Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I buy from TopsandSeats.com?

To put it simply, Satisfaction! Whether you're restoring a classic or want to replace that worn top, seat or carpet you can be assured that you've come to the people who set the standard for the industry. With nearly 30 years of experience, and time tested and proven patterns and materials, you're sure to be satisfied.

2. Is my personal information and privacy secure?

We value your business and trust. All information we collect are strictly confidential and secure. The information you provide is only used to process your order transaction. We will never sell, lease, or give any of your personal information to any other third party.

3. What measures are taken to secure my online shopping?

Our top priority is to provide our customers a safe and secure environment when shopping online with us. We utilize SSL encryption by GoDaddy®, one of the leading online security providers, to ensure that your information is transferred securely. This means you can rest assured that communications between your browser and this site's web servers are private and secure. We have taken all necessary precautions to secure and safeguard all vital information. All information including your name, address, and credit card numbers are encrypted to ensure its safety as it travels over the Internet. Click To Verify

4. Where are your products made?

Made in USA

Although most of our raw materials are sourced from Europe, all the cutting, sewing, assembly, manufacturing and packaging of the products we sell are performed exclusively in the USA. We only rely on domestic labor and skill to ensure the quality and consistency of a US made product.

5. Can I install the product myself?

We recommend professional installation for all our products. Most items require some mechanical skills and patience. If you do decide to install it yourself, be sure to obtain an OEM shop manual to the particular make and model. You can also take notes and pay special attention to specific details when removing the old item. Again, to help ensure proper fit and finish, we strongly recommend that you locate a professional installer near you with a quality reputation (see #46 below). Professional installers have the required tools, adhesives, knowledge, skills and experience to install these products correctly.

6. What materials are used for your products?

convertible tops

That depends on the product. But whatever the item, it is almost always made with first quality OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) materials. Over the years some older OEM materials have been discontinued but close, and as superior, reproductions have been produced and are widely used in the aftermarket industry.

7. What type of plastic window is used on your tops?

They are AS-6 DOT approved double pressed and polished plastic windows. They have the emblem stamped to ensure compliance. They are the same quality and thickness as the original OEM standard.

8. How are the seams on convertible tops sealed?

convertible tops

All vinyl and canvas top seams are di-electrically heat sealed to ensure proper bond and to prevent leaks. In addition, all bow wrap listings (sleeves) are also heat sealed into the fabric to prevent against detachment when raising or lowering the convertible top.

9. What type of zipper do you use?


Nylon coil or molded plastic zippers are utilized on rear windows, unless brass is specified on certain models. These zippers are more reliable and less likely to experience function failure.

10. Will your zipper match with the one on my headliner?

Yes. In addition, foreign car tops use metric and the side attached to our tops are compatible with the headliner side.

11. What type of thread is used?

bonded polyester thread

Seams are sewn using Sunguard UVR bonded polyester thread. Its properties include high tensile strength and good resistance to abrasion. These threads are also designed to swell when wet in order to prevent leaks on convertible tops.

12. What does one piece top mean?

The top and rear window are attached. Most European convertible cars came this way. Although the trend to two piece has increased especially with later models by Mercedes and Porsche. Basically, you'll have to replace the top and window together.

13. What does two piece top mean?

The top and the rear window section are separate pieces. Most domestic and some later European cars came this way. This style offers the flexibility to only replace the front top or rear window section separately.

14. What does top only mean?

Some European cars come with re-usable hard glass windows that are detached from the old top and replaced on the new. Although they seem to resemble a one piece top, it is actually two pieces in that the rear hard glass window can be separated and re-used.

15. Can I re-use my existing window with a new top?

Yes you can. If your front top is in good condition, then you can replace only the rear plastic or glass window assembly. Be sure to request the same color and material when ordering. Since they work as a unit, the canvas or vinyl material must match with the existing one.

16. Can I re-use my existing top with a new window assembly?

Yes you can. If your window section is in good condition, then you can replace only the front section. Be sure to request the same color and material when ordering. Since they work as a unit, the canvas or vinyl material must match with the existing one.

17. What if my plastic or glass window is damaged on a one piece top?

The only viable option is to replace the whole top and window together. Although some trim shops may replace the plastic window, the cost to remove the old top, sew the new plastic window in and install the top again might exceed the cost of replacing the complete top. Glass windows are also replaceable, but again, the cost of labor and parts might exceed the cost of replacing the complete top.

18. Do all windows have a zipper around them?

No. If the window is equipped with a zipper, it will be noted in the description. Otherwise, the window is sewn-in or heat sealed as original.

19. Are canvas tops longer lasting than vinyl?

No, their wear out rate is about the same. The preference is up to you. Keeping it original, other color choices or cost consideration are few of the deciding factors.

20. How long should a replacement top last?

Generally, tops last for up to five years in different levels of condition. The aging process can accelerate or slow down depending on certain factors; proper installation and functioning parts, indoor/outdoor parking, environmental/atmospheric conditions, usage and maintenance to name a few.

21. Do I need to change the headliner when replacing my top?

No. The headliner is a separate component and does not need to be changed if it is in good condition. Keep in mind that not all convertible cars came with headliners. If your car lacks a headliner, that just means the underside of the vinyl or canvas acts as the headliner.

22. Do I need to change side tension or rear cables?

Generally, it is a good idea to replace or at the least check its condition. Improper or broken cables can cause irreversible damage to the top when operating the frame by raising or lowering it. If cables seem fine and not broken, you can always re-use them.

23. Do I need to change the top pads?

Generally, it is a good idea to check their condition. Their purpose is to protect the inside of the convertible top as it rubs against the metal frame when the top is raised or lowered. Basically, a buffer between the convertible top frame and the convertible top fabric. If the top you are changing is older than 5 years, it is recommended to change the pads also. Since most pads have some foam in them, they will deteriorate over time. Worn out, torn, missing or improper pads can cause damage to the top. The long pads are 72" in length tapering from 8" wide at front to 9-3/4" wide at rear. The short pads are 27" long by 7-3/4" wide with no tapering.

24. Do you sell hardtops or hardware?

No we don't. We only offer soft tops and interior trim. Many of the other replacement hardware parts are available from the dealer or at salvage yards for older vehicle. If any hardware is included, it will be noted on the item. The reason why some hardware are not pre-installed is to allow the installer the opportunity to mark the exact location before puncturing or installing the caps, sockets, posts, etc. In such instances, we also provide the installation tool.

25. Are seat inserts and pleats the same?

convertible tops

Yes they are. They're usually called inserts prior to stuffing. After they have been stuffed and raised, they are then referred to as pleats. Pleats are the center portions of the cushion and backrest of a seat cover. They are either embossed or plain and often segmented into sections. They also can have vertical or horizontal stitched or heat sealed seams.

26. Are the inserts on the seat covers embossed?

Inserts, whether leather or vinyl, are embossed with original designs such as basketweave, rosette, diamond cut, hampton, euro, pinpoint and needle perforation patterns.

27. What if I have plain inserts?

Some vehicle seat covers originally came with plain inserts.

28. Are seat cover inserts stuffed?

Yes they are. They are pre-stuffed with a tri-layer of high density felt and foam to ensure a smooth and comfortable feel.

29. What if I have seat heaters?

convertible tops

If your seat covers are equipped with heaters and your vehicle production is 1989 and newer and you want to continue to have the heating function, the old covers must be sent to us so we can remove, test and sew the heating elements into the new covers. They must be sewn into the pads during production. There is no extra charge for this service. However, we do not repair heating elements if they are not in working condition. We will inform you in case your heating elements do not function properly. You can also choose to purchase the seat covers without the heaters. If your vehicle is pre-1989 and has seat heaters, you can transfer them yourself. You will need to remove the heating elements from the old covers and slide them into the new covers using a slim and flat ruler like tool. Be sure to follow the sequence from the old covers for a positive result.

30. Can I purchase an individual component of a seat cover kit?

Yes. You can purchase an armrest or headrest separately, or purchase a whole kit that includes everything you need to do a complete restoration. To receive a quote on an individual component, submit a Quote Request Form.

31. Do leather seats last longer than vinyl?

No, both materials wear out at about the same rate. The main difference is that the leather is more breathable and of course more luxurious. Preference is usually associated with cost.

32. Are the carpets bound and sewn?

convertible tops

Yes they are, either with vinyl or cloth binding.

33. What is included in a carpet kit?

Carpet kit include every part of the interior floor area that was originally covered with carpet material. Package tray area and trunk carpet are sold separately and are not part of the interior floor kit.

34. Do you offer molded carpet kits?

At this time we do not offer any molded carpet kits. Some of the later produced European cars are equipped with molded carpets. In some cases we offer replacement cut and sewn kits.

35. Do carpet kits include the molded rubber insulating pads?

No they do not. The carpet kits are designed to be replaced over the existing insulating pads.

36. What do I do to replace the floor rubber mats?

We offer carpet supplement kits that cover the original rubber floors.

37. What is a VIN/Chassis Number?

The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), also known as the Chassis Number, is a unique identification number for every car manufactured. Unlike the registration number, which can be changed over time, the VIN is constant throughout the lifetime of the car. The VIN is consistent to the make and model of a specific vehicle and identifies body type, style and year of production.

38. Why is the VIN/Chassis Number so important?

During the production span of a particular body type many changes take place whether out of necessity or general improvement and introduction of new innovations. In addition, certain models might have the same name or number but appear totally different from its original form. The VIN can assist in identifying the exact production and the correct components used in a particular vehicle.

39. Where can I find the VIN/Chassis Number?

In most vehicles the VIN can be found on the driver's side door in the form of a label/sticker identifying the number as well as other relevant production information. In some older cars the VIN can be found on a plate riveted to the engine bay. Typically, it is stamped or engraved on a metal plate with a series of alphanumeric characters. It could also be visible through the windshield above the dashboard on the front passenger side as well as on the vehicle's registration documents. It is usually 17 characters long and excludes the letters I (i), O (o) and Q (q). The numeric prefix is usually sufficient enough to identify body type.

40. Special Order. Do you offer colors and materials other than the original?

Yes we do. Every model of car comes with certain original color, material and hardware choices. Depending on the year of production, seat embossed patterns can vary as well as carpet and other interior components. All prices reflect original standard colors and materials; however, it is very common to request a color or material other than the original. You can always request an upgrade to a canvas top instead of the vinyl that originally came with your car. You can even choose a color that was not available at the time of your car's production year. The same applies for most other interior components. The important thing to remember is that these requests are considered Special Order and are non-returnable, non-exchangeable, and non-cancellable. To request a custom or special order, submit a Quote Request Form. Provide all relevant information (i.e. make, model, part, color, material, etc.), and we will reply with quote and availability.

41. Why do I need to email to get prices for some of the interior items?

As you can imagine, there are virtually thousands of combinations of models, styles, colors and materials to present. One vehicle make can have many different variations in patterns and shapes in a single model. Patterns can vary from vinyl to leather styles as well as sport to standard seats. In addition, something as simple as manual or automatic shift can alter the whole carpet kit structure. So in order to narrow down and focus on your particular model, we ask you to fill out a simple form that will ask the primary and important questions. This will enable us to gather all the facts and quote you the appropriate price.

42. Do I need special tools to install any of the products?

Basic tools such as socket wrenches and screwdrivers are a must. In addition, you will need a heavy-duty air or electric staple gun and some high heat grade contact cement.

43. Do you ship to PO Box addresses?

UPS® does not deliver to PO Box or APO/FPO addresses, you must provide a physical US street address.

44. Do you ship internationally?

Yes. All shipment outside the USA are shipped via USPS Priority Mail International®. Delivery time is usually 6-10 business days after we ship. If you are an international customer, please start by using the below Quote Request Form. We will reply with shipping cost and order information. If you decide to order, we will forward you an Order Form. Orders with an international shipping address can not be placed through our website's cart system, they must be processed using the Order Form.

Of course, you can also make a purchase by providing a US shipping address and then separately arrange to have the item forwarded to its final destination. In that instance, you can order directly through our website's cart system. Quote Request Form

45. When will my order ship?

Our in-stock products are usually shipped within 48 hours. However, many of the older and interior components are made to order. There are virtually thousands of patterns, color choices, and material options that make up the products we sell. It would be unrealistic to stock or even foresee what would be needed at any one time. Of course, many of the popular items are stocked and available, but some items may be temporarily out of stock, or are made to order, and require additional time. Seasonal peak periods might also affect production time. Additionally, some glass window assemblies may require up to two weeks or more for preparation. Once your item is shipped you will receive automatic email notification with UPS tracking and delivery date information.

46. Where can I find a shop that will install my product?

Your best source is your local yellow pages or one of the equivalent online services. Search under 'Auto Seat Covers, Tops & Upholstery'. Of course, you can always ask for a referral from other automotive service establishments you frequent. Search For Installer

47. How can I be sure the shop is experienced?

Most shops provide picture catalogs of their past works. They might also have written commendations from previous satisfied customers. Ask to see projects that might still be in progress. And always remember to ask for written estimates for labor and other parts that might be required to complete your job.