How To Protect Car From Sun and Heat: 13 Simple Tips

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protect car from the sun and heat with these 13 simple tips
Photo by: Lewis Jake

My previous car had a panoramic roof. And even though it was a pretty nice addition, it was a nightmare during hot sunny days. With a car that’s so vulnerable to sun and heat, I had to learn some tips to protect it. So, today I’ll be showing you how to protect your car from the sun, but also how to protect it from the heat in general.

These tips really help me to keep the car cooler and to keep it in better condition, especially during the summer.

In an ideal world, we would all keep our cars away from the sun as much as possible. However, most of us can’t afford that due to the various locations we live in. For instance, it’s impossible for me to get a garage here in my town. I have no other solution than to keep the car in open parking.

I’d like you to read this article slowly and implement every tip that I share with you in order to keep our car well-conditioned, we have to take care of it.

Harmful Effects of the Sun

You’ll often see many tips on how to protect yourself from UV rays, but there aren’t many tips for protecting the car. Before you can protect the car, you should know what the sun does to the car and why it is harmful.

There are 2 main harmful things that come from the sun:

  • Heat
  • UV Rays

When you heat various things, it usually damages them, so it’s with the car. Some car parts just aren’t made to withstand high temperatures. Actually, most of them.

On the other side, UV rays are harmful to everything. Just like the skin, if you don’t protect your car from the UV rays, they will enter every single pore and destroy it.

Damaging Effect the Sun Can Do to Your Car

Before we go straight into the tips for protecting the car from the sun, here are damages that may occur due to sun exposure to your car.

  • Car Paint. Car paint, if not protected, may fade and oxidate, especially if you have an older car without a clear coat.
  • Tires. UV rays will also damage the tires, so protecting them is important.
  • Fluids. Excessive heat may cause some fluids to evaporate and cause you many troubles with overheating.
  • Headliner. It’s very common to see detached headliners. Mostly, it’s because of the heat.
  • Plastics. Plastic is very sensitive to UV rays and heat, and if not properly protected, it may damage in no time. (For instance, dashboard and other plastic parts)
  • Headlights. If you see faded yellow headlights, the sun is one of the causes.
  • Hoses. Many rubber hoses will become stiff and crack easily.
  • Upholstery. The heat will cause the upholstery to fade and lose its original color.
  • Leather. If you have leather seats, especially black ones, they will crack soon if not protected.
  • Safety systems. Some safety systems, such as airbags, may also be defective because of the heat.

I think that now you can imagine what the sun can do to the car and how much money you could initially spend on repairs.

Best Tips To Protect The Car From The Sun and Heat

Now that you know all damages that may happen to your vehicle, let’s see some tips to reduce the risks of your car getting burned by the sun.

Some tips will be just on how to prevent the sun from coming directly to your car, and some will be about car detailing.

Those car detailing tips are much important to keep your car well-conditioned even at high temperatures.

Tips To Protect Car From The Sun

#1 – Wash and clean your car consistently

Washing your car helps to get rid of debris, minerals, and dead bugs. Minerals and dead bugs react to the sun’s high heat and will cause your paint to fade.

So, keeping your car clean will surely help you with protecting the car from the sun. This is the most basic tip that everyone should do no matter how hot it is there.

#2 – Apply waxes and sealants to the car paint

Applying waxes and sealants not only gives your car a better look and shine, but they also protect your car. 

Applying waxes and sealants will add one more layer to the clearcoat, which will help to protect your car paint from the sun, heat, and other elements. Check out my list of best car waxes that’ll give your car protection and an amazing glossy look.

If you have a larger budget, you can opt for paint protection film or even a ceramic coating application.

#3 – Protect the headlights

Just like any other part of the car, headlights are also affected by UV rays. With time, they’ll become oxidized, yellowed, and cloudy.  

With cloudy headlights, your visibility when driving at night reduces a lot. If you have cloudy headlights, here’s how to fix them.

When you have a brand new car, headlights will have protection on them, but they can’t last forever. That’s why I highly suggest you check out my article on protecting car headlights from UV rays and the sun.

#4 – Protect plastic trim

Plastic parts on the car exterior are very sensitive to UV rays and heat. They could fade in just a few years if not protected well.

The car exterior is always exposed to weather conditions, and you should protect it properly, especially the plastic parts.

I suggest you use some plastic restorer on your exterior plastic trims. Here’s my guide for restoring the faded plastic trim on your car.

This TriNova Plastic Restorer is one of the best out there on the market. It will seal, restore, and protect all car plastics.

#5 – Seal and protect tires

Tires should always have a great grip to keep your handling abilities better. With excessive exposure to the sun and heat without any protection, tires will lose their properties, ensuring you don’t slip from the road.

The sun can cause dry rot on your tires and unwrapping. Of course, tires can’t last forever, but at least you can protect them from being destroyed by the sun’s heat and UV rays.

You should use some car tire dressing, just like this Gyeon Q2 Tire Dressing (check my review), which will give your tires a natural shine and protect them from aging.

RELATED: Cleaning Extremely Dirty Wheels and Tires: COMPLETE GUIDE

#6 – Protect the car interior

Even though the car exterior is exposed to the sun the most, the car interior usually has the highest temperatures during sunny days.

Sun will heat up the whole car, but that heat will stay inside the car for a long time and may cause some damage if you don’t use protection.

Vacuuming and cleaning the interior with an APC won’t give any protection from UV rays. 

Always use some protection for your interior, especially for the dashboard and plastics.

Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner & Protectant is a great All-in-one product you can use on all interior surfaces. This product protects the dashboard, leather seats, vinyl, rubber, and many more interior surfaces.

Additional Tips for Preventing The Sun from Damaging Your Car

The best option to protect your car is to prevent the sun from burning it and to maintain the car on a regular basis.

#1 – Park your car in the shade

Finding a shade to park your car will be the best option if you don’t have a garage. Try to avoid open parking places.

It’s sometimes hard to find a free parking spot in a shadow, especially if you live in a large city. However, don’t hesitate to spend five more minutes and find a cooler spot to park your car. 

Furthermore, if you have your own parking spot, I’d suggest you buy a canopy and park underneath it.

#2 – Leave windows opened

If you have your own parking spot, always open windows a few inches during the hot sunny days. That way, all the excess heat from the car will go out, and your car will stay cooler.

I live in a very safe town where aren’t many criminals, so I’m not afraid to leave my car with opened windows (2-3 inches only) in any location.

#3 – Use window protectors or PPF

Windshield protectors and window sunshades are great products to keep the sun away from entering your car. 

A windshield protector is made of a material that will reflect the sun’s rays. That way, the car will stay cooler, and UV rays won’t damage so much of the interior.

On the other side, window sunshades will only reduce the sun’s UV rays and heat entering the car. During sunny days, you can always have them mounted to your windows.

If you want the ultimate protection, think about applying paint protection film to the car windows. PPFs have fantastic immunity to sun and heat, and they’ll reflect most of the rays, keeping the car interior cooler.

#4 – Check tire pressure frequently

During the summer, I like to check my tires pressure more often. I just want to make sure that they are under optimal pressure so they don’t age too fast.

Because of the sun and high temperatures, pressure in tires may vary a lot, so it’s important to keep the pressure optimized for your vehicle.

#5 – Check fluids

By checking fluids often, you’ll make sure that your car always has enough fluids to prevent overheating.

The most important thing to check is coolant (antifreeze). With coolant, you need to take care of two things:

  • Coolant level (should be on Max)
  • and Coolant boiling point (should be higher during the summer)

#6 – Close the panoramic sunroof

If you have a panoramic roof on your car, it’s important to close the cover inside your car and prevent the sun from heating the car directly.

I’m telling you this because I have a panoramic roof, and a few times, I forgot to close it from the inside. 1 hour after that, I couldn’t enter the car how hot it was inside – the seats, gearbox, and steering wheel were so hot that I couldn’t drive for a few minutes.

#7 – Use the car umbrella

In the past few years, car umbrellas have become very popular. They are like a portable garage for your car.

Check the video below and see how perfect it is.

Can you use a car cover to protect your car?

I don’t suggest using a car cover to protect your car from the sun, heat, and other weather conditions.

A car cover will make minor damage to the car paint, such as swirls and scratches. Even though there are some “soft and gentle” covers, they will scratch your car.

What’s The Best Car Color To Avoid Sun Damage?

White color is the best color if you want to reduce the chances of the sun damaging your vehicle. That’s because the white color reflects most of the sunlight, and it doesn’t get so hot easily. In fact, all brighter colors don’t heat so much, while darker car colors absorb the light very easily.

It’s up to you which car color you’ll pick, but if sun and heat are your concern, choosing the brighter car color might be worth it for you. At least nowadays, there are fantastic car colors, especially white and silver ones.

Bottom Line

With modern products and technology, it was never been easier to protect your car from the sun and heat. 

Just to summarize everything, here are the most important steps to do when detailing a car in order to protect it from the sun:

I hope this was an interesting article for you and that you have learned some new things about protecting cars from sunlight and heat.

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