Caring for Your Tonneau Cover
Fiberglass tonneau covers are painted with automotive paint. This high grade base coat clear coat finish requires very the same care as your truck paint.
Here are some suggestions on how to care maintain the beauty of your tonneau’s finish and operation.
- Wash the tonneau frequently, preferably by hand. Avoid car washes with brushes. During the first 30 days of the paint’s life, the paint is completing the curing process and can be easily damaged. When washing use a soft cloth, fresh cool water in the summer and warm water in the winter. For heavily soiled surfaces use a mild liquid soap specially designed for automobiles.
- Avoid parking under trees, which can drop sap or droppings on the fresh paint. Remove any such substance as soon as possible.
- Do not wax for the first 60 days. This time is needed for the paint to fully cure. After 60 days, wax and care for the cap like your truck with the same products.
- Do not wipe your cap with a dry cloth. Always use water. Dry the cap and truck paint after washing if you have hard water to prevent water spots.
- Brush snow and ice off. Do not use a scraper.
- Use touch up paint to repair any nicks or scratches in the paint. Clear fingernail polish can be used to cover the base coat touch up. Wait until the repair is fully cured and use rubbing compound and polish to regain the proper finish.
- Use an UV protection product on all vinyl, plastic and rubber components to extend the luster and life. These products should not contain petrochemicals, petroleum distillates or silicone oils. Product like Armorall® or 303 Protectant® are recommended.
- Lubricate the lock cylinder by applying lithium grease to the key edges and inserting it into the cylinder at least once per year. Moving parts of the lift assists, lock and latching rods should be lubricated with lithium grease to prevent squeaking and to promote long life and smooth operation. Spray lithium based lubricants are well suited to this application and will not attract dirt and grime build up. Do not use penetrating oils in the lock cylinders unless you follow up with lithium grease.
- Do not use any lubricants or solvent cleaners on the shafts of the gas struts. If necessary, clean them with water only.
- Check the gap between the LSII trim edge and the painted surface of your truck regularly, making sure that the LSII is not contacting the painted surface of the truck and wearing paint off. Adjust the rubber headed height adjusters in the base rails up to prevent paint wear. Paint wear due to neglect or use of A.R.E. products is your responsibility and is not covered under any warranty written or implied.
Important Warnings to Remember
Never allow children or pets to occupy the cargo area of the pickup when the engine is running. Exhaust systems do fail and carbon monoxide poisoning may occur even with a truck cap. When the cap is used to transport pets, please open windows for proper ventilation.
NEVER pump gasoline into any container sitting inside the cargo area of the truck. Static electricity caused by the flowing fuel could ignite vapors and cause an explosion. Place the approved container on the ground before filling.
Mounting clamps should be checked regularly to assure tightness. Vibration from the engine and road can cause fasteners to work loose.
If you need to remove your cap from the pickup be sure to follow these basic procedures:
- Place a reference mark on the bed and tonneau rail on each side. This will allow you to easily install the tonneau in the correct position.
- Disconnect any brake light or interior light wiring.
- Remove the clamps.
- Using one person on each corner, gently lift the tonneau off and place it on a flat surface.
- Check you center high mount stop light for proper operation pressing on the brake pedal. If the CHMSL light is not working, check and replace the bulb and or the fuse before driving the truck.
· Be sure to keep your shocks and tires in good repair to reduce vibration, which will shorten the life of you truck and tonneau.