What are Some of The Essential Maintenance Tips for The Tonneau Covers?
Tonneau covers are a major accessory for truck owners. They keep your cargo secure at the back and protect your truck bed from harsh elements. They also complement your truck looks.
That said, tonneau covers have a pretty long lifespan. But whether they live to their expected lifespan is a decision that solely lies in your hands. If you take good care of your cover, it will stay in its top condition and offer you full performance for longer.
In the following post, we have discussed helpful tips on how to take care of your truck tonneau cover for long life and excellent performance.
Tip #1. Regularly inspect your tonneau cover
The simplest way to maintain your tonneau cover is to subject it to regular inspection. Examine it for any bumps, scratches, nicks, dings, corrosion, debris, and looseness. Look out for anything on your cover that seems abnormal.
This tip is more a preventive measure because if you spot anything out of ordinary on your cover, you’ll be able to fix it right on time before it can grow into a bigger issue that costs you more to fix or renders your cover completely useless.
For instance, if your vinyl tonneau cover gets bruised a little and you don’t notice it in time, it will grow into a bigger cut overtime. And before you realize it, your cover could be calling for a replacement.
TIP: If you come across a tear during the regular inspection, you can fix it on your own by using a tonneau cover repair kit. This kit includes everything you need to patch up the tear and keep it from developing into something bigger. Remember to choose a kit with a matching color and texture to that of your cover.
Tip #2. Ensure the cover is securely attached to your truck bed
Another essential tonneau cover maintenance practice involves checking that it’s properly and securely fastened on your truck bed. Check that all the bolts, clamps, and any other mounting hardware is securely in place. Loose mounting hardware tends to break away easily and scratch your tonneau cover during cleaning.
Covers that encounter more frequent use or at higher risk of vibrations and impact resulting from rough roadways are at a higher risk of having loose mounting hardware and will require more regular inspection.
TIP: If you’re getting a lot of noise from your tonneau cover, it is a major signal of loose parts or poorly fitting truck bed cover. Tightening all the fasters and mounting hardware ASAP if your cover starts getting noisy.
Tip #3. Lubricate the moving parts regularly
You’ll also need to check that all the moving parts of your cover, if any, to help reduce friction and promote its longevity.
One common moving part in nearly all covers is the side rails. Slide and fully close your cover to see if it operates smoothly, even if you’re not actively using it. If the mechanism gets stuck or proves hard to move, you should lubricate the rails immediately to prevent unwanted traction and wear.
If you have a hard folding tonneau cover, periodically oil the latches on each panel to ensure smooth operation. Be sure to clean any dirt or grime on the latches before applying a lubricant for the best results
Tip #4. Keep your tonneau cover clean
You’ll also need to clean your truck tonneau cover regularly if you want it to last for long. Regular, proper tonneau cover cleaning keeps off fading, cracking, and hardening—which can spell doom for the life and performance of your investment.
There are different cleaning kits for tonneau covers, so knowing which one to use for your specific type and material of tonneau cover is essential for you to get the best results.
The easiest method of cleaning tonneau covers involves using a mild soap plus cold water as explained below:
-You start by gently scrubbing your tonneau cover from cab to the bed using a soft-bristled car wash brush
-Afterward, rinse your cover with cold water.
-Finally, dry it completely with the help of sponges or soft cotton clothes.
WARNING: Do NOT use vinyl cleaning cleaners on your non-vinyl tonneau covers. These cleaners usually contain grease and solvents which can fade your cover color or accelerate its deterioration. ONLY use this type of cleaner if your cover is made of vinyl.
Tip #5. Avoid stressing your tonneau cover
Yes, you should try as much as possible not to leave heavy stuff or gear on your tonneau cover for extended periods of time. Why? Because doing so can cause your cover to sag and even permanently damage it. This means your cover will no longer serve its purpose as expected.
Before you put any stuff atop your cover, check the user manual for weight ratings and manufacturer advice. If you must place items on top of your truck tonneau cover, considering spreading them as even as possible. And don’t leave them on the cover for long.
Bonus Tip: Protecting your vinyl cover from elements
If you own a vinyl cover, then you’ll need to apply a protectant on its top after cleaning and drying it. This helps shield it from elements and remove any water spots that may have formed during cleaning.
Simply spray the protectant on your cover and wipe dry to achieve a beautiful matte finish.
The best protectant will keep your vinyl cover from dulling, fading, discoloring, or cracking due to exposure to harmful UV rays. Moreover, a quality protectant will easily repel dust and stains.
The Bottom Line
Proper care for your truck tonneau cover is the secret to ensuring long life and offers you excellent performance. The maintenance process is as simple as regularly inspect your cover, ensure it is securely attached to your truck bed, lubricate the moving parts, avoid placing heavy items on it and keep it clean.
These are pretty simple tasks that will take just a few minutes while keeping your cover in top condition and enabling you to enjoy its full benefits for long.