Protecting Your Car From The Sun
Getting into a car that’s been baking in the sun can be a very uncomfortable experience. But the discomfort to you isn’t the only issue – extended exposure to extreme sunlight and high temperatures can cause serious long-term damage to cars too. Consequences may include peeling paint, discolouration of upholstery, recurrent overheating, dashboard cracks, and even engine failure.
The heat can also pose serious safety risks, including the tragic occurrence of children or pets succumbing to heatstroke inside vehicles. Clearly, cars and extreme heat are not a good combination. However, there’s no need to despair – you can take steps to protect your car from the sun and extend its lifespan. Here we discuss the top 10 ways to safeguard your car against the sun’s damaging effects.
Related Reading: How To Keep Your Car Cool In Summer
10 Ways To Protect Your Car From The Sun
The sun’s scorching rays aren’t merely responsible for heat; they are a source of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can lead to the degradation of your car’s exterior and interior surfaces, and although we can’t control the intensity of the sun’s rays, we do have control over how we safeguard our vehicles. Implementing preventive measures can significantly lessen the detrimental impact of the sun and UV radiation on our cars.
1. Try to park in a shaded spot
Seeking out shaded parking spots can significantly reduce the impact of sun damage on your vehicle. Direct sunlight can take a toll on both your car’s interior and exterior over time. Heat and ultraviolet rays can lead to a fading paint job, cracks in the dashboard, and deteriorating upholstery. Parking in the shade, whether it’s under a tree, a building, or using a covered parking structure, can help reduce this exposure and slow down the wear process.
Finding a shaded spot may take some extra time and effort, but it’s a small price to pay to keep your car in good condition. While shaded parking isn’t always available, making a conscious effort to use it whenever possible can extend the life of your vehicle’s finishes and keep it looking its best for longer. Consider it as an investment in the long-term maintenance and aesthetic appeal of your vehicle.
2. Wax your car
Car wax, often overlooked, is an exceptional protective agent against the sun’s damaging rays. Its primary function is to create a barrier between your vehicle’s paint and the external environment, including harmful UV radiation from the sun. When applied correctly, car wax can preserve your car’s shine and prevent the paint from fading or peeling.
The benefits of waxing your car extend beyond just aesthetic appeal. A good waxing routine can also prolong the lifespan of your car’s paintwork, ultimately contributing to your vehicle’s resale value. It’s recommended to wax your vehicle at least twice a year, or more frequently if it’s frequently parked outdoors in sunny locations. Always remember, a well-maintained car is not only pleasing to the eye, but it can also save you from hefty future maintenance costs.
3. Slightly open windows to reduce internal heat
Leaving your windows slightly open when parking your car, especially on hot days, can have a significant impact on reducing internal heat build-up. This small space allows hot air to escape and promotes air circulation inside your vehicle. This can greatly mitigate the sauna-like conditions that can develop inside a closed vehicle exposed to direct sunlight, consequently protecting your dashboard, upholstery, and electronic systems from heat-related damage.
However, it’s crucial to ensure safety while implementing this measure. The windows should be opened just a crack, not wide enough to allow a hand to reach inside or to compromise the vehicle’s security.
Related Reading: Why You Need Sun Protection In The Car
4. Buy seat covers or better still a car cover
Investing in seat covers is a simple yet effective way to safeguard your car’s interior from the damaging effects of the sun. High-quality seat covers can protect your seats from prolonged exposure to sunlight, thereby preventing the upholstery from fading, cracking, or tearing. Seat covers are especially beneficial if your car has leather seats, which are more prone to sun damage.
On the other hand, a car cover serves as an even more robust line of defence against the sun when your vehicle is parked. A good car cover not only shields the paint job from UV radiation but also helps to keep the interior temperature down, offering comprehensive protection.
Therefore, investing in seat covers or a car cover can greatly extend the lifespan and aesthetics of your vehicle under the sun’s relentless heat.
5. Wash and dry your car regularly
One straightforward yet highly effective way to protect your car from the sun’s damaging effects is through regular washing. Dirt and grime, when baked onto your car by the sun, can act like an abrasive, damaging the clear coat and leading to paint fade and discolouration. Washing your car frequently helps remove these contaminants, preserving the paintwork and overall appearance of your vehicle.
Additionally, drying your car after each wash is equally crucial. When water evaporates from your car’s surface in the hot sun, it can leave behind mineral deposits that cause water spots. These spots can etch into your car’s paint and cause lasting damage. By washing and properly drying your car regularly, you can maintain its aesthetic appeal and longevity, even in the face of harsh sunlight.
6. Ensure car fluids are topped up
Monitoring and maintaining your car’s fluid levels is a critical aspect of vehicle care, especially when combating the effects of the sun. Sunlight and high temperatures can cause your car’s fluids to evaporate faster than usual, potentially leading to decreased performance and, in worst-case scenarios, engine damage.
From the engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid, to the power steering and transmission fluids, every fluid plays a crucial role in your vehicle’s operation. Lower fluid levels can result in increased wear and tear, leading to costly repairs in the long run. By regularly checking these fluid levels, especially during hot weather, you can ensure your car remains in peak condition.
7. Test your battery
Exposing your car to the sun’s heat for extended periods can have an adverse effect on its battery life. The high temperature can cause the battery fluid to evaporate, leading to a decrease in the battery’s efficiency and, in some cases, complete failure. Therefore, it is crucial to regularly test your car’s battery, particularly during hot, sunny periods, to ensure that it remains in optimal working condition.
Regular battery checks can help detect any potential issues early, preventing unexpected breakdowns. This simple preventative measure can save you from being stranded with a dead battery and having to bear the cost of a replacement.
8. Check you tyre pressures
The sun’s scorching heat can affect your car’s tyres, causing the air inside to expand and possibly leading to an increase in tyre pressure. Overinflated tyres are more prone to wear and tear and can also result in a bumpy ride or a dangerous blowout. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check your tyre pressure, especially during periods of intense sunlight and high temperatures, to ensure it remains within the recommended range.
Keeping a close eye on your tyre pressure can help prevent unnecessary damage and potential accidents, offering another way to protect your car from the harsh effects of the sun. By doing this, you’re not only safeguarding your vehicle but also ensuring a smooth and safe journey for yourself and your passengers. Regular tyre pressure checks should be a fundamental part of your car’s protection routine.
Related Reading: How To Keep Your Brand New Cars Tyres In The Best Condition
9. Consider fitting tinted windows
One of the most effective ways to shield your vehicle from the sun’s harsh rays is by getting your car windows tinted. Tinted windows can significantly reduce the amount of heat and UV radiation that enters your car’s interior, effectively protecting your dashboard, seats, and other interior surfaces from sun damage. The reduction in heat also contributes to a more comfortable environment within your car during those hot summer days.
In addition to preventing the sun from bleaching your car’s interior and reducing the cabin temperature, window tinting can also protect your skin from harmful UV rays while driving. It’s a one-time investment that provides lasting protection, making it a valuable component of your car’s defence strategy against sun damage. Therefore, for comprehensive protection from the sun, consider opting for tinted windows for your vehicle.
10. Get a windscreen protector
Windscreen protectors are another practical solution to shield your vehicle from sun damage. They are designed to reflect sunlight, thereby reducing the amount of heat entering your car. By placing these sunshades on your windscreen when parked, you significantly decrease the internal temperature of your car, thereby safeguarding your car’s interior surfaces from the damaging effects of excessive heat.
Besides shielding the car’s interior from the sun’s heat, windscreen protectors also help in protecting electronic devices inside your vehicle, like your car stereo or GPS system, from overheating. Windscreen protectors are a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for preventing sun damage to your car. By investing in a good quality windscreen protector, you are taking a significant step towards extending the lifespan and maintaining the aesthetics of your vehicle’s interior.
Related Reading: How To Add Value To Your Car
Protecting Your Car From The Sun FAQs
Q1: Why is it crucial to protect your car from the sun?
Consistent exposure to the sun can cause both cosmetic and structural damage to your car. The harmful UV rays can lead to fading and cracking of your car’s paintwork, discolouration and damage to the interior, and even negatively impact the performance of your car’s battery and tyres.
Q2: How can a sunshade protect my car from the sun?
A sunshade, particularly for your windscreen, helps block direct sunlight from entering your car. This can significantly reduce the interior temperature and protect your dashboard, seats, and electronics from harmful UV rays. It also aids in keeping the vehicle’s air conditioning system from overworking.
Q3: What’s the impact of UV rays on my car’s paintwork?
Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause oxidation and fading to your car’s paintwork. Over time, the paint may appear dull and might start peeling. Protecting the car’s paint from the sun is essential for maintaining its appearance and resale value.
Q4: Are car covers an effective sun protection method?
Yes, car covers are an excellent way to protect your vehicle from sun damage. They provide a physical barrier against UV rays and heat, helping to preserve both the exterior paint and the interior components of the vehicle.
Q5: How does parking in the shade help in sun protection?
Parking your car in the shade helps reduce its exposure to direct sunlight and UV radiation. This can significantly lower the interior temperature, preventing damage to the upholstery and electronic systems. It also helps maintain the vibrancy of the exterior paintwork.
Q6: Can applying a UV-protective wax be beneficial for my car?
Absolutely. UV-protective wax or sealants provide an additional layer of protection to your car’s paintwork against UV radiation. It helps to prevent fading and oxidation, maintaining the glossy finish of the paint.
Q7: What are the advantages of installing UV-protective window film?
UV-protective window film can block a significant amount of UV radiation from entering your car’s interior. This helps to prevent fading and cracking of the upholstery, and can also keep the inside of the vehicle cooler, providing a more comfortable environment for occupants.
Q8: How does sun exposure affect my car’s tyres?
The sun’s UV rays can degrade the rubber in tyres, causing them to dry out and crack over time. This increases the risk of flats or blowouts. Regularly applying a UV-protective tyre dressing can help prevent this damage.
Q9: How can I prevent my car’s interior from fading due to the sun?
You can prevent your car’s interior from fading by using sunshades, parking in the shade, and applying a UV-protective spray to the interior surfaces. Installing UV-blocking window film can also provide an extra layer of protection.
Q10: Does a carport offer sun protection for my car?
Yes, a carport provides a shaded and protected area for your car, reducing its exposure to direct sunlight. This not only protects against UV radiation but also other weather elements like rain, snow, and hail. It’s an excellent solution if you do not have access to a garage.
What are your options for extended UK car warranty cover?
We don’t want to complicate this, so we’ve kept it nice and simple. Here’s three great options for mechanical breakdown or electrical failure car warranty cover, that’ll give you all you need, including cover for wear & tear.
Select this option if you want affordable cover for a long list of covered components. Gives you up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts.
Select this option to cover a wide range of components on your vehicle, and get up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT in the event of mechanical breakdown or electrical failure, or imminent failure identified during an MOT or service.
Looking for comprehensive warranty protection? Our 5-Star warranty covers an extensive range of parts and offers up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts on your vehicle.