How to protect car from sun and rain is an important subject in every car owner’s mind. In this article, we will find out the best ways to protect our cars from sun and rain.
A car, just like every machine frequently used outdoors, is susceptible to wear and tear as a result of environmental factors such as sun and rain. These factors affect both the performance of our cars and their appearance.
These factors cannot be controlled; how can we control mother nature? We sure can’t, and we most definitely shouldn’t even try. So how can we protect cars from environmental factors such as sun and rain damage and keep them looking and working perfectly?
We will discuss these factors separately, so keep reading.
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How Does The Sun Damage a Car?
Just like the UV rays from the sun damages the skin when we go out under the sun without sunscreen, that is the same way it damages our automobiles when they are left under the sun without protection.
The UV lights oxidize and fade the car’s paints, leaving it looking worn and old before the expected time wear and tear should occur.
The sun doesn’t just damage the paint; it goes even further to damage the interior, such as the seats, dashboards, and windshields. It also affects the rubberized parts of the headlamps, tires, and many other parts.
In extreme heat, cars tend to overheat more, causing a lot of damage to the engine. We will discuss this more in another topic.
Factors That Put Your Car at Risk of Sun Damage
The next time you think you can drive your car around without washing it, stop and remind yourself that dirt on cars can expedite the breakdown of paint molecules by UV light.
When a car is dirty, it is covered with contaminants that slowly eat away at the clear coat or the surface of a porous material.
Over time, these contaminants weaken the protection of clear coatings; this accelerates the process of UV light penetration and enables oxidation to occur.
Bird Droppings and Other Animal Waste Products
These also play a massive role in the sun damage to your car. Animal by-products such as droppings, even tree sap contain high levels of acids that also accelerate UV radiation damage on automotive paints and other surfaces.
Bird droppings contain high levels of uric acid, which can begin the breakdown of your paint job in a matter of hours.
Salt and Road Grime
These are other contaminants that make room UV light damage to occur. Sodium Chloride, better known as salt, can quickly penetrate a protective surface, exposing it to the damaging effect of UV lights.
Road grime is the combination of chemical toxins such as tar, gravel, and oils that cars pick up as they are driven around. These ones, just like dirt, also expose the vehicle to sun damage.
Color of Car
Regardless of UV intensity, some color paints are more susceptible to fading, with red paint fading the fastest.
Light comes in a spectrum of wavelengths, and how a material absorbs and reflects these wavelengths determines the color we perceive.
Red fades faster than most paint colors because the wavelengths associated with red are the lowest energy of visible light, so to appear red, it has to absorb much more energetic wavelengths, which causes more aggressive degradation of the paint’s molecular bonds.
This, plus what the UV light does, makes it easier for it to fade. Next to red in this high degradation are green and orange.
I don’t want to bore you with physics.
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How To Protect Your Car From The Sun
Having talked about how the sun can damage a car and the different factors that can put your car at risk of sun damage, let’s quickly look at how to protect car from sun and rain.
I promise you that the steps are pretty much effortless and straightforward.
Let’s get started!
Park in the shade
This is the most effective way of keeping your car protected from the invisible but hazardous UV lights, which causes oxidation and damage. Parking under the shade will keep both your interior and exterior from drying and cracking under the sun.
Remember, parking under trees that have a high population of birds is not advised as they can litter your car with poop that further leads to damage to the vehicle.
Wash and Dry your exterior Often
This is the most important tip for protecting your car from sun damage. It is important to note that over 50% of the factors that increase the risk of sun damage can be prevented by just washing the car.
Wash your car frequently and also make time to take it to a carwash every now and then for more detailed washing.
Use the right washing liquids as many detergents can ruin your paint too. Also, read up on proper ways to wash a car to preserve the paint for as long as possible.
Wax Your car
Washing the car isn’t just enough to protect your vehicle. Waxing is just as essential as washing. Waxing adds another layer of protection from UV rays. You can call it the car’s version of sunscreen.
You can choose how often to wax your cars, but it is advised that you do it regularly.
Install a windshield protector
This product helps to keep the insides of your car protected, thereby preventing sun damage to the interior, especially the dashboard and other plastic or rubber fittings.
They are cheap and can be found almost everywhere.
Use Seat Protectors
Using seat coverings, protect leather and fabric seats significantly. The heat from the sun can cause the leather seats to fade and start to crack, leaving the car looking tattered and worn out.
Also, using seat covers keeps the car cool, especially in hot summer weather.
How Does Rain Damage a Car?
Just like the sun causes damage to a car, so does the rain. This sounds a bit contradicting since we learned that we could mitigate most of the factors that put your vehicle at risk of sun damage by simply washing our cars.
Rain is water, and water is used for washing. How exactly does one protect a car from rain?
Rainwater contains pollutants, and when it evaporates, it leaves a layer of pollutants that damages your car paint if left unwashed.
The rains damaging effect goes beyond the physical appearance of the car. It goes deeper to cause damage to essential parts of the vehicle, such as the wheels, brake system, and other parts of the susceptible to rusting.
These parts are made of iron, and when water comes in contact with these parts, oxidation that leads to rust occurs. Rain can also get into some delicate parts of a car can cause terrible damage overtime.
Some rainwater can be highly acidic; this kind of rain is known as acid rain. This usually comes after long periods of drought and, just like any acid, can damage anything in its path.
Rain can get into the car and damage the interior, causing mold growth and a plethora of damage to the insides of the vehicle. Heavy rainfalls can lead to flooding, which can cause a lot of damage to the entire car if it is unfortunately caught in a flood.
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How To Prevent Damage from Rain
Wash and Dry Your car after it rains
“But the rain already washed it” This is what most people say, forgetting that the rainwater contains pollutants, and when they evaporate, it leaves these pollutants on the car, making way for UV rays to damage the vehicle.
If you don’t have the energy to wash your car after it rains, use a clean, recommended car towel to dry the water. This wipes out the pollutants that can cause issues for you.
Invest in a car shield
It may look like you are overdoing it when you park your car in your office or shopping mall and throw a shield over it. Ignore the jesters, that is why their cars look older than yours.
Car shields are usually ugly but are a necessity when it comes to protecting your car from the rain. They are also affordable.
Wax your car
Just as we discussed earlier, waxing gives a layer of protection to the car. This layer of protection plays the same role in the rain as it does in the sun.
Park in a garage
Always park your car in a garage whenever you can, especially when you will be traveling or won’t be driving the car often. This also applies to protecting the vehicle from the sun.
Tip: Always check your tires and brake systems because the heat from the sun can cause damage to the tires, and the rain can cause the metal parts to rust.
Always check the air pressure in the tires as often as possible. Hot pavement and uninflated tires can easily lead to blowouts, which can be expensive to fix.
Read Also: Benefits of Parking a Car in The Garage
Hopefully, you now know how to protect car from sun and rain. We cannot control environmental factors such as the weather, but we can do our best to ensure we protect our car from the sun and rain.
As much as you can, please park your cars in a garage, especially if you are going to leave it undriven for long periods.
If you don’t have a garage, don’t feel bad, you can always invest in high-quality car shields that can serve the same purpose.