Summer can be tough on cars. Just as high levels of ultraviolet rays can weather human skin, they can also weather a car’s paint and interior. Preparation through summer car care is key to handling the harsh summer heat.
Following these simple tips will help your vehicle to look its best not only this summer, but for years to come.
1. Park in the shade whenever possible
The simplest and cheapest thing you can do to protect your car is to try to park it in the shade as much as possible, away from the elements. Whenever possible, park your car in covered parkades, garages or under awnings.
Beware of trees that may also offer shade, but can cover your car with tree sap. If not cleaned off quickly, the sap can permanently etch your paint and glass.
The summer heat and UV rays will not only have an impact on your car’s interior but its exterior as well, causing the paint to wear faster. Over time and if neglected, exterior paint can peel, fade, or crack.
2. Protect your car’s paint
A paint protectant such a quality carnauba wax can act as a sacrificial coating for your car’s paint job. Rather than having bird poop, insect remains, acid rain, tree sap and road tar attack your paint, wax will act as a barrier to protect your paint.
There are two types of paint protection products. Firstly, organic carnauba wax that is made from the leaves of the tropical Carnauba plant. Secondly, and increasingly more popular, a polymer sealant (aka synthetic wax) made from petroleum products.
Carnauba waxes are the traditional, natural, time-tested form of protection for cars. Paint sealants are newer to the scene—chemically formulated to attempt the same task as a car wax.
Carnauba waxes are purported to give the much sought after deep wet-look shine to the paint whereas manufacturers of synthetic waxes claim that their products will last longer than the natural waxes.
For window trim and other rubber products, a protectant spray specifically designed for treating rubber parts will help to bring out the black gloss shine and also prevent premature fading due to UV damage.
Consult your owner’s manual and your dealership’s parts department for the car care products that your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends.
3. Protect your car’s interior
Finally, take the time to protect your car’s interior from the sun and heat. The heat of the summer sun can cause interior cosmetic damage and make it harder to cool off inside when it’s time to drive.
If your vehicle has leather seats, get a good leather conditioner and go over every last inch to prevent cracks and dry spots. This will help to reduce the effects that UV rays can have on your seats, drying out the fibres and causing the colour to fade.
Leather trimmed dashes are particularly susceptible to variations in temperature. Keeping handy protectant wipes in your glovebox and using them regularly will help keep everything bright and crack-free.
Vinyl and plastic parts can be protected with a UV inhibitor (a sunscreen for vinyl surfaces, if you will) such as 303 Aerospace protectant.
If you have to park your car in the direct sun at work or home, investing in a windshield sunshade can also go a long way toward keeping your interior as sharp as the day you brought your car home.
Your dealership’s parts department may even carry an OEM accessory sunshade that has been diecut to fit your car’s specific windshield shape perfectly, thereby ensuring maximum sun protection.
Check your vehicle’s accessories parts catalog or check with your dealership’s parts department to see if such a custom-fitted sunshade exists for your vehicle.
See you all on the open road!