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Repairing Convertibles: What to Know About Getting a Convertible Fixed in New Jersey

There are few things in life that are as exhilarating as driving a convertible car down the road. Convertible vehicles are a symbol of freedom and fun, after all. However, when these sleek, sporty vehicles are involved in a collision, restoring them to their former glory requires specialized knowledge and equipment. In New Jersey, despite convertibles being abundant on the roadways, finding the right auto body shop that is equipped to handle such repairs can be difficult. To help you find repairs, here is everything you need to know about getting your convertible repaired at a collision repair shop in New Jersey.


Key Takeaways


  • After a collision, convertible tops can suffer fabric tears, structural damage, electrical/mechanical issues, water damage, liner insulation damage, and alignment issues.
  • Manual tops require frame alignment, while automatic tops involve complex repairs of electric motors, hydraulic systems, switches, sensors, and wiring.
  • Roll bars are critical in rollover accidents and may need inspection, repair, or replacement for compliance with safety regulations.
  • Trusted for decades, Elmer’s Auto Body in South Jersey offers hassle-free collision repair, ensuring convertibles are restored to pre-accident condition.


What is a Convertible Top?

A convertible top is a unique component that serves both aesthetic and functional purposes. It consists of fabric stretched over a metal frame, allowing for easy folding and unfolding to transition between open-air and closed-roof driving. Additionally, the top incorporates various components such as foam, rubber backing, wiring for features like defrosters, and a liner for insulation.


Common Convertible Top Damages in a Collision

In the aftermath of a collision, convertible tops often bear the brunt of the impact, resulting in a range of damages that necessitate thorough inspection and expert repair. These damages can vary widely in severity, encompassing both visible exterior issues and internal structural concerns. Here’s a closer look at the common convertible top damages encountered in the wake of a collision:


Fabric Tears and Rips

One of the most apparent damages to convertible tops is tears or rips in the fabric. Whether caused by debris, contact with other vehicles, or the force of the impact itself, these tears can compromise the integrity of the top and need to be addressed promptly to prevent further deterioration.


Structural Damage

Collisions can also cause structural damage to the convertible top frame. This may manifest as bent or warped metal components, which can affect the overall functionality and stability of the top. Repairing such damage requires precision and expertise to ensure proper alignment and structural integrity.


Electrical and Mechanical Components

In convertible tops equipped with automatic operation, such as electric motors, hydraulic systems, switches, sensors, wires, and hydraulic lines, are vulnerable to damage in a collision. Impact forces can cause malfunctions or complete failure of these components, impacting the ability to operate the convertible top smoothly.


Water Damage

Water ingress can occur as a result of damage to the convertible top fabric or its sealing mechanisms during a collision. This can lead to issues such as mold growth, electrical malfunctions, and interior damage if not addressed promptly.


Liner and Insulation Damage

The liner attached to the underside of the convertible top serves not only as a decorative element but also as a crucial component for sound and thermal insulation. Damage to the liner, whether from impact or subsequent exposure to elements, can compromise the vehicle’s comfort and acoustics.


Alignment Issues

Collisions can knock convertible top components out of alignment, resulting in issues with opening, closing, or latching the top properly. Addressing alignment issues is essential to ensure seamless operation and prevent further damage to the top or surrounding components.


Repairing an Automatic vs Manual Convertible Top

The complexity of repairing a convertible top depends on whether it is automatic or manual. Manual convertible tops, often found in smaller vehicles like the Mazda MX-5, present a more straightforward repair scenario compared to their automatic counterparts. In these manual systems, the primary focus is on ensuring the frame’s structural integrity and alignment to facilitate smooth operation. Repairing manual convertible tops typically involves meticulous frame straightening techniques to correct any misalignment caused by the impact.


Conversely, automatic convertible tops introduce an additional layer of complexity due to their integration of sophisticated electrical and hydraulic components. These systems, which include electric motors, hydraulic pumps, switches, sensors, and intricate wiring, are essential for the automated operation of the convertible top. In the event of a collision, damage to any of these components can impair the functionality of the automatic convertible top, necessitating thorough diagnosis and repair.


Repairing Roll Bars in New Jersey

Roll bars serve as crucial safety features in convertibles, providing enhanced protection to occupants in the event of a rollover accident. In modern convertibles, hidden roll bars are designed to deploy automatically when sensors detect an imminent rollover, mitigating the risk of injury to passengers. However, following a collision, these roll bars may require inspection, repair, or replacement to ensure their proper function and compliance with stringent safety regulations, particularly in states like New Jersey.


Looking for Hassle-Free Collision Repair in South Jersey?

If your convertible vehicle was damaged during a collision, there is good news. Depending on the extent of the damage, the convertible components may be repaired by an experienced auto technician. For convertible owners in New Jersey seeking a hassle-free collision repair experience, look no further than Elmer’s Auto Body of South Jersey. We have been in business for decades and have a team dedicated to your satisfaction. Make Elmer’s Auto Body your trusted partner in restoring your convertible to its pre-accident condition. Contact one of our three South Jersey locations today or fill out the online form to schedule a seamless repair experience. It’s time to return to the road with confidence.

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