Caring For Your A.R.E. Truck Cap Or Tonneau Cover
A.R.E. fiberglass truck caps are painted with Dupont® Chroma Premier™ automotive paint. This high grade base coat clear coat finish requires the same care as your truck paint.
Here are some suggestions on how to care for and maintain the beauty of your cap finish.
Important Safety Matters to Remember
- Wash the cap frequently, preferably by hand. Avoid car washes with brushes. During the first 30 days of the life of the paint, 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. After 60 days, wax and care for the cap like your truck, using the same products.
- Do not wipe your cap with a dry cloth. Always use water. If you have hard water, dry the cap and truck paint after washing to prevent water spots.
- Brush off snow and ice. Do not use a scraper on the cap or the rear door glass.
- Use touch-up paint to repair any nicks or scratches in the paint. Clear fingernail polish can be used as the base coat touch-up. Wait until the repair is fully cured and use rubbing compound and polish to regain the proper finish.
- Use a UV protection product on all vinyl, plastic and rubber components to maintain the luster and extend the life. These products should not contain petrochemicals, petroleum distillates or silicone oils. Products like Armorall® or 303 Protectant® are recommended.
- Lubricate all locks and moving locking parts with lithium grease. Lithium-based spray lubricants are well suited to this application and will not attract dirt and grime buildup. 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/LSX 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. Adjust the height adjusters in the base rails up to prevent paint wear.
Never allow children 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. Consult vehicle owner's manual regarding the proper loading of your vehicle.
The fasteners/mounting clamps connecting the truck cap to the pickup bed should be checked regularly to assure tightness. Vibration from the engine and road can cause fasteners/mounting clamps to work loose.
If you need to remove your cap from the pickup be sure to follow these basic procedures:
- Place reference marks on the base rail of the cap and the bed rails of the truck bed on each side. This will allow you to easily reinstall the cap at the correct position.
- Disconnect any brake light or interior light wiring.
- Remove the fasteners/mounting clamps.
- Using one person on each corner, gently lift the cap off and place it on a flat surface.
- Check your center high mount stop light (CHMSL) for proper operation by pressing on the brake pedal.
If the center high mount stop light is not working, check and replace the bulb and/or the fuse before driving the truck. To reinstall your cap simply reverse the process by lining up the ends of the blue alignment stickers and installing the fasteners/mounting clamps and hooking up the brake light.
Be sure to keep your shocks and tires in good repair to reduce vibration, which will shorten the life of your truck and cap.