Troubleshooting a 95 Camaro Convertible Top

  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-75
What You'll Need
Electrical resistance and voltage meter
Lubricant/rust repellant such as WD-40
A 12 volt test light
Adjustable wrench or a set of wrenches
Straight slot screwdriver
Philips screwdriver
A wire brush

Drop top weather is right around the corner, but your Camaro Convertible isn’t converting. You don’t have the money to take it to a shop to find out why, either. This article is going to save you some money by listing some steps to diagnose the top on your Camaro.

Step 1 - Check if Frame is Frozen or Rusted

The first thing to check is to make sure the top will raise and lower manually. This is how:

    • Pop the windshield locks above the sun visors.
    • You should be able to get out and with assistance, fold the Cabriolet top back with very little resistance.
    • If not, you’ll need to access the motor and pull the release to disengage the motor.
    • If the top gives excessive resistance or doesn’t move, check for rust at all pivot points.
    • If you find rust, liberally spray with WD-40 (preferred) and allow it to penetrate the rust for a few minutes.
    • Use the wire brush to remove the rust and wipe off with a rag.
    • Liberally coat the gear drive mechanism with WD-40.
    • Now the top should move much easier.
    • See if the top will raise and lower mechanically.
    • If not, move on to Step 2.

      Step 2 - Check for Power

      If the top won’t raise and lower mechanically after freeing it from rust, then you need to make sure it’s getting power.

        • Activate the motor with the motor covers off. See if you can hear it trying to move.
        • If there is no hint of the motor trying, use the test light to verify that voltage is reaching the motor.
        • If not, check the fuse panel. There may be one under the hood also, because the motor fuse may be bigger than the under dash panel can accommodate.
        • If you have no power at the motor, but have a good fuse, use the test light to check the fuse terminals for the presence of power.
        • If you have power at the panel, but not the motor, you’re going to have to start pulling interior panels and rocker plates to find the break on the wire.
        • Once the wire break is found, fix it by splicing in a piece. Make sure your butt splices are placed where they won’t be pinched.
        • If you have power at the motor, but it isn’t trying to move the top, then you need to test the position switch.
        • Remove the connectors from the position switch and connect the leads from the meter to the terminals.
        • Activate the switch and see if there is a change in resistance. Replace if there is no change. This was most likely the problem.
        • If the top still won’t work, then you need to replace the motor.

          If the preceding steps are followed, you’ll be able to determine in about 1 to 2 hours why your Camaro convertible top isn’t working.