Summer is driving season – meaning your car is out of the garage more than normal. It is also sun time.
Sun is not good for your car – it fades paint and upholstery (and makes the interior impossibly hot). Sometimes, though, it’s just not possible to park in the shade. Keep your car looking good by protecting your paint job from the sun and other hazards.
One answer is paint protection film. Sometimes called a “clear bra,” paint protection film covers your car with, basically, an invisible shield that does not affect the color of your paint. It’s applied to areas that are particularly prone to chipping and/or to sun fading. Quality film can be washed and waxed just as normal – waxing will remove scratches from the film the same as from paint. All it does is prevent your paintwork from being damaged by every day wear or tear.
It’s easy to apply and install – it can be installed by a dealer or you can attempt the job yourself if you are reasonably “handy.” And, if correctly applied, it can easily be removed (for example, if you want to repaint the vehicle) – although if applied over a decal it can sometimes cause damage when removed. It even increases your car’s trade-in value. Additionally, wash your car regularly, dry it and keep waxing. This is most important for paint on the hood, which is also stressed by the heat from the engine.
So, that’s the paint. What about the interior? A car sun shade is the best way to protect upholstery from fade and also keep the inside of the car tolerable when you return. Shades can be placed inside the front and/or rear windscreens. Applying UV protective film to your window glass is also a good way to keep the sun out of your car (and also helps protect you from sun damage while driving or riding). Window tinting, on the other hand, may be illegal where you are – the clear films are always a safer option. If you park outside a lot, you might consider a complete car cover (which can also be a deterrent against theft).
In short, there are lots of ways you can protect your car, inside and out, from the sun, even if you don’t have a garage or are road tripping. Paint protection film, proper sun shades and window film will go a long way towards keeping your car looking good all year round.