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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon, everyone. I recently purchased a 2008 Solstice (I'm also new to this forum), and I've never owned a convertible automobile before. What sort of care procedures do y'all have for your Solstices? I'm unable to keep mine in a garage, so I know care for it is especially important.

I am quite happy with my Solstice, after a week of driving it, and am looking forward to driving it around more in general. I'm also looking forward to getting involved here on this forum.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Good afternoon, everyone. I recently purchased a 2008 Solstice (I'm also new to this forum), and I've never owned a convertible automobile before. What sort of care procedures do y'all have for your Solstices? I'm unable to keep mine in a garage, so I know care for it is especially important.

I am quite happy with my Solstice, after a week of driving it, and am looking forward to driving it around more in general. I'm also looking forward to getting involved here on this forum.

Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum, and to the family.

There are a couple of preservatives that work well for the top. You can find threads about both of them in the: Car Care and Detailing Forum but you are probably going to get a number of recommendations here as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum, and to the family.

There are a couple of preservatives that work well for the top. You can find threads about both of them in the: Car Care and Detailing Forum but you are probably going to get a number of recommendations here as well.
Supurb! Like I said, I am new to the forum, so I'm figuring out where I should be posting things. Thanks for the help. Would you reccomend I repost this there, or just browse through old posts already in that thread? Also, any recommendations on what a new solstice owner should know about the Solstice Community? Thanks again!
 

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Too bad you don't have covered parking. As far as the exterior protection goes, I recommend proper paint care / wax / etc. Buy a cheap car cover (from Walmart). Follow the recommended soft - top care instructions. Enjoy your new ride!
 

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Browse through the old posts, and I will move this thread into that forum when I get back to my computer..

There's a lot that you can learn, and you can find most things with a search, so always try that first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Too bad you don't have covered parking. As far as the exterior protection goes, I recommend proper paint care / wax / etc. Buy a cheap car cover (from Walmart). Follow the recommended soft - top care instructions. Enjoy your new ride!
Thanks for the recommendation! I do daily drive it to and from work, so a cover may be a bit of a hassle. Do you think it would still be worth it?
 

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There are a few good products out there for convertible tops I use RaggTopp it is recommended by many car manufacturers , 303 is also a good product that forum members use .If your going with RaggTopp it's worth the money to buy the kit you get a cleaner and brush and the protectant .I don't know what part of the country your in but if your down south or out west ,lots of sun which plays hell on the paint and top ,I would do a clean and protectant spray a few times a year to keep it in good shape . If you plan on covering it don't waste your money on a cheap cover it won't last and will do little to protect your car . I have a Covercraft on the Solstice and a California Car Cover on my Chevelle they are quality covers ,have excellent fit and are made out of materials to protect your paint and top . They make a variety of covers for different applications including cars that are parked outside .
 

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Thanks for the recommendation! I do daily drive it to and from work, so a cover may be a bit of a hassle. Do you think it would still be worth it?
A neighbor of mine has a Sky that has sat outside continuously for at least 10 years without a cover. The too still looks new, and he doesn't strike me as the type to do much to protect it. I will have to ask him if he does anything.

I think the interior is more at risk than the top from the sun. Just don't park under trees.
 

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Cover = best protection. But, as others have said, regular cleaning and treating of the fabric top and your paint will keep it looking good. UV from the sun is a killer so protection is important. Also know that "organic" substances (tree sap, poop, etc.) will trash your paint.
 

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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new to you Kappa!

The outdoor elements will certainly cause havoc on any car. I've used 303 top protectant in the past - if you go this route then make sure you purchase the CORRECT stuff. Adam of Adam's polishes recommended to use RaggTop cleaner when he gave his presentation at the 2018 Solstice and Sky North American meetup, I plan to use that this year.

I don't use wax on my cars paint, I prefer polish.

If your cars been garaged it's whole life, prior to your ownership, then you probably have decent headlights. Those headlights turn cloudy from the uv rays of the sun - you may want to find a headlight uv protector.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new to you Kappa!

The outdoor elements will certainly cause havoc on any car. I've used 303 top protectant in the past - if you go this route then make sure you purchase the CORRECT stuff. Adam of Adam's polishes recommended to use RaggTop cleaner when he gave his presentation at the 2018 Solstice and Sky North American meetup, I plan to use that this year.

I don't use wax on my cars paint, I prefer polish.

If your cars been garaged it's whole life, prior to your ownership, then you probably have decent headlights. Those headlights turn cloudy from the uv rays of the sun - you may want to find a headlight uv protector.
Thank you! I'm glad to see the friendliness of this community. I'm not sure if my car has been garaged or not, but it's been kept in pretty good condition. Down here in Central Texas the sun can be absolutely brutal, so a UV protector is probably a good idea. Thanks for the advice. I'm currently looking at getting RaggTopp for the soft top, but what would you reccomend for the headlights? Thanks!
 

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Sav - polish cleans and shines but does not protect. Natural wax will protect but needs to be re-applied every couple of months. Synthetic wax (sealant) will last six months with direct exposure to the elements. My N/A is garage kept and only driven during the warm months in Michigan, so it lasts a year for me.
 

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Great comments from all as usual.
Wash the top: The canvas is damaged by entrained sand and dirt particles that work their way into the weave of the fabric. You want to remove the offending sand and dirt by first vacuming it very well to pull as much dirt out as you can, then flooding the top with water. Flooding NOT using high pressure. Pressure can drive the dirt further into the weave which you don't want. Flooding can work to raise the dirt out of the weave and float it away. Raggtopp has a soft bristle brush that you can use to agitate while flooding which is a great tool.
Treat the top: Treating the top performs two central functions. First it makes the fabric water resistant. The fabric is made of layers and one is a rubber waterproof layer. The top will not leak. But the canvas cover needs to be water proofed to help keep dirt out of the weave. As sand and dirt are deposited by the wind, if the to is not waterproofed, when it rains the water will soak into the top and carry the dirt into the weave. Raggtopp and 303 waterproof the fabric so the dirt will run off the weave and not into the weave. Second is the treatment improves UV resistance. The UV component of sunlight will attack the integrity of the canvas and over time weaken and ultimately destroy the material. Regular application of protectant will inhibit or stop this damage.

Lubricate the top: The top has sliding components on each side that seat the buttresses when the top is up and locked. If you inspect this area you will find that there is a track that a plastic slider travels. Keeping this track clean and lubricated can extend the life of your top mechanically.

Treat the rubber: The rubber seals are unique to the Solstice / Sky and are currently unavailable. We have not seen one in a couple of years. Use dielectric grease, liberally applied, let it set for an hour then wipe it off. All rubber seals. Every six months at a minimum. This will keep your rubber happy and flexible. ALL the rubber seals. Trunk, windows etc.

Maintain the wear plate at the hinge point above the windows. As the top folds up to go into the trunk, the forward portion moves downward and to the rear. It is hinged about mid way above the door windows. With the top partially retracted, you can access the hinge point by pulling the canvas inward to view the hinge area on its upper surface. There is a flat rubber seal on the bottom of the canvas that slides over the forward/top edge of the rear portion of the hinge point. At this location there is a plastic wear plate held in position by a single screw. You MUST apply dielectric grease to both sides of the seal at this point, the bottom of the top and the lower seal at the hinge point. If you don't lubricate this regularly the rubber seal on the lower part of the top will get dry, rough and will grab and stick at the hinge point. Eventually it will break or loosen the plastic wear plate and then wear into the lower seal. This eventually exposes a piece of metal stiffener that is cast into the lower seal and that will cut a huge hole into the top from the bottom. You MUST maintain this area to keep your top happy. If you are missing the wear plates let us know and we can provide a replacement set. When they went out of inventory at GM we had them made. A symptom of this issue is the top will be pinched by the hinge when putting the top up and cause lots of issues.

Check the condition of the two flaps in the tulip panel. These rotate up and forward when the top goes into the up position to provide clearance for the top frame. They are activated by basically bicycle cables and if they are not operating properly they can stick and be broken by the top structure. The cable needs to be lubricated on a regular basis. Make sure they are "timed" correctly. You can change when they open by moving the locating tab under the flap. The flaps are very expensive and some of the parts like hinges and springs are no longer available.

Read the posts about the buttress sticking. Rarely the Y cable that activates the buttress locks will have a plastic end point fail and the buttress will not release. You can release it using a variety of tools but better to be prepared and not need it. :)

Welcome to the forum. Read the new owners checklist and ask more questions.
 

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Good afternoon, everyone. I recently purchased a 2008 Solstice (I'm also new to this forum), and I've never owned a convertible automobile before. What sort of care procedures do y'all have for your Solstices? I'm unable to keep mine in a garage, so I know care for it is especially important.

I am quite happy with my Solstice, after a week of driving it, and am looking forward to driving it around more in general. I'm also looking forward to getting involved here on this forum.

Thanks in advance!
That convertible top is very expensive to replace, treat it with 303 so it protects the canvas from the elements, most auto parts stores carry it.
 

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Great comments from all as usual.
Wash the top: The canvas is damaged by entrained sand and dirt particles that work their way into the weave of the fabric. You want to remove the offending sand and dirt by first vacuming it very well to pull as much dirt out as you can, then flooding the top with water. Flooding NOT using high pressure. Pressure can drive the dirt further into the weave which you don't want. Flooding can work to raise the dirt out of the weave and float it away. Raggtopp has a soft bristle brush that you can use to agitate while flooding which is a great tool.
Treat the top: Treating the top performs two central functions. First it makes the fabric water resistant. The fabric is made of layers and one is a rubber waterproof layer. The top will not leak. But the canvas cover needs to be water proofed to help keep dirt out of the weave. As sand and dirt are deposited by the wind, if the to is not waterproofed, when it rains the water will soak into the top and carry the dirt into the weave. Raggtopp and 303 waterproof the fabric so the dirt will run off the weave and not into the weave. Second is the treatment improves UV resistance. The UV component of sunlight will attack the integrity of the canvas and over time weaken and ultimately destroy the material. Regular application of protectant will inhibit or stop this damage.

Lubricate the top: The top has sliding components on each side that seat the buttresses when the top is up and locked. If you inspect this area you will find that there is a track that a plastic slider travels. Keeping this track clean and lubricated can extend the life of your top mechanically.

Treat the rubber: The rubber seals are unique to the Solstice / Sky and are currently unavailable. We have not seen one in a couple of years. Use dielectric grease, liberally applied, let it set for an hour then wipe it off. All rubber seals. Every six months at a minimum. This will keep your rubber happy and flexible. ALL the rubber seals. Trunk, windows etc.

Maintain the wear plate at the hinge point above the windows. As the top folds up to go into the trunk, the forward portion moves downward and to the rear. It is hinged about mid way above the door windows. With the top partially retracted, you can access the hinge point by pulling the canvas inward to view the hinge area on its upper surface. There is a flat rubber seal on the bottom of the canvas that slides over the forward/top edge of the rear portion of the hinge point. At this location there is a plastic wear plate held in position by a single screw. You MUST apply dielectric grease to both sides of the seal at this point, the bottom of the top and the lower seal at the hinge point. If you don't lubricate this regularly the rubber seal on the lower part of the top will get dry, rough and will grab and stick at the hinge point. Eventually it will break or loosen the plastic wear plate and then wear into the lower seal. This eventually exposes a piece of metal stiffener that is cast into the lower seal and that will cut a huge hole into the top from the bottom. You MUST maintain this area to keep your top happy. If you are missing the wear plates let us know and we can provide a replacement set. When they went out of inventory at GM we had them made. A symptom of this issue is the top will be pinched by the hinge when putting the top up and cause lots of issues.

Check the condition of the two flaps in the tulip panel. These rotate up and forward when the top goes into the up position to provide clearance for the top frame. They are activated by basically bicycle cables and if they are not operating properly they can stick and be broken by the top structure. The cable needs to be lubricated on a regular basis. Make sure they are "timed" correctly. You can change when they open by moving the locating tab under the flap. The flaps are very expensive and some of the parts like hinges and springs are no longer available.

Read the posts about the buttress sticking. Rarely the Y cable that activates the buttress locks will have a plastic end point fail and the buttress will not release. You can release it using a variety of tools but better to be prepared and not need it. :)

Welcome to the forum. Read the new owners checklist and ask more questions.
EXCELLENT post Rob with great info!!
I did not know about that wear plate at the hinge point above the side windows.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you use the 303 make sure you get the FABRIC PROTECTOR version.......they make quite a few 303 products.
I went to O'Reilly Auto Parts and they told me to use the 303 Protectant Interior and Exterior Ultimate UV Protection, however the bottle says not to use on fabrics. Is this the wrong product? Thanks.
 

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I went to O'Reilly Auto Parts and they told me to use the 303 Protectant Interior and Exterior Ultimate UV Protection, however the bottle says not to use on fabrics. Is this the wrong product? Thanks.
Yes, that is the wrong stuff for your top, but it is good for the interior and even the rubber seals. 303 is a company, not a product, and they make about a dozen different cleaners and protectants.
 
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