Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems

Here is a list of some common Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Problems. Every Porsche Boxster Owner needs to be aware of these issues and the steps that can be taken 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.

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?

The Porsche Boxster Convertible Tops is made 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

Preview
Recommended
RaggTopp Fabric Conv. Top Cleaner / Protectant Kit
Upgrade Option
RaggTopp Fabric Convertible Top Cleaner/Protectant Kit
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Chemical Guys HOL_995 - Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit (6 Items)
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RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit
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303 Convertible Fabric Top Cleaning and Care Kit - Cleans And Protects Fabric Tops - Includes 303 Tonneau Cover And Convertible Top Cleaner 16 fl. oz. + 303 Fabric Guard 16 fl. oz., (30520)
Title
RaggTopp Fabric Conv. Top Cleaner / Protectant Kit
RaggTopp Fabric Convertible Top Cleaner/Protectant Kit
Chemical Guys HOL_995 - Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit (6 Items)
RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit
303 Convertible Fabric Top Cleaning and Care Kit - Cleans And Protects Fabric Tops - Includes 303 Tonneau Cover And Convertible Top Cleaner 16 fl. oz. + 303 Fabric Guard 16 fl. oz., (30520)
Customer Rating
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379 Reviews
586 Reviews
192 Reviews
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Price
$41.95
$46.94
$52.73
$67.94
$32.79
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Brush Included
Microfiber Cloth Included
Endorsed by HAARTZ Corporation
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Preview
RaggTopp Fabric Conv. Top Cleaner / Protectant Kit
Title
RaggTopp Fabric Conv. Top Cleaner / Protectant Kit
Customer Rating
Reviews
379 Reviews
Price
$41.95
Amazon Prime
Brush Included
Microfiber Cloth Included
Endorsed by HAARTZ Corporation
Detail
Upgrade Option
Preview
RaggTopp Fabric Convertible Top Cleaner/Protectant Kit
Title
RaggTopp Fabric Convertible Top Cleaner/Protectant Kit
Customer Rating
Reviews
586 Reviews
Price
$46.94
Amazon Prime
-
Brush Included
Microfiber Cloth Included
Endorsed by HAARTZ Corporation
Detail
Upgrade Option
Preview
Chemical Guys HOL_995 - Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit (6 Items)
Title
Chemical Guys HOL_995 - Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit (6 Items)
Customer Rating
Reviews
192 Reviews
Price
$52.73
Amazon Prime
Brush Included
Microfiber Cloth Included
Endorsed by HAARTZ Corporation
Detail
Premium Option
Preview
RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit
Title
RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit
Customer Rating
Reviews
138 Reviews
Price
$67.94
Amazon Prime
-
Brush Included
Microfiber Cloth Included
Endorsed by HAARTZ Corporation
Detail
Best Value
Preview
303 Convertible Fabric Top Cleaning and Care Kit - Cleans And Protects Fabric Tops - Includes 303 Tonneau Cover And Convertible Top Cleaner 16 fl. oz. + 303 Fabric Guard 16 fl. oz., (30520)
Title
303 Convertible Fabric Top Cleaning and Care Kit - Cleans And Protects Fabric Tops - Includes 303 Tonneau Cover And Convertible Top Cleaner 16 fl. oz. + 303 Fabric Guard 16 fl. oz., (30520)
Customer Rating
Reviews
2,465 Reviews
Price
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Brush Included
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Endorsed by HAARTZ Corporation
Detail

NOTE: RAGGTOPP Cleaner, RAGGTOPP Premium Convertible Top Brush, and RAGGTOPP Protectant are the only products recommended and 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.)

Regular Cleaning of Porsche Convertible Top

It is recommended 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

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

Therefore it is recommended to carry a spot cleaning bag in your trunk with RaggTopp (or similar) cleaning fluid, a brush, microfibre towel(s), and a rinsing agent (water).

The Dreaded Seagull
The Dreaded Seagull

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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Chemical Guys Acc_S95 Long Bristle Horse Hair Leather Cleaning Brush, 1 Pack
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Chemical Guys ACCS96 Premium Select Horse Hair Interior Cleaning Brush for Leather, Vinyl, Fabric and More
RAGGTOPP Natural Horse Hair Convertible Top Brush Model: Car/Vehicle Accessories/Parts
RaggTopp Premium Convertible Top Cleaning Brush
Chemical Guys Acc_S95 Long Bristle Horse Hair Leather Cleaning Brush, 1 Pack
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$9.99
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6.4 ounces
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9.6 ounces
4.8 ounces
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6.6 x 3.3 x 2.4
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5.6 x 5.2 x 6.3 inches
14.7 + 5.4 x 2.5 inches
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Chemical Guys ACCS96 Premium Select Horse Hair Interior Cleaning Brush for Leather, Vinyl, Fabric and More
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Chemical Guys ACCS96 Premium Select Horse Hair Interior Cleaning Brush for Leather, Vinyl, Fabric and More
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Reviews
316 Reviews
Price
$13.95
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6.4 ounces
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RAGGTOPP Natural Horse Hair Convertible Top Brush Model: Car/Vehicle Accessories/Parts
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RAGGTOPP Natural Horse Hair Convertible Top Brush Model: Car/Vehicle Accessories/Parts
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Reviews
3 Reviews
Price
$17.95
Amazon Prime
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Item Weight
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Item Dimensions
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Detail
Premium Option
Preview
RaggTopp Premium Convertible Top Cleaning Brush
Title
RaggTopp Premium Convertible Top Cleaning Brush
Customer Rating
Reviews
330 Reviews
Price
$27.89
Amazon Prime
Item Weight
9.6 ounces
Item Dimensions
5.6 x 5.2 x 6.3 inches
Detail
Best Value
Preview
Chemical Guys Acc_S95 Long Bristle Horse Hair Leather Cleaning Brush, 1 Pack
Title
Chemical Guys Acc_S95 Long Bristle Horse Hair Leather Cleaning Brush, 1 Pack
Customer Rating
Reviews
5,768 Reviews
Price
$9.99
Amazon Prime
Item Weight
4.8 ounces
Item Dimensions
14.7 + 5.4 x 2.5 inches
Detail

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.

Porsche Convertible Top Repair

The wear of your canvas convertible top is primarily due to 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.

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.

Plexus Plastic Cleaner, Protectant and Polish (13-Ounce)
  • Plexus seals the pores in plastic surfaces with a micro-thin layer of shiny, protective wax, making it resistant to debris, oil, scratches, and eventual yellowing
  • 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 it can be restored 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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Meguiar's G12310 Plastx 10 Oz.
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Meguiar's G12310 Plastx 10 Oz.
  • Makes clear plastics clear again
  • 10 Ounce Bottle
  • Removes fine scratches, oxidation & grime

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 Goretex 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
Boxstertips – Boxster Convertible Top Problems – Tear in Canvas
GEAR AID Tenacious Tape Gore-TEX Fabric Patches for Jacket Repair, Black, Round and Rectangle
  • Repair jackets, pants, bibs and gloves made of GORE-TEX fabric for a truly waterproof, breathable patch; no sewing required
  • Peel-and-stick patch to quickly fix rips, tears or holes in GORE-TEX garments; use an iron or hair dryer to increase bond strength
  • 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

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 bad experiences replacing the rear plastic window only. It is recommended to use a very 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. In many cases, 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.

Bestseller No. 1
compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Stayfast Cloth (Black)
18 Reviews
compatible with Porsche Boxster 986 1997-2002 Convertible Top With Heated Glass Window Stayfast Cloth (Black)
  • Haartz Stayfast Cloth.
  • DOT Approved Heated Glass Window.
  • This top comes completely assembled and ready to install. No sewing is required.
  • Our tops are Brand new in the original box.
Bestseller No. 2
UPGRADED Metal Top transmission Gears L+R Side for Porsche Boxster Convertible 1997-2012 98756118001
  • Fits: 1997-2012 Porsche Boxster
  • Upgraded Gears over OEM, will not break again like the original plastic gears.
  • Easy installation - Includes both inner and outter gears.
  • Includes LEFT+RIGHT SIDE (Sold as a pair)
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY
Bestseller No. 3
LAFORMO 986 987 Boxster Convertible Soft Top Push Rod Ball Joint OEM Repair Kit
9 Reviews
LAFORMO 986 987 Boxster Convertible Soft Top Push Rod Ball Joint OEM Repair Kit
  • Repair Kit Includes: 2 X Pors 986 987 Boxster Convertible Top Push Rod Ball Joint
  • The Plastic used is the mixture of glass fiber which i heat resistance and durable.
  • Pors che Applications: Boxster (1997-2012)
Bestseller No. 4
Sierra Auto Tops Convertible Soft Top Replacement, compatible with Porsche Boxster 1997-2002, TwillFast II Canvas, Black
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Sierra Auto Tops Convertible Soft Top Replacement, compatible with Porsche Boxster 1997-2002, TwillFast II Canvas, Black
  • First quality Twillfast II cloth with a dobby weave lining
  • Precision cut with Gerber automated computer guided cutting equipment
  • DOT approved plastic window same as factory original
  • Includes new steel side hold down cables already securely installed on this top
  • Factory-style retainer attachments are sewn-in for an easy & accurate installation
Bestseller No. 5
986 987 Boxster Convertible Soft Top Push Rod Ball Joint OEM Repair Kit
14 Reviews
986 987 Boxster Convertible Soft Top Push Rod Ball Joint OEM Repair Kit
  • Repair Kit Includes: 2 X Porsche 986 987 Boxster Convertible Top Push Rod Ball Joint
  • If you own a Porsche 986 Boxster, more than likely your convertible top will suffer from the infamous broken plastic push rod end. Porsche used a plastic end on the push rod used to operate the convertible top. These plastic ends are notorious for breaking and unfortunately can set you back $150 if you have to buy 2 new push rods since the dealer does not sell the plastic end piece separately.
  • The Plastic used is the mixture of glass fiber which i heat resistance and durable.
  • Porsche Applications: Boxster (1997-2012)

Please note that this is Project 70 in the 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster.

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101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop)
558 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)

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. These plastic end caps are designed to break and to save your convertible top transmission and gearing. Please review a dedicate article located on out site

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 contained 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 strong 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
101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster (Motorbooks Workshop)
558 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)

Increasing Lifespan of the Porsche Boxster Convertible Top Gearing and Operation

It is 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.

Lubricating Your Convertible Top

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

We recommend that you do yearly maintenance on your Porsche Boxster by lubricating your clam-shell rails. Be careful 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.

Treating Your Convertible Top Weather Stripping

It is strongly recommended that you treat all weather stripping on your Porsche Boxster every year. Make sure to 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
2,667 Reviews
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
  • With built-in foam applicator for easy application
  • 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 over time. As a result of changing temperatures and high UV sunlight exposure, the rubber of the weather stripping starts to dry 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. The original luster is also lost 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

Conclusion

We hope that you make use of these Boxster Tips and use them 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!

Also be sure to check out our “Best Of” Series:

Other Articles of Interest

We strongly recommend that you review our Tips for Porsche Boxster Convertibles

Last update on 2021-04-18 at 04:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API