protecting your car from sun damage

Whether you’re making a permanent move abroad or heading overseas for an extended period, one easy way to save on expensive car hire is to take your car with you. Shipping your vehicle is a simple and affordable way to make sure you can explore far and wide from the moment you arrive at your destination.

But if you’ve decided to make the move to sunnier climates, keep in mind that you need to protect your car from sun damage, especially if you own a classic car or a car of high sentimental value.

With sun damage car paint can fade and make your vehicle look older than it is. Your headlights and the rubberised trim on your car can also be affected by the strong sun, as well as your interiors. Here we take a look at the ways that sunshine can affect your car and simple steps you can take to protect it.

The Exterior

There are plenty of ways the exterior of your car can be affected by long-term sun exposure. That sleek, specially-designed paint job can quickly fade and even crack if you leave your car exposed to the sun’s rays for too long. The bumper and wheel fenders are also vulnerable and often catch a lot of dirt and stone damage, which can be particularly common in hotter, dustier climes.

Protecting car exterior and paintwork from sun damage

Keep it clean

The UV rays from the sun are the prime culprit, and that constant bombardment on your paint also contributes to rusting. If you want to keep your paint in the best possible condition, avoid leaving your car dirty or covered in bird droppings, as both can be quite acidic and will speed up the sun damage meaning paint will flake and dull more quickly. Salt can also wreak havoc with your paint job, which is something to keep in mind if you are going to spend a lot of time by the sea.

Wash With Care

If you want a simple way to protect your car from sun damage, washing it more often is one great way to maintain the paint. While drive-in car washes and washing stations are convenient, they can often be powerful and use strong chemicals, which can hasten exterior damage. The best method is to pre-rinse your car to remove dirt, soap up your car and then rinse it off again, making sure you don’t push the brake and road dirt from the wheels onto the rest of the car.

You can also find special coatings, from wax to sealants, that can be applied, giving much more UV resistance, and stopping dirt and grime from accumulating on your paint. Some of these coats can last up to five years and are a great way to keep your exterior looking brand new.

Protect Your Tyres

Your tires are also at risk during more extreme temperatures, and even more so if they are under-inflated. By keeping your tyres at the ideal pressure (around 32-35 psi, but each car is different), you will save fuel and prevent a tyre blowout at a dangerous or frustrating moment. Other tips include not overloading your car and making sure you regularly check the tyres.

Park in the Shade!

It’s as simple as that! A lot of your problems can be solved by parking in the shade, or even better by covering your car when it’s not in use. You can also go all the way and leave your car in a garage overnight for the best possible results and completely protect your car from sun damage. While it doesn’t solve all sunlight-related problems, it certainly helps keep your car protected for longer. 

The Interior

Inside the car, the surfaces are normally quite different from the exterior, with softer and more easily damaged fabrics, further stressed by the magnifying effect of the glass windows. If you’ve gotten into a car on a hot day, you’ll know just how sweltering it can get inside.

protecting your car interior from sun damage

Create Some Shade

If you want to know how to fix sun damage on your vehicle, something you could consider is applying a tinted layer to your windows, which can reduce temperatures between 35 and 80 per cent. However, you must make sure your windows are legal and don’t obstruct the light too much.

On the inside of your car, you’ll typically see damage to the car seats, the dashboard and the steering wheel, as these are the most prominent parts of your car interior.

Cover Your Seats

Leather seats are particularly vulnerable to the magnified UV rays and will quickly fade and crack like the paint on the outside. Light coloured seats will heat up and damage more slowly in general and won’t burn your legs like a dark seat in the sun. Covering your seats with seat-covers or a blanket is a great idea, not only making them more comfortable, but also stopping them getting too hot, and preventing UV damage too.

A Quick Wipe-down

To keep your dashboard in top condition, try wiping it down regularly with a micro-fibre cloth. When you get rid of all the dust and dirt, you lower the damage UV can do. If you can add in a protective low-gloss product, you’ll reduce damage even more, and lower glare too. Using a windshield sunshade will stop the heat from building up too much, and extra shades on the side and rear windows give even more protection.

Invest in Technology

If you love technology, then you could invest in cooling cushions which maintain the seat at a constant temperature. Or you could try a reflective paint coat, improving UV ray reflection from around five per cent with normal paint, up to 60 per cent with reflective coats. Stopping the outside of your car getting hot is a good start to keeping interior temperatures down too.

There are also solar ventilation machines which keep the air temperatures down when you leave your car parked, and prevent damaging humidity levels from rising.

For many of us, our car is our pride and joy, that’s why it’s great to be able to ship it abroad when we move.

If you’re looking for a safe and convenient shipping service, at Autoshippers, we take great care with every car and can transport vehicles all over the world.

We have a whole host of shipping solutions to suit your car and budget and love seeing cars roll out looking just as good as they came in. Then once you’re in the sunshine, you just need to make sure you protect using the tips above to ensure it remains in great condition abroad!

Get a free quote to ship your car.