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Car protection in the great outdoors is like being in one big giant oven. Whether your car costs $1,000 or $100,000 dollars it makes no difference to Mother Nature. However, there is much you can do to protect your investment and make it through the summer unscathed. And don’t forget your car is exactly that – an investment. In fact, for most people it’s usually the single largest investment after their homes.
Car protection for your investment can be helped by reducing the amount of time that your vehicle is actually exposed to the sun. If the parking lot at work offers a covered protection then use it, even if you have to pay extra to do so. Covered parking is not available? Then create your own car protection by using a car cover.
Installing a car-cover for car protection is the next best thing to covered parking. When you know that you will be exposing your car to the elements for an extended time - cover your car up. Today’s car-covers no longer take several minutes to put-on. They are designed using advanced computer drafting software to maximize car protection and typically can be put-on in less than a minute. Besides being easy to use, there are numerous other benefits of using a quality car-cover. The best benefit is that they help to protect your vehicle from the “elements.” There are some covers that do a better job of car protection than others. Figure-out what it is that you are looking for in your cover. Are you looking for an all-season cover for car protection? Is your vehicle exposed to snow? Do you store your car indoors, but there is still fine dust settling on your car everyday?
A vehicle stored indoors is suited for a 100% cotton cover just to keep fine dust off of its surface. This type of car protection should be restricted to indoor usage only, because exposing an all-cotton cover to wet weather will ruin it. Anything other than garage usage requires a rugged exterior cover.
Many exterior covers are available that repel the elements well and provide good car protection. Then there are some that do it extremely well. Covers that seal-up your car like a giant Ziploc are not a good idea. The most effective car-covers offer protection from the elements but are also highly breathable.
Protecting your automobile from the sun is one way to preserve it. Preventing dirt and grime from getting a grip on your vehicle is another. Keeping it off is necessary in order to prevent your paint from deteriorating. Dirt that sits and lounges on your car has many chemicals properties that will etch their way into your vehicle’s surface. Eventually, your vehicle will lose its luster and shine. One way of preventing this is by replenishing the nutrients that a vehicle’s paint loses during the summer.
Most modern vehicle finishes have a clear-coat over a base coat finish for car protection. The base coat is what provides a vehicle with its color. The clear-coat acts as protection barrier protecting the base color from Ultraviolet (UV) rays and environmental conditions. When this outer layer, the clear-coat, loses its nutrients a hazy finish and dullness is observed. There are a few ways to restore a lackluster appearance back into its full brilliance.
First it is necessary to clean your vehicle with a good quality cleaner. Quality in this field is gauged by the harshness of the detergent or cleaning additive. Also look for products that are ph balanced. An improper balance can essentially turn your car into a giant dust magnet. There are plenty of products that have excellent cleaning power without being harsh on your vehicles finish or your hands for superior car protection! A cleaner should be easy to rinse-off and safe for your immediate surroundings.
Cleaning is only the first step in car protection. Once your vehicle is free from topical contaminants then you can choose to either apply a polish and wax, or just wax. Polishes have an outstanding effect on dark colored vehicles. If you are an owner of a dark color vehicle, then you owe it to yourself, and your car, to try a polisher out. The results will truly amaze you. As the name implies, a polisher actually polishes and further removes surface containments from your vehicle’s surface. A polishing agent strips most road film and environmental properties from a vehicle’s clear coat. A vehicle that is already dull and has swirl marks or haziness can be restored by using a good polish. A polishing compound not only removes impurities from a vehicles finish, but it also removes any and all wax previously applied to the surface.
All-in-one products that combine polishes and waxes may seem appealing and easy, but try to keep these separate processes. The failure to reapply wax after the polishing stage will leave your vehicles surface unprotected and completely naked.
A good application of wax should be applied to your car at least 3 times a year. If you have the time, remove the old wax before you apply a new coat. Applying many layers of wax often has a negative effect. Applying wax over an old coat of wax will make it difficult to bring out a shine because the new wax has just sealed-in the impurities in the underlying coat.
Waxes provide a barrier between your vehicle’s surface and the world. A word that you will hear commonly associated with waxes is Carnauba. Carnauba is one of nature’s hardest and most enduring by-products. There are different levels of Carnauba, but #1 is generally regarded as being the most expensive and of the highest quality. Using a wax that contains a high percentage of Carnauba requires a degree of maintenance. Since Carnauba is a natural product, it needs to cleaned and reapplied in a systematic approach.
An alternative to natural based waxes are synthetically derived products. Synthetic waxes generally require less overall maintenance than their natural counterparts. However, make sure that you steer clear from products that have a gimmick has their selling point. For example, synthetic waxes that have Teflon added to them. There hasn’t been any objective research to validate any significant benefits of Teflon in a wax product.
Products to revitalize exterior trim are almost always exclusively synthetic. Many times maintaining rubberized trim is neglected by the owner. Unprotected trim will eventually turn an unsightly white and/or simply deteriorate completely. Replacing trim is an expensive prospect, and can be avoided altogether with simple maintenance. Your tires are not trim. The properties which make-up your tires are entirely different from the rubber surrounding your doors, windows, and bumpers. Avoid using products designated for tires on trim or rubber and vice-versa. Each of these areas has products designated specifically for them.
The same can be said for not using exterior products on a vehicles interior. The days of using these on your tires, the dashboard, and your vinyl seats are long gone. Each of these areas now has their own products. Most have been formulated to prevent interior fogging and glazing of your windows when they evaporate.
Dashboard products are geared towards low sheen and are slick-less. A shiny dashboard may look nice but it is highly impractical and dangerous. The dashboard can reflect onto your front window. It also can reflect light back into the driver’s eyes making for a dangerous situation. Interior products contain additives to reflect UV rays and to keep your interior from cracking and drying-out.
Carpet and fabric cleaners are easily applied, and seat cleaners are available for a range of fabrics from leather to cloth. Finally, there are many car-care products available on the market today. Most of them will help you protect your asset from the summer’s scathing sun. Just remember to keep you car out of the sun as much as possible. Keep your car clean and grime free. Re-nourish your clear-coat, and provide a barrier against the elements with a quality wax, and don’t neglect your trim and interior.