Whilst the roofs of many soft top convertible cars are retracted manually, in others - particularly more modern vehicles - the roof is raised and lowered with the assistance of an electric or hydraulic soft top roof motor.
To operate the raising and lowering of the roof involves engaging a power switch. Certain fabric roofs have a set of clips to secure the roof in place and keep it water -tight. These need to be unfastened before lowering the roof. When the switch is engaged, the electric or hydraulic soft top roof motor causes a gear to turn on each side of the car, which drives the roof open. These gears are connected to a bracket which, in turn, connects to the roof itself.
The roof is constructed using various brackets and arms which, when the opening mechanism is engaged, fold inside the roof’s structure and unfold when the roof is closed.
The soft top roof motor makes the process of operating a soft top roof quicker and easier than doing it manually. Many vehicles with a soft top roof motor do allow manual operation in the event that the motor breaks down. Replacement motors may be purchased but they can be an expensive component and the fitting can be complicated, sometimes requiring the complete removal of the soft top.