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E36 Convertible Top Mouldy

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MunichMankini View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 3:37pm
I've just purchased a rather tidy 1998 328i convertible. It's a car that's been know to me for a little while and one that I've been interested in for ages. Recently, the previous owner who is a good friend of mine moved house and no longer has a usable garage so decided to sell the car. With the move the BMW has been sat on the drive for a few months over the winter with it's hard top in place.

It looks as if water has leaked into the soft top storage compartment while the car has been standing and has now caused the otherwise perfect convertible top to grow mould on both the exterior and the headlining inside.

Does anyone have any ideas of experience of removing mould? I'm cautious to use anything too toxic in case it damages the roof.

For clarity, this is most certainly mould (white and cotton wool-like in appearance) rather than the green algae/moss that you sometimes get on a top.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Thanks, Elliot.
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NickDE View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote NickDE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 4:35pm
I've not had this problem, but :
Do you have a garage to keep it in now ? First step is to make sure everything is dried out completely, so fix the leak, get the car in a dry place and get to the soft top out to dry. Warmth and a dehumidifier if possible.
When dry, I would try vacuuming and brushing the roof inside and out with a stiff bristled brush. In dry conditions the mould will die out anyway so no need for mouldicides etc. Then clean and retreat with a good roof product such as the Autoglym Convertible Soft Top Clean & Protect Complete Kit
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rpennington View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rpennington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 4:40pm
Hi Elliot
My first advice would be to let the soft top dry out completely for a few days but not folded. After it's had a few days to dry properly using a vacuum cleaner & scrubbing brush,nail brush type thing would be ok,go over the whole roof working in sections on the outside first as this should remove a lot of the grime etc,do this stage first & then inspect the roof for other marks/staining then try going over the roof with a fabric soft top cleaner following the instructions on the bottle.
I have had to clean soft top roofs over many years working for top marques dealerships & some of those had gone green etc. The main causes of things like mould,algae etc on cabriolet roofs are down to owners folding the roofs down when they are wet for long periods.
Keep us updated on how you get on & maybe post before & after pics,maybe able to help & advise further.

Regards
Rich
E46 323i SE Auto Saloon Helrot Red
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rpennington View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rpennington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 4:53pm
Nick you must have read my mind
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MunichMankini View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MunichMankini Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 5:08pm
Awesome. Really appreciate the help. I wanted to avoid chemicals if at all possible and it looks like I've caught this early.

The rubbers around the tonneau cover look a little hard so I'll look for a conditioner or some new rubber seals.

It's not garaged at the moment. I'm having a clear out this weekend as it goes so that we can get it in the garage but it'll be next week at the earliest. For now, I've taken the hard top off and put the fabric top back up. Being up must be better than stowed in the dark and damp?!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote rpennington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 6:08pm
It is very unlikely that you will get the rubbers around the tonneau cover to soften up,it would be better to replace them for new ones. Taking the hard top off & putting the soft top back up is certainly better than leaving it down under the storage flap as this will start to help dry it out.
E46 323i SE Auto Saloon Helrot Red
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