Convertible in the rain

So You Left Your Convertible Top Down In The Rain: Don’t Panic!

You left your convertible top down, because when you parked, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. A few hours later, you look out the window, and it’s suddenly pouring! You run outside and close the roof, but the damage is done — your interior is soaked, or at the very least, water is everywhere.

Car RainFirst things first: don’t panic. Cars aren’t as delicate as they seem, and automakers do their best to prepare convertibles to deal with the occasional moisture overload.

You can get everything dried and back to normal, as long as you follow these easy steps.

Vacuum Up Standing Water

If you left your convertible top down long enough to really get hammered by rain — or if the storm was especially fierce — there’s a strong possibility that you’re dealing with an inch or so of standing water on the floor of your car. In this case, the single most effective way to start the drying process is to use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck out as much water as you can. Yes, your car has drains designed to deal with this kind of thing, but they can be easily overwhelmed by flash storms, so the assistance of a vacuum can dramatically speed up the drying process.

Soak Up the Rest

Once the standing water is expelled, it’s time to use some towels. Take all of the floor mats out of your car so that you can access the carpet underneath, and use a series of towels to soak up the water sitting on the floorboards. You’ll also want to wipe down seats, the dash and any other surface that got wet when you left the convertible top down.

Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation

Towels and vacuums wont be able to get all the moisture out, so you’re going to have to rely on evaporation to take care of what’s left. There are a number of tools at your disposal to hasten the drying process. First, use one or more rotary fans to blow a current of air through your car’s cabin. Next, set up a dehumidifier if you have one, inside the vehicle, to suck out water still trapped in your upholstery. Finally, run your car’s heater, with the air conditioning system turned on, to blow warm, dry air through the ventilation ducts. When combined, this should help get things dry as quickly as possible and help curb any smells or mildew.

Check out all the tools & equipment available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on drying out your convertible, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

about author

Benjamin Hunting

Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.  I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

related articles

3 Comments

  • shy

    May 31, 2017 at 10:13 PM

    Reply

    i have a 2004 new volkswagen beetle gls. I left the top down and it rained. My car dried out and works perfectly… except that the top doesn’t go down by using the switch. It has to be done manually. I hear the motor when i press the button but it doesn’t move.

    • NAPA Auto Parts

      June 2, 2017 at 1:22 PM

      Reply

      Thank you for your comment about your VW’s convertible top, a NAPA Auto Parts representative will be contacting you via email shortly.

  • Paula

    August 18, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Reply

    Thanks for posting this article. I was in a panic, I just got a new BMW 430i hardtop convertible. After reading this article I feel a lot better!

LEAVE A REPLY

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *