard, or you'll be scrubbing a hole in your hood! Use some warm water and a good hood cleaner or mild soap, and the marks should scrub off fairly easily.
When you're about to buy a hood, make sure you inform the trimmer or supplier of your cars model and year and they will be able to advise all the types of hood available for that car. Ring some trimmers up to get an idea of the quality of the hoods out there, and the average fitting-time. Some hoods from certain suppliers fit like a glove, whilst hoods from other suppliers may seem impossible to fit. Fitting-time for the cheaper hoods, often ends up with a total cost higher than that of buying a high quality hood and fitting it.
European Trimming Company Ltd offer a lot of information, samples and service, which other companies lack. Not only are the hoods of a high quality, but they locate trimmers near you. For more information go to - www.europeantrimming.co.uk
Once you've bought your hood and had it installed, it's always a good idea to care for it properly from day 1, to get the most out it.
It's always good to buy a well-known cabriolet soft-top shampoo. Brands, which I recommend, are Renovo, Autoglym and Ragg Top. There are of course loads of other brands out there, which will do the job just fine.
Once the hood has been shampooed and hosed down, let it dry and then apply a spray-on hood weather proofer which acts like scotch guard to repel water.