A tonneau cover is an important accessory for any pickup truck. It protects your truck bed and cargo from the elements. Soft roll-up tonneau covers are a popular style made of vinyl or fabric that rolls up for easy access to the bed.
But over time, the snaps that hold the cover closed can break. If your soft roll-up tonneau cover has broken snaps, it may flap around and not properly protect your truck bed.
Don’t worry – with the right tools and materials, you can easily fix broken snaps yourself. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to fix broken snaps on a soft roll-up tonneau cover.
What Are The Signs That The Snaps On My Tonneau Cover Are Broken?
You may notice a few signs that indicate the snaps on your roll-up tonneau cover are broken:
- The cover is loose and does not stay tightly closed over the truck bed.
- There are gaps between the cover and the side rails it attaches to.
- The cover flaps around at higher speeds.
- There is visible damage or wear on the snaps themselves.
- The cover makes noise from flapping when driving.
Inspect all the snaps carefully. Look for any that are cracked, broken, or missing. Also check where the snaps attach to the cover and the rails. If you see damage or wear in those areas, the snaps likely need to be replaced.
What Tools And Materials Will I Need To Fix Broken Snaps?
Fixing broken tonneau cover snaps is an easy DIY project if you have the right tools. Here is what you’ll need:
- Trim removal tools – to help pry off the tonneau cover from the rails
- Pliers – to remove any broken snap studs
- Snap installation tool – to attach the new snaps
- Clean rags – to wipe away dirt and debris
- Replacement snaps – match the size and type of the original snaps
- Snap covers – optional to cover exposed snaps for a finished look
- Adhesive – to attach any covers or pads
Make sure to get the correct replacement snaps designed specifically for tonneau covers. Bring one of your intact snaps to the auto parts store to match. Purchase a few extra in case any break during installation.
How Do I Remove The Broken Snaps From My Tonneau Cover?
Start by removing the tonneau cover from the truck bed rails. You’ll need access to both sides of the cover to replace the snaps properly.
- Roll up the cover to expose the full underside.
- Use trim tools to gently pry the cover away from the side rails. Take care not to damage the vinyl or fabric.
- Once detached, roll up the cover and set it aside.
Now you can access the underside and start removing the broken snaps:
- Identify any snaps that are damaged or worn out.
- Use pliers to grab the snap stud and rotate back and forth while pulling up. The prongs should release from the cover.
- Remove any leftover prong pieces or loose rivets from the cover.
- Use a rag to wipe away dirt and debris around the snap holes.
Repeat this process to remove all broken snaps from the cover and rails. Make sure no remnants are left behind that could interfere with new snap installation.
How Do I Install New Snaps On My Tonneau Cover?
With the old snaps removed, you can start installing replacements in the original locations:
- Insert the prongs of the new snap stud through the hole in the cover. The prongs should pass through to the underside.
- Position the snap installation tool under the prongs.
- Use the pliers to bend the prongs outward so they latch against the tool. This secures the snap in place.
- Repeat for all replacement snap studs on the underside of the cover.
- Install the socket side of the new snaps into the rails using the same process.
- Once all snaps are securely attached, reattach the cover to the rails.
Make sure to align the new snap studs and sockets properly so the cover fastens tightly. Install any snap covers or pads if desired. Test the new snaps by rolling up the cover and fastening it closed. The snaps should now hold the cover firmly in place without gaps or flapping.
What If My Tonneau Cover Uses Velcro Instead Of Snaps?
Some soft roll-up tonneau covers use Velcro strips instead of snaps to fasten the cover closed. Velcro can also wear out over time. Here are some tips for fixing and replacing worn Velcro on your cover:
- Clean the Velcro areas on the cover and rails with a rag to remove dirt and debris. This helps the Velcro adhere properly.
- Inspect the Velcro strips for damage or missing hooks/loops. Frayed or worn Velcro will need to be replaced.
- Measure the size of the existing Velcro strips. Purchase new marine-grade Velcro in the same dimensions.
- Carefully remove the old Velcro. Any adhesive residue will need to be cleaned off.
- Apply the adhesive Velcro strips to the cover and rails. Firmly press into place.
- Allow several hours for the adhesive to fully cure before reattaching the cover.
- Fasten the cover closed and check that the new Velcro strips hold securely.
Replacing damaged Velcro is an easy fix to keep your roll-up cover properly fastened. Make sure to use heavy duty marine Velcro designed to withstand the elements.
What If The Clamps On My Cover Are Broken Instead?
On some tonneau covers, clamps are used instead of snaps or Velcro to hold the cover in place. The clamps slide into rails along the bed sides and lock the cover down. But the clamps can break over time. Here’s how to replace broken tonneau cover clamps:
- Remove the cover from the truck bed to access the underside.
- Use pliers to detach the broken clamp pieces from the rails or cover.
- Clean dirt and debris from the clamp attachment points.
- Obtain replacement clamps designed specifically for your cover. Bring one of the intact clamps to get the right size and type.
- Position the new clamps in the same locations. Make sure they slide smoothly into the rails when reinstalling the cover.
- Attach the new clamps with rivets or adhesive. Follow the clamp manufacturer’s instructions.
- Replace any broken or missing rail pieces where clamps attach. This ensures a solid fit.
- Refasten the cover and check that the new clamps lock it securely in the closed position.
Replacing damaged clamps will help keep your roll-up tonneau cover properly secured and weatherproof. Taking the time to correctly install the new hardware prevents flapping and problems down the road.
Where Can I Get Replacement Snaps Or Clamps For Tonneau Covers?
You can purchase replacement snaps, Velcro, clamps, and other tonneau cover repair parts from these sources:
- Auto parts stores – Many carry common tonneau cover hardware kits with an assortment of snaps, clamps, etc. Stores like AutoZone, O’Reilly, Pep Boys, and NAPA are good options.
- Online retailers – Websites like Amazon, Quadratec, RealTruck, and TonneauCovered sell a wide selection of tonneau cover replacement parts. Find specialty hardware kits or custom snaps for your cover brand.
- Dealerships – The dealer you bought the truck or cover from will likely have OEM replacement parts available. This ensures you get the right fit.
- Manufacturers – Check the brand website of the cover manufacturer and look for replacement parts sections. For example, Retrax and Truxedo sell hardware kits for their covers.
Make sure to get the correct hardware specifically made for tonneau covers. Bring samples of your existing snaps or clamps whenever possible to match the pieces. Use quality parts so repairs last a long time.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Broken Snaps On A Tonneau Cover?
The cost to fix broken snaps on your soft roll-up tonneau cover depends on a few factors:
- Number of snaps needing replacement – The more snaps broken, the higher the repair cost. Individual snaps range from $1-5 each.
- Cost of tools – If you need to purchase tools like pliers or a snap installation tool, that adds to the total cost.
- Shop fees – Taking it to a repair shop means paying hourly labor fees of $50-100 in addition to parts.
- Cover brand – OEM snaps from the tonneau cover manufacturer may be more costly. Aftermarket parts are usually cheaper.
On average, fixing 2-4 broken snaps yourself costs $10-25 in new snaps and hardware. Replacing 8-10 snaps could run $40-60. For DIY repairs, acquiring the necessary tools is the main upfront cost. At a shop, snapped repairs typically start around $100-150 including labor for basic work.
Can I Prevent Snaps On My Tonneau Cover From Breaking?
You can help prevent the snaps, Velcro, and clamps on your roll-up tonneau cover from breaking prematurely by following these tips:
- Roll up the cover when hauling tall cargo so the snaps are not strained.
- Avoid letting heavy objects fall directly onto the cover.
- Inspect the hardware regularly and replace worn snaps and clamps promptly.
- Clean with mild soap and water only. Harsh chemicals can damage snaps.
- Apply protectants like UV spray to conditioned vinyl and prevent brittleness.
- Ensure rails are properly aligned so snaps do not get overstressed.
- Have cover installed correctly to minimize hardware wear.
- Use thick, marine-grade hardware less prone to cracking.
- Check the manufacturer warranty – some cover broken part replacement for 1-3 years.
Being cautious when operating the cover, keeping it clean, and inspecting hardware will help prevent premature snap breakage. But even with care, snaps will need replacement over the lifetime of the cover. Fixing them promptly avoids further damage.
Broken snaps on a soft roll-up tonneau cover can allow dust, debris and rain inside your truck bed if left unrepaired. But fixing snapped snaps or worn Velcro yourself is an easy, inexpensive DIY project. With basic tools, new hardware, and the steps in this guide, you can have your cover working properly again in no time.
Knowing how to maintain and repair your own tonneau cover saves the hassle and cost of taking it to a shop. Your cover will protect your truck bed safely for many more miles down the road.