How to Protect Your Car from Sun Damage
Did you know your car’s interior can reach a temperature as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot, sunny day? It’s probably no surprise that this amount of heat and the sun’s ultraviolet rays can do a number on your upholstery, dashboard, and other components. Taking steps to protect your vehicle before the damage is done is the smart way to keep the inside of your car looking like new.
The cheapest and simplest way to protect your car while you’re not driving it is to set up a sunshade in your windshield when the car is parked. These screens reflect the sun’s rays, which means you’ll come back to a cooler car with an interior that hasn’t been baking while you’ve been gone.
Since a reflective screen isn’t any use while you’re driving, you’ll have to turn to other methods. Seat protectors are a good way to prevent bleaching, fading, and cracking of leather or cloth upholstery. If your seats are leather, use a good-quality leather conditioner frequently—this will also help protect against creasing and cracking.
Another easy way to minimize damage from the sun is to ensure that the surfaces in your car stay clean. Dust, dirt, and other particles can cause scratches, or they can even get baked by the sun into a film that’s extremely difficult to remove. A few minutes with a duster or clean cloth will make a big difference in the long run.
One of the best things you can do to protect your interior is have your car’s windows tinted. The film that’s applied to the windows can block as much as 99% of harmful UV rays. This isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for the interior of your car, too. You’ll also get additional benefits like reduced glare and less fuel consumption (since your car will be cooler and you won’t have to run the air conditioner as much).
When you take your car in to have the windows tinted, you’ll be able to choose from several different types of tint film. Some are very dark, while others (like the newer crystalline film) are only slightly tinted, so you won’t even be able to tell the film is there while it’s protecting your interior.
Window tinting is especially helpful in regions that get a lot of heat and sunny days, but even people who live in fairly gloomy climates can benefit. Make sure to check the state regulations that apply to window tinting in your area to make sure you’re staying on the right side of the law.