How to prevent sun damage to your car

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4 min read

Just like too much sun can give you wrinkles, leaving a car out in the rays will cause it to deteriorate much faster than cars that are kept in the shade. (The more you know, amiright?)

Every summer we’re seeing new heat records broken across the country. But not everyone has a garage at home, or covered parking where they work, and if you live in one of the sunniest cities, like Phoenix or Las Vegas, it can be a real challenge to keep your car safe from those damaging rays.

Wherever you live and whether or not you have a garage, we’ve got your summer car tips coming in hot. But first, let’s take a look at how the sun impacts your car in the first place.

how sunlight can damage your car

the paint will fade

Just like sun damages the skin, a mix of both UVA and UVB radiation will cause the paint on your car  to slowly fade. UVA light can cause cracking and chipping, while UVB light—the sunburn-y rays—causes fading. How quickly this will happen depends on how much sun your car is exposed to (duh) and what color it is (bc some colors, like red, are more affected) But either way, if you don’t take care of your car, after around 5-10 years you’ll start to notice the effects of sunlight on the paint quality.

the interior will decline

It’s not just the outside of your car that will lose its shine from that sunshine. The interior can be affected by sun damage too. Leather seats will dry and crack, fabric seats can fade and the dashboard can show signs of wear.

the window trim seal can degrade

Too much heat and sun can cause the rubber seal around your windows to dry out and start to crack and flake, which will reduce the protection from outside elements, like wind, rain or snow. High temperatures also cause glass to expand, which can cause hairline cracks to spread and worsen.

how to protect your car from sun damage

park in the shade

It’s an obvious one, but wherever possible park up in the shade. If you always shoot for the shade, the less impact the sun will have on your car over the years. Besides, hot cars can also be a hazard for passengers: the seat belts and buckles can burn, the steering wheel can get too hot to grip, and the air temperature can become too high for pets or small children.

wash and wax

When dirt builds up on your car it increases the chance of scratching and damaging the protective surface of your paint. Regular washing takes care of that, but you should also follow up with a polish and wax finish. A good quality wax will add an extra layer of protection and reduce the amount of damage—and fading— that UV rays can do to the paint.

get a dashboard protector

Whatever,  dashboard sun protectors are just plain cool. They’re  not expensive—twenty or thirty bucks from Amazon—and are a simple way to keep the heat off your interior. Seat covers are also a good idea if you want to keep your leather looking nice.

In conclusion, it’s always a good idea to take measures to protect your car (and yourself!) from the sun. It doesn’t need to cost much and by keeping your car clean, you’ll retain the value of your car.

But whether you’ve always kept your car sun safe, or left it to bask in the desert for years, Peddle would love to buy it from you. Just tell us a bit about your car and we’ll give you an offer in minutes.