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Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause intense damage to living beings in general, and humans in particular. Research has repeatedly proved that these UV rays affect human skin negatively.

But did you know that it can impact your car paint also adversely?

Well, the powerful rays of the sun oxidize your car paint and give it an old and worn out look, especially when kept in the hot sun for extended periods of time.

What can you do about it? The most obvious answer is to keep your car indoors, preferably in a covered area so the sun’s rays do not reach the car paint at all. But then, this is not always possible because you will have to drive out during the hot summer days or your office parking may not have a covered garage! Regardless of your reason, not exposing your car to sunlight is almost impossible, especially if you drive around in it regularly.

Since non-exposure is not a practical solution, the next best thing is to do whatever it takes to protect your car paint from the sun.

Below are some things you can do in this regard, so the sun does not oxidize the paint on your car.

Wash the Car Often

When you wash your car often, it reduces the heat and oxidization of the sun. However, you have to ensure that your car is parked in a shady spot while washing. There should be no direct sunlight on your car when you are ready to wash.

The first step to washing is to remove all the accumulated grime and dust. You can wipe it off with a clean cloth or spray water with a hose to clean off all this dirt. Next, give you car a thorough bath. Preferably use a gentle automotive cleanser and a clean cotton cloth for this job.

If you notice hard mud stains or bird poop stains, follow the necessary procedure to remove them gently without scratching off your car paint. In the case of hard mud, consider using an automotive clay bar to gently remove the stains without removing the paint.

In the case of bird poop, you can use no salt seltzer or a gentle automotive cleanser to slowly remove the stain. Never try to spray a lot of water in those places because these stains are not easy to remove with just water.

Once you are done removing the stains, rinse the exterior thoroughly to remove any chemical residue that may be present.

When you wash your car often, the impact of sun’s rays will be greatly reduced. If you have to keep your car outdoors all five days of the working week, wash your car at least once or twice a week.

If it is tough for you to wash the car, take it to a professional car wash place where they’ll do a thorough job for you.

It is up to you to decide your wash schedule. but doing it often is necessary to protect your car paint from the harsh UV rays of the sun.

Hand Dry the Exterior

When you expose your car to weather elements, the car paint gets worn out. This is why you have to take some effort to protect your car’s exterior.

Besides washing the car, you should hand dry the exterior after the wash to ensure that the chemicals present in water do not combine with the sun’s rays to wear out your car paint. It is a good idea to hand dry your car when it is exposed to rain as well.

Use a cotton rag to wipe out the exterior parts of your car. It is definitely time consuming, but is worth the effort as it will not only give a clean look to your car, but can also prevent the accumulation of chemicals and residues from water, and the resultant reaction when these chemicals are exposed to sun’s rays.

Polish Your Car

If you want to have a shining exterior, your best bet is to use a car wax.

Wash your car, hand dry it and then apply a coat of wax to make your car shimmer in the sunlight. Besides looks, car wax is also essential to protect your car paint from the harsh UV rays. When you apply a coat of wax, it forms a layer over the car and this essentially prevents the sun’s rays from reaching your car paint. This is why car wax should be an integral part of your car paint protection arsenal!

Another important aspect is that you should be able to choose the right car wax. This is not easy, considering that there are thousands of wax products available from different companies.

Broadly speaking, there are many types of car waxes, and it is important you understand their types and impact on your car.

  • Natural car waxes – This type of car wax has some kind of naturally occurring wax such as beeswax
  • Paint sealants – This wax is made from synthetic and man-made materials completely.
  • Cleaner waxes – This wax cleans and polishes in one step. They contain natural waxes such as Carnuba wax.
  • Cleaner sealants – This type of wax also cleans, protects and polishes in one go, but they are made from synthetic materials completely.
  • Finishing wax – As the name suggests, this type of wax does not clean at all, but it simply gives a great finish to the car. It provides protection and is made of natural wax.
  • Finishing sealant – This type of wax also protects the car and gives a great finish, but does not cleaning whatsoever. This is made of synthetic materials.
  • Hybrids – This type of wax contains both natural and synthetic wax, and does a combination of cleaning and polishing.

Which of these types should you choose or which is the best car wax that can give maximum protection to your car?

Every type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you to decide which one is the best car wax for you.

To some extent, your choice depends on the condition of your car, the money and time you wish to put in and your expectations. For example, you will get the best results from a finishing wax when your car is a brand new one because there won’t be much grime or dirt accumulated on it. On the other hand, if your car is old and if the paint is looking dull, go for a cleaner wax and a finish wax.

If you are short of time and have a black car, wash the car and apply the exterior with the best car wax for black cars. This should give you good results.

So, the choice totally depends on you. But regardless of which wax you choose, be assured that your car paint will get protection from sun’s UV rays, so it won’t look dull and worn out any more. However, you will have to apply this car wax at least once a month, depending again on the exposure levels and the age of your car.

Car Covers

One easy way to protect your car from the sun’s rays is to use a good quality car cover to wrap your car. Regardless of where you park your car, simply put on the car cover and your car paint will have only a limited impact from the harsh rays of the sun.

But that doesn’t mean, there will be no impact at all. You will still have to wash your car and apply wax cost, but it doesn’t have to be often. You can do it once every six months or so, just to make sure your car continues to look nice and new.

However, there are some aspects to keep in mind while using car covers as protection from the sun’s rays.

  • Never cover a wet vehicle as it can lead to the buildup of mold and even other kinds of bacteria and fungus because these microorganisms thrive on wet and dark places.
  • For the same reason, ensure that the car cover is dry.
  • Never allow the car cover or the car for that matter, to dry in the sun because that will only wear out the paint of your car.
  • Never keep you car covered for more than a week as moisture can get it and in turn, this can cause damage to your car. If you are traveling for extended periods of time, request a friend, relative or neighbor to take the cover off for a few minutes once a week.

There are also many types of car covers such as waterproof covers, show covers and more. Choose the best car cover that fits your needs. Many of these car covers come in a wide range of colors as well.

Thus, these are some ways to protect your car paint from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Sources:

  1. How to Prevent Sun Damage to Car Paint – Angie’s List
  2. Do modern car finishes prevent body damage? – howstuffworks

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