Mini Cooper Convertible Top Replacement Cost [DIY Vs Pro Install]
If you are the proud owner of a Mini Cooper convertible, you probably enjoy riding with the top down on a hot summer day. However, your convertible top goes through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Eventually, it may not work as well or be so worn that you consider replacing it.
If you replace your convertible top yourself, it will generally cost anywhere from $700-$1,500. The cost of a new Mini Cooper convertible top can range significantly, depending on the material it’s made from.
Having a technician install your top will increase the cost. If you leave it to the professionals, this job could cost $1,000-$3,000 total.
Below, we’ll discuss more information regarding the cost of a Mini Cooper convertible top replacement. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
What is the Average Cost to Replace a Mini Cooper Convertible Top?
The total cost of replacing your convertible top will vary based on many factors. One of the biggest factors is what material your top is made from. Another is whether you choose to install it yourself or have a technician do it.
Certain materials, such as canvas, will be less expensive than something like vinyl. In addition, paying somebody else to replace the top for you will cost anywhere from $300-$700 more than a DIY replacement.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Top Yourself?
Mini Cooper convertible tops can cost anywhere from $700-$1,1500. The exact price varies based on your vehicle’s year, and most Mini Coopers come with soft tops rather than hardtops.
The table below will highlight the average price you can expect to pay for a new soft convertible top based on your vehicle’s model year.
|2004-2008 Mini Coopers||Average Cost|
|2009-2015 Mini Coopers||Average Cost|
|2016-2019 Mini Coopers||Average Cost|
If you choose to replace the top yourself, you will only be responsible for the cost of materials. This includes the top itself, as well as the tools you’ll need to do the installation properly.
Before you decide to replace your convertible top yourself, make sure you have the experience necessary. This job needs to be done properly to prevent leaks and other damage to your vehicle.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Technician Replace the Top?
If you don’t have the time or skills to replace your convertible top yourself, you may opt to have a technician do it for you. In addition to the top itself, you’ll also be responsible for paying for the mechanic’s labor, as well as any other fees.
The labor rates charged by a technician vary based on where you go. Some mechanics charge as little as $75 per hour, while others charge up to $125 per hour.
Installing a new convertible top is typically about a five-hour job. Using these numbers, you can estimate the labor cost for this job.
|Technician’s Labor Rate||Average Cost|
Keep in mind that the labor rate alone will not cover any taxes or additional fees, nor will it cover the convertible top itself. Depending on how much your top costs, expect to pay a total of $1,000-$3,000 once everything is said and done.
Although it is more expensive, having a professional perform this installation is the best choice for some people. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to do it yourself, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Typically, going to an authorized dealer for this replacement is the best course of action. While it may be more expensive, your investment could pay off in terms of warranty and insurance coverage.
How Do You Replace a Mini Cooper Convertible Top?
If you’ve decided to save some money by replacing the top yourself, you’ll have to follow all the correct steps.
Make sure that you are fully confident in your ability to carry out this replacement properly before you begin. You don’t want to risk tearing your top or damaging your vehicle in the process!
Take your time and work carefully while replacing your convertible top. It may be tedious at times, but it will be worth it in the end. When you’re ready to start, follow the steps below:
- Remove the lids from your Mini Cooper, covering the deck lid to prevent damage.
- Take off all the fasteners (such as screws and moldings) that hold your top onto the frame. Make sure to mark everything properly for later reuse.
- Lift the top and remove the rolled strip. Make sure to carefully remove all the staples and screws, including those from the middle bows. You must remove every single staple to eliminate the risk of tearing your new top. Store these pieces for later, marking them properly.
- Loosen everything else holding your top onto the frame. When you’re done, the top should be loose enough to make removal simple.
- Now, you’ll need to remove the rear window very carefully. This is the most challenging step, so take your time and do it right. You will need to use either a wide screwdriver or a flat plastic tool and may want to have another person help you.
- Once you’ve removed the window, you can carefully remove the old top from the frame. Be gentle when peeling off any vinyl.
- With the old top off, carefully install the new one onto the frame.
- After the new top is in place, you’ll need to tighten everything you loosened and reinstall everything you removed. Work in reverse order, and move from the rear to the front of your car.
- By this point, the top should raise and lower with ease. Test these functions out to ensure this happens before moving on.
- With your top-up and in the locked position, carefully reinstall your window.
- Replace anything else that you removed, such as trims and hardware.
How to Repair a Torn Convertible Top
Some people do not have thousands of extra dollars to replace their convertible top. If you’d rather repair your existing top than replace it, you can try sewing it.
Sewing works best for small tears less than a foot long. To successfully mend the tear, you’ll need the following materials:
|Upholstery thread (the same color as your top)||$5-$15|
|Curved upholstery needle||$5|
|A piece of marine canvas||$10-$20|
|Scotch Guard or other seam sealer||$10|
Once you have all your materials and tools, you can begin repairing the tear in your top. Follow the steps below:
- Start sewing up the tear just as you would sew a garment. For best results, work with the top closed and in the locked position. Keep your stitches at least ¼” away from the tear itself.
- After you finish sewing your seam, get inside the car and place a piece of duct tape underneath the area you just stitched. This will prevent your adhesive from dripping into the vehicle.
- Place some fabric adhesive on the area you just sewed.
- Now, you’ll need to grab your piece of marine canvas. Cut a patch big enough to cover the tear, and stitch it over the seam. Make sure to work carefully and keep your lines straight and tight.
- Once the patch is in place, take your Scotch Guard or other seam sealer and seal around it. As you seal the patch, pay special attention to the edges.
- Remove the duct tape from inside the vehicle.
How Often Does a Mini Cooper Top Need to be Replaced?
In general, expect to replace your Mini Cooper’s convertible top once every ten years. The exact amount of time you should go between replacements depends on how well you maintain the top, the area you store your car in, and how often you drive it.
To keep your convertible top in good condition for as long as possible, make sure to treat it well. Inspect it for stains, tears, and other damage regularly. If you won’t be driving the car for a while, store it in a covered space like a garage.
Is Replacing a Mini Cooper Top Worth It?
In almost all situations, replacing your Mini Cooper’s top is worth the investment. Your convertible top keeps you and your belongings secure and provides much-needed protection from the elements.
If your top is torn or damaged, it becomes more vulnerable to theft and environmental threats, like rain and wildlife. In addition, a damaged top will decrease your car’s resale value if you ever decide to sell it. To keep your investment secure, replace the top as needed.
Having a torn or otherwise damaged convertible top can really put a damper on things. If your top has seen better days, you may want to replace it.
The total cost to replace a mini cooper convertible top can vary greatly. If you do the job yourself, you may spend between $700-$1,500. However, if you hire a professional to do it for you, this range increases to $1,000-$3,000.