Preventing Sun Damage
There’s never a bad time to think about sun damage and your vehicle. The sun is still beating down on your car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle in the winter, damaging everything from the paint to the interior. It never goes away.
On the bright side – pardon the pun – automakers have considered this over the years and have worked to design materials to take the brunt of this damage. Modern composites and exterior finishes are formulated to withstand the year-round sun. Folks who benefit from covered areas to park – public or private garages, covered spots, or even under a shade tree – also see reduced damage from exposure. That being said, not everyone has the ability to find a place to park and block the rays.
The good news is that there’s plenty that you can do even further to reduce the effects of the sun on your car. Here are some ways to protect your interior, exterior, tires, and, yes, even the engine from damage brought on by the sun!
Exterior Sun Damage Protection
Obviously, the exterior of your vehicle suffers the most exposure to the sun’s rays. It’s built to withstand it – but heat and UV rays can still take their toll. These can lead to peeling, blistering, fading, and more and diminish the looks of your car or truck. The good news, though, is there’s plenty you can do to avoid sun damage to your paint!
- Wash Your Car Frequently: Dirt and other contaminants can weaken clear coatings, which help protect against UV rays. As these sit on your vehicle for weeks at a time, they can slowly eat away, not just at the clear coat but also at other porous external materials.
- Hand Dry, Don’t Air Dry: Allowing your vehicle to air dry after washing is a mistake. Sure, it might add another 10 minutes to your wash time. But is it worth it to prevent mineral deposits? If you allow your vehicle to air dry, the water’s minerals will be left in spots as the water evaporates, leaving residue deposits. In time, these can interact with your clear coat and eat away at it, leading to spotty fading and more.
- Wax On, Wax Off: Wax is like a coat of sunblock. It’s a coat on top of the skin – the clear coat – that helps prevent UV rays from penetrating! It also helps prevent grit and dirt from adhering to the finish and causing pitting or other damage, extending the time you can go between washes.
- Ceramic Coating: Nano-coatings are great for filling imperfections in clear coats and can be the final fix for many UV-related issues. Once coated and cured, these ceramic coatings fill everywhere on seemingly clean and smooth surfaces, making them truly slick and truly protected against severe UV radiation.
Interior Sun Damage Protection
Inside your vehicle, it’s more to do with covering up than chemicals. Obviously, you can’t just cover up the outside of your vehicle conveniently – but there are plenty of preventative measures to take inside.
- Seat Covers: They aren’t just a style choice or a way to protect against dirt. Seat covers protect them from fading or cracking, especially in the case of vinyl or leather upholstery. You can also opt for colors that reflect light instead of absorbing if you have a darker interior.
- Windshield Sun Shades: If it can’t get in, it can’t hurt your interior! Sunshades can protect plastics, fabrics, and rubbers by preventing UV rays from entering the vehicle in the first place.
- Regular Cleaning and Protecting: Your plastics and rubbers can deteriorate from the sun, but plenty of chemicals are on the market.
- Leather Care: Leather needs its own special care
Wheels, Tires, Engine, and More!
More than just looks can be affected by the sun. How your car runs and operates can also suffer from degradation from the sun.
- Wheels: As many wheels feature the same paint and clear coat of the exterior, they can be degraded similarly. This means treating them the same! Wash, hand dry, wax, the whole nine yards. Chrome wheels require a slightly different treatment – don’t wax; instead, use a chrome-specific finisher – but need the same high level of cleaning attention. Otherwise, the chrome can bubble or flake during deterioration.
- Tires: Rubber in your interior gets punished by the sun – so no surprise that it punishes the rubber of your tires too. Regular tire dressing or rubber protectant will help prevent your tires from fading, cracking, or blistering. The heat that comes with heavy periods of the sun can lower your tire pressure and lead to blowouts if not kept up. If you’re worried about protecting your paint and interior from the heavy sun, chances are it’s time to double-check your tire pressure!
- Engine: While the engine isn’t directly assaulted by the sun – being under the protection of your hood – the damage the sun does elsewhere can put a strain on your engine. For instance, the interior heats up if you don’t use a sunshade. When this happens, your engine must work harder to cool down the interior, straining your AC. The sun also bakes the hood of your car, making it hard for the fluids to manage – make sure to check your cooling system, belts, and other fluids regularly when the sun is beating down!
Protection During Car Transport
Sun damage isn’t just when you’re behind the wheel or when your vehicle is parked in your driveaway. It’s anywhere the sun is up and your vehicle is in the open! Even when you are transported from an import location, from a dealer or other seller, or to your next home, it is exposed to the sun’s rays.
A great way to prevent additional sun damage during transport is by opting for one of Number 1 Auto Transport’s covered carrier options. We often talk about how these protect your vehicle from hail and debris, but they also are pitch black and protect your car from unnecessary sunlight exposure, heat, and UV rays. Using enclosed transport will get your car where it needs to be without unnecessary exposure!
If you don’t want to pay for the enclosed, make sure that before loading your vehicle onto one of Number 1 Auto Transport’s open-air carriers, you follow our recommendations to prevent sun damage to your vehicle. These will help you get the best out of your transport with us and keep your car in great condition long after we’ve moved it for you!