Just as too much sun can damage your skin, the sun's rays can wreak havoc on your car's paint, dash and interior. Protecting yourself from UV rays is as easy as slathering on some sunscreen and dressing appropriately, which you obviously cannot do to your vehicle. You can, however, take steps to protect your car from the harmful sunshine.
Keep It Shining
Not only is it embarrassing to ride around in a car coated with dust, mud and grime, but a filthy car is also more susceptible to sun damage. This is because the dirt can actually damage your vehicle's topcoat, which is its first layer of protection against the elements. Once you clean it thoroughly, be sure to dry it carefully as well, which helps prevent mineral buildup from the water. Wax your car regularly for an added level of defense. Experts recommend waxing twice each year: in spring and just before winter.
Protect the Interior
Just as washing and waxing your auto guards the exterior from damaging rays, you can clean and condition the interior to avoid cracks, fading and discoloration. Begin by vacuuming and dusting the surfaces before applying any product. Use a conditioning product monthly, making sure it is the right type of treatment for the interior. For instance, leather conditioner may not protect plastic, rubber or vinyl.
Cover It Up
Just as clothes can protect you from sunburn, cloth covers can shield your car's seats, dash and exterior. Investing in a custom dash mat is an ideal way to avoid cracks in the dashboard. Covers on your seats and steering wheel will not only protect them from the sun, but they can also keep you from burning your skin on hot vinyl or leather.
Provide Some Shade
Park your vehicle in a covered area whenever possible. A garage, carport or the shade of a large tree naturally provides safety against the sun. Wrapping your vehicle in a fitted car cover is another way to shield the exterior. Shade the interior by applying auto window tinting. An auto window tinting professional can advise you on the best type of tint for your vehicle.
Give It a Once Over
Although preventing any damage is ideal, it is also important to correct any harm as quickly as you can. Inspect your paint, seats, dash, trim and tires for cracks, discoloration and other signs of sun damage. When caught early, the fix may be as simple and inexpensive as a touchup, patch or buff and wax treatment.