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Just as the Sun’s UV rays are bad for our bodies, they are also harmful to the car. To maintain the car well, and to keep that fresh new look, we have to protect it. Today I’m going to show you 13 of the most important tips to protect your car from the sun and heat.
My Peugeot 308 SW has a panorama. Trust me, even though it’s beautiful during the night, it’s a nightmare during the hot sunny days.
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 the public parking area.
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.
Remember, when you detail your car, making it perfectly clean is as important as protecting it.
Harmful Effects of the Sun
You’ll often see many tips on how to protect yourself from the 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 is it harmful.
There are 2 main harmful things that come from the sun:
- UV Rays
Heating many things will cause some defects, 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 it’s important to protect them.
- Fluids. The 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 the UV rays and the heat, 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 upholstery to fade and lose its original color.
- Leather. If you do have leather seats, especially the black ones, they will crack pretty soon if not protected.
- Safety systems. Some safety systems such as airbags may also be defected because of the heat.
I think that now you can imagine what can the sun do to the car and how much money you could initially spend for repairs.
Key Tips To Protect The Car From The Sun and Heat
Now when you are aware of all damages that may happen to your vehicle, let’s see some tips you can do to reduce the risks of your car getting burned by the sun.
Some of the tips will be just on how to prevent the sun from coming directly to your car, and some of them will be about car detailing.
Those car detailing tips are much important to keep your car well conditioned even at high temperatures.
Detailing 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 to protect it from the sun. This is the most basic tip that everyone should do no matter how hot 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.
By applying waxes and sealants you’ll add one more layer to the clearcoat, which will help to protect your car paint from the sun, heat, and other various elements.w
#3 - Protect the headlights
Just like any other part of the car, headlights are also affected by the UV rays. With time, they’ll become oxidized, yellowed and cloudy.
With cloudy headlights, your visibility when driving at night reduces a lot.
When you have a brand new car, headlights will have protection on them, but it can’t last forever.
There are a few options you can choose to protect car headlights from the UV rays:
- Apply vinyl film that has UV protection, just like this VViViD 3M Scotchgard Clear Paint Protection Vinyl Film
- Clearcoat them
- Spray-on or wipe-on products for headlights
#4 - Protect plastic trim
Plastic parts on the car exterior are very sensitive to the UV rays and heat. They could fade in just a few years if not protected well.
Car exterior exposed to the weather conditions all the time, and you should protect it properly, especially the plastic parts.
I suggest you to use some plastic restorer on your exterior plastic trims.
This CarGuys Plastic Restorer is one of the best out there on the market. It will seal, restore, and protect all the car plastics.
#5 - Seal and protect tires
Tires should always have a great grip to keep your handling abilities better. With the excessive exposure to the sun and heat without any protection, tires will lose their properties which make sure you don’t slip from the road.
The sun can cause a dry rot on your tires, as well as 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 Trinova Tire Shine Spray which will give your tires shiny look and protect them from aging.
#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 the 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 damages if you don’t use protection.
Vacuuming and cleaning the interior with an APC won’t give any protection from the 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 that you can use on all car interior surfaces.
With this product, you can protect dashboard, leather seats, vinyl, rubber, and many more interior surfaces.
Tips for Preventing The Sun to Damage 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 under the shade
If you don’t have a garage, finding a shade to park your car will be the best option.
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 5 more minutes and find a cooler spot to park your car.
However, 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
Windshield protectors and windows sunshades are great products to keep the sun away from entering your car.
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 the sunny days, you can have them all the time mounted to your windows.
#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 on an optimal pressure so they don’t age to 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)
- 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 was inside – seats, gearbox, and a steering wheel was 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 I use a Car Cover to protect my 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.
With modern products and technology, it was never been easier to protect your car from the sun and heat.
The most important thing to protect your car from the sun is to use specialized products when detailing a car.
Just to summarize everything, here are the most important steps to do when detailing a car in order to protect it from the sun:
- Wash and clean frequently
- Apply waxes and sealants
- Apply protectors and dressings to the interior, exterior and tires
I hope this was an interesting article for you, and that you have learned something new today.
If you like this article, don’t forget to share it with someone who could learn something from it.