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Protect Your Car’s Paint from the Sun

Hot Sun can Scorch your Car's PaintHot Sun can Scorch your Car's Paint

As the days get hotter most people don’t think about the beating their car’s paint takes every day from the sun’s rays.  Just as your skin needs sunscreen to keep from getting burned, your car can use some protection to keep UV rays from ruining your paint job. Considering that a showroom quality paint job is one of the most expensive repairs you can encounter, taking a few precautions to prevent damage only makes sense.

  • Keep it Covered: The easiest and most obvious way to protect your car from sun damage is to avoid parking in direct sunlight. Parking in a garage where the sun can’t get to your car’s paint is always preferable to parking outside. Of course, this protects your car from other elements as well. Parking outside leaves your car susceptible to the combined effects of direct sunlight and engine heat, which can ruin your hood paint. Too much sun is also the primary reason for car roofs with white, “burned” edges. And leather upholstery is more likely to crack and tear if you leave your car baking in the heat. Car covers are a great investment for protecting your car outside and even parking in some shade is preferable to none. Just try to avoid bird droppings, tree sap, and other falling items that could be just as bad or worse for your car than UV rays.
  • Keep it Clean: Regular detailing can further decrease damage to your car’s paint. What’s most important is to get rid of any contaminants, dirt, dust, and grime that have stuck to the surface of your car on a regular basis. Avoid scratching your paint job by using only non-abrasive cleaning products and wash mitts.  Always remember the rule that if a cleaning rag or mitt touches the ground you should stop using it and get a fresh, clean one so you won’t scratch the car with dirt from the dropped rag. Use a chamois cloth to dry your car and allow the vehicle to dry thoroughly before applying wax. To prevent water spots try to wash your car in the shade or late in the day when it’s not as hot out.
  • Keep it Waxed: Waxing your car regularly protects the paint from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Wax also helps to prevent pit damage and encourages grit and dirt to simply slide off the surface of your vehicle instead of sticking to it. There are also several aftermarket films available to protect against UV rays but these should be installed by professionals for best results and special care is needed when cleaning.

You should also be sure to condition the interior, use a windshield sun shade and keep your sunroof closed during the day whenever your car is parked in the sun. Follow these tips and your car should look as good as new for years to come.