Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems

Here is a list of 11 common Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems. Every Porsche Boxster Owner needs to be aware of these issues and the steps to avoid them.

If you have a desire for wind in your hair, sun in your face, and listening to the incredible Porsche engine, you cannot beat the Porsche Boxster for enjoyment.

1.0 About The Porsche Convertible Top

The Porsche convertible top provides the best of both worlds. The soundproofing of the Haartz and Porsche engineered fabric allows you to enjoy both a top-up and top-down experience.

What Material is the Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Made of?

They make the Porsche Boxster Convertible Tops using premium Haartz German Sonnenland A5 Canvas.

Boxster YearConvertible Roof Fabric
1997 – 2011HAARTZ Sonnenland A5.0 Singed
2012 -2019HAARTZ Sonnenland A5B/DS

This special fabric from Haartz using a high-performance acoustically enhanced 3-ply topping with acrylic twill weave facing, rubber inner-layer and Polyester backing.

Is the Porsche Convertible Top Water Proof?

No, the Porsche Convertible top is not waterproof, it is only water-resistant, and because of this, your canvas convertible top is susceptible to both moisture and mildew.

Do not open your convertible top when the canvas roof is wet

Porsche Convertible Top Water Repellent

You need to learn the correct methods for Porsche Convertible Top Cleaning & Conditioning.

Waterproofing Treatments Spray for Convertible Tops

Table could not be displayed.

NOTE: RAGGTOPP Cleaner, RAGGTOPP Premium Convertible Top Brush, and RAGGTOPP Protectant are the only products endorsed by Haartz.

Haartz the world’s leading manufacturer of convertible tops for virtually every American and European Convertible Automobile manufactured throughout the world (including the Porsche Boxster.)

2.0 Regular Cleaning of Porsche Convertible Top

We recommend to hand wash your convertible top in the shade or partial shade only. It is best to avoid direct sunlight. Never use a detergent on your convertible top.

Immediately Spot Clean Your Convertible Top

The Dreaded Seagull
The Dreaded Seagull

Bird and tree droppings, as well as other loose particle soils, must be removed immediately upon discovery. These issues will stain and damage your convertible roof.

Therefore, we recommend that you carry a “spot cleaning” bag in your trunk with RaggTopp (or similar) cleaning fluid, a brush, microfiber towel(s), and a rinsing agent (water).

Boxstertips - Best Porsche Boxster Car Covers - Protect Your Porsche Boxster
Boxstertips – Best Porsche Boxster Car Covers – Protect Your Porsche Boxster

Washing your Convertible Top

Clean your top using a vacuum with a brush attachment and a lint fabric brush in order to remove all loss particle soils and dust. This will also prevent the dust or soils from being redeposited on the fabric during the cleaning process.

Completely rinse the convertible top with water. Once the fabric has been rinsed thoroughly, spray RAGGTOPP Cleaner evenly over the entire surface while still wet.

Do not do this in direct sunlight as your fabric will dry too quickly.

Allow the cleaner to soak for 10 to 20 minutes and then scrub lightly with the RAGGTOPP Premium Convertible Top Brush, a horse hair brush, or a terry cloth rag.

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You will need to rinse thoroughly until no remaining soap or foam is observed. Additional cleanings may be required. It is best to determine the need for additional cleanings after the fabric has dried completely.

Once dry, you are now ready to treat your convertible top fabric with a water repellant treatment, such as RaggTopp, Chemical Guys or 303 Protectant.

3.0 Porsche Convertible Top Repair

The wear of your canvas convertible top is primarily because of the collection of dust/dirt into the fabric. Dust collecting your canvas fabric will act like sandpaper on your roof. Therefore, you need to adopt a good maintenance routine that includes using one of the best Porsche Boxster car covers when your car is not in use.

You must keep your convertible top canvas clean and treated. Otherwise, dust will collect in that fabric and cause premature aging and wear.

If you have a Porsche Boxster with a vinyl rear window it is critical that you learn to use the “Boxster Chop”.

What is the Boxster Chop?

If you are the owners of a Pre-2002 Porsche Boxster 986 it will have a rear plastic window. You will need to learn the “Boxster Chop” and master its application.

The Boxster Chop is your primary defensive maneuver to increase the lifespan of your Boxster canvas convertible roof.

How to do a Boxster Chop?

  1. When you open (lower) your top, open the top just enough to start the rear window folding.
  2. Get out of the car and do a ‘chop’ with your arm/hand and make a nice even crease/fold in the window.
  3. This will ensure that when you open the top all the way, the rear window does not develop a compound fold or crease.

The “Boxster Chop” is recommended in all weather conditions as a defensive measure.

4.0 Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems: Plastic Rear Window Care

If you have a Porsche Boxster with a plastic rear window, you need to take extra care of your rear plastic window.

UV radiation can do serious damage to the polyvinyl window. If a haze or fogging is experienced, it is caused by the plasticizers in the polyvinyl material evaporating due to exposure to UV light and the actual heat from the sun.

You could try using Plexus which has a built-in UV protectant.

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  • Developed for use in the aviation industry - specifically, for cleaning and protecting aircraft windshields and painted surfaces, people quickly discovered it could be used on a limitless variety of plastic surfaces
  • Use it on your vinyl windows, hatch covers, mirrors, laminated surfaces, eyeglasses, sunglasses, computer screens... just about any place you would normally use plastic cleaner

Whenever the car is stored outside, the clear plastic window should be protected with a cover.

If your clear plastic window has minor scratches and yellowing, we can restore it by using a high-quality plastic polishing compound such as “Plastix” by Meguiar’s. And don’t forget to use the Boxster CHOP every time you close your roof!!

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  • BRILLIANT CLARITY: Cleans and restores brilliant clarity in one simple step, saving you money on expensive replacement headlights and enhancing visibility and safety for nighttime driving

5.0 Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems: Tears or Holes in Canvas

It is critical that you need to get this on quickly to prevent the holes or tears from spreading. Your fastest and the best solution would be to use a canvas patch. We recommend that you would use a Gore-Tex canvas patch. You need a 1/2 inch over coverage on the patch and you can cut to size to minimize the size of the patch.

Boxstertips - Boxster Convertible Top Problems - Tear in Canvas
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  • Apply this patch with an ultra-aggressive adhesive, which bonds instantly; won’t peel even after a wash
  • Use patch kit that includes one 3” round patch and one 2” x 4” rectangular patch; both patches are black and can be cut to size

6.0 Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems: Convertible Sides do NOT Tuck into their Channels

A very common issue for Porsche Boxster convertible tops is that the Porsche Boxster convertible top sides do not tuck into their side channels.

This is a recurring issue for drivers who make use of their convertibles. The cloth stretch band loses its tightness (or elasticity) over the use and age of the car.

They connected Porsche Boxster Convertible tops on each side with embedded cables that are built into the convertible top. History shows premature failure at these areas because of the “pull-through” design of the cables in the Boxster Convertible top.

Boxstertips has a dedicated article here:

7.0 Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Replacement

Either due to wear, vandalism (theft), cracked or torn rear plastic windows, many 986 owners opt to get a new canvas top, complete with a new rear glass window.

The rear plastic window has a very high rate of failure due to age, usage, and environment. We recommend that Porche 986 shoppers give serious consideration to purchasing a Porsche Boxster with a glass rear window for this very reason.

Unfortunately, the forums are filled with people who have had terrible experiences replacing the rear plastic window only. We recommend using a highly qualified/recommended repair shop for the replacement of the rear window, which usually comes with a high cost.

If you’re looking to buy an early Boxster 986 (pre-2003), please keep in mind this upgrade and the costs involved. Most times, the complete replacement of the convertible top will be lower than the repair of the rear plastic window itself. Especially if you can do the installation yourself.

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compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Stayfast Cloth (Black)
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compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Stayfast Cloth (Black)
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UPGRADED Metal Top transmission Gears L+R Side for Porsche Boxster Convertible 1997-2012 98756118001
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compatible with Porsche Boxster Convertible Top With Plastic Window Black Stayfast (1997-2002)
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compatible with Porsche Boxster Convertible Top With Plastic Window Black Stayfast (1997-2002)
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iCarCover Fits.[Porsche Boxster Convertible] 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 for Automobiles Waterproof Full Exterior Hail Snow Dust Indoor Outdoor Protection Heavy Duty Custom Car Cover
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iCarCover Fits.[Porsche Boxster Convertible] 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 for Automobiles Waterproof Full Exterior Hail Snow Dust Indoor Outdoor Protection Heavy Duty Custom Car Cover
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  • Entire top is cut from the same bolt of cloth for consistent color and pattern
  • Slightly tinted heavy gauge press-polish plastic window for superior visibility
  • Flush mounted deck seams like original and unique to these Boxsters
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Please note that this is Project 70 in the 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster.

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8.0 Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems: Broken Push Rod Caps

Unfortunately, you will experience a broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Push Rod. You will hear a loud snap (or bang) as you are lowering or raising the roof. It will usually mean that you have snapped one of the Plastic End Caps off of the Convertible Top Push Rod. They designed these plastic end caps to break and to save your convertible top transmission and gearing. Please review a dedicated article on our site.

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  • The Plastic used is the mixture of glass fiber which i heat resistance and durable.
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  • Porsche part# 987 561 279 01, check fit below.
  • Genuine Porsche part, recently made: not been lying around.
  • NOTE: Base model fits from Ch#986U7 12008 onward
  • NOTE: 'S; model fits from Ch#986U7 31341 onward

9.0 Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems: Broken Convertible Transmission

If you experience a broken Porsche Boxster convertible transmission, please be aware that in most cases the cause of the issue is a snapped vinyl gear in the transmission. You will hear a large popping sound from under the clamshell.

You have 2 of these transmissions, 1 on each side of your Boxster. There is a vigorous debate on replacing these vinyl gears with aluminum (or metal) gears. We recommend using the original OEM vinyl gears.

Broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Transmission Gear
Broken Porsche Boxster Convertible Transmission Gear

Please note that this is Project 71 in the 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster that walks you thru access to the Convertible Top Transmission.

Sale
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616 Reviews
101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Dempsey ., Wayne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 312 Pages - 01/08/2011 (Publication Date) - Motorbooks (Publisher)

10.0 Increasing Lifespan of the Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Gearing and Operation

They strongly recommended that if you own a 986/987.1/987.2 that when Opening and Closing of your Convertible that you:

  • Never open or close your convertible top when your car is in motion.
  • Only open or close your convertible top only on level ground.
  • Use care in opening and closing convertible in cold temperatures.
  • Never open or close your roof in high winds
  • Closing Convertible Top in a Porsche Boxster with Vinyl rear windows must learn the Boxster-Chop!

These tips will save your convertible motor, your channel pull cables, and especially your push rod caps. Thus following these rules will extend the lifespan of your convertible top. Review broken Porsche Boxster convertible top push rod.

11.0 Lubricating Your Convertible Top

We recommend you lubricate your CabRIO rails yearly using lithium grease and a cotton swab.

We recommend you do yearly maintenance on your Porsche Boxster by lubricating your clam-shell rails. Be careful in applying lithium lubrication on the clam-shell rails and do not over-spray lubricant in your convertible compartment. Lubricant can cause issues with vinyl trim and plastic housing pieces.

Brian has a great overview of the lubrication maintenance, be careful with over-spray.

12.0 Treating Your Convertible Top Weather Stripping

They strongly recommended that you treat all weather stripping on your Porsche Boxster every year. Use a conditioning compound on all exposed rubber and plastic items on the exterior of your Porsche. This includes the weather stripping on your convertible top.

This will ensure that they do not crumble or crack with the humidity and temperature changes.

Porsche enthusiasts swear by the German made Gummi Pflege Stif !

nextzett 91480615 'Gummi Pflege Stift' Rubber Care Stick - 3.4 fl. oz
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nextzett 91480615 'Gummi Pflege Stift' Rubber Care Stick - 3.4 fl. oz
  • Conditions all weather seals around doors, hood and trunk
  • Temperature resistant for long-lasting protection
  • Prevents rubber from drying and cracking
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  • Made in Germany

For rubber seals in car doors, windows, and boots, Gummi Pflege offers long-lasting freezing protection. It also offers true, deep-down safety conditions, helping to extend the life of rubber seals, gaskets, and trims, offering protection from the sun’s cold, heat, and UV radiation.

If your rubber seals, or weather stripping, around windows and doors, go untreated they will deteriorate. Because of changing temperatures and high UV sunlight exposure, the rubber of the weather stripping dries out, crack or shrink. When this happens, the integrity of the seal will fail and lead to further problems such as squeaks, whistles, draughts, and leaks. Therefore, if you rarely treat your weather stripping, you lose your original luster, and the rubber continues to perish.

Unlike many plastic and rubber treatments, Gummi Pflege doesn’t simply buff rubber to look new. Gummi Pflege provides real, deep down protection, helping to prolong the life of rubber seals, gaskets, and trims, providing protection against cold, heat, and UV radiation from the sun.

Porsche 911 failed convertible
Porsche 911 failed convertible – The Most Iconic Photo of Porsche Convertible Failure

Conclusion

We hope you make use of these Boxster Tips and use these tips to increase the lifespan of your Porsche Boxster convertible and minimize your Porsche Boxster convertible top problems.

How many times have you seen someone driving their convertible in the snow or rain with the top down? This is obviously someone with convertible problems. Please don’t let this ever be you!

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Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API