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How to Protect Your Car Paint From The Sun

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

It is apparent that being exposed to UV (ultraviolet) radiation damages human skin. These intense UV rays can also oxidize and fade car paint and make your car appear old and worn out faster than expected.

Sun and UV damage to car paint is caused by neglecting regular maintenance
An Extreme Example Of UV Damage. Luckily, Regular Maintenance Will Prevent Such Damage

The good news - there are methods to protect your car paint from the sun, like keeping your vehicle in the shade, inside a shed, in an underground parking, or simply by using a high quality car cover.

Sunshine tends to be an annoyance for car owners - from overheating interior surfaces, causing oxidation to paint fading.

This article details how Mångata technicians and customers avoid the negative effects of harsh sunlight, including how sunlight causes damage to your car, how to protect your paint from UV, and the advantage of regular washes, waxing vs paint sealants, and finally ceramic coatings.

How Does Sunlight Damage Your Car Paint?

If there's one thing on the minds of car owners during hot Canadian summers, it's how to protect their car paint from the searing sun.

intense sunlight can cause damage to your car paint
Intense Sunlight May Damage Your Clear Coat

There are numerous ways sunlight can deteriorate your car and negatively impact its long-term appearance.

If your car bakes in the sunshine day in & day out, your paint will slowly oxidize. Eventually this oxidization will burn through your clear coat and cause your paint to peel and crack. Plastics like fenders and bumpers will also fade when exposed to the sun for too long, which is why you'll need to take steps to prevent these negative effects.

How to Protect Your Car from The Sun

1) Choose a shaded parking spot

Whether it be a roof, or simply the cover of a nearby tree (be mindful of tree sap if you opt for tree shade, it will damage your paint if left too long), simply leaving your car in the shade will prevent the intense shine of sunlight from deteriorating your paint over time.

Preventing direct sunlight exposure will stop the cracking & fading caused by UV damage. If you can't find a shaded spot to park, car covers work as well.

If none of these options suit you, read on to find out more ways to protect your car's paint from the sun.

2) Apply a Ceramic Coating or Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Ceramic coatings deflect UV radiation and reduce the risk of UV damage to paint and clear coat surfaces. The result - nearly zero chance of paint oxidation or damage to the paint from prolonged sunlight exposure.

If the ceramic coating is applied correctly and the prep work is completed properly, the coating should last a lifetime. In contrast, carnauba wax only lasts about six weeks, so if you don't mind the constant waxing process & enjoy detailing your car, that is a more affordable alternative.

The most extreme way to protect your paint from the sunlight & scratches is with PPF, which is a physical layer of plastic applied over your clear coat, lasting up to 10 years. This is the most robust option.

There’s a wide range of products you can use to protect your vehicle from sun exposure & UV deterioration. However, ceramic coating is the most cost-effective. Nano-coatings are designed to fill the tiny gaps and flaws in your clear-coat. Ceramic coatings can be added to any porous solid surface, including plastic trims, tires, vinyl seal, PPF, headlight covers and windscreens.

3) Wash & Maintain Your Car Regularly To Strengthen Your Clear Coat & Remove Contaminants

Washing & cleaning your car regularly removes dirt & grime trapped in the pores of your clear coat, which over time will oxidize & cause damage to your paint.

The most important contaminants to remove are bird droppings, containing uric acid that dissolve the clear coat & ultimately reduce the life of your paint.

When combined with intense sunlight, the bird droppings literally bake into your clear coat, accelerating the damage even further.

protect your car paint from the sun by regularly washing, this image shows the effects of neglecting basic maintenance
Neglecting Regular Washing Will Cause Paint To Peel Over Time

So if you notice bird droppings on your paint, wash them off immediately! If you already see damage caused by bird droppings, contact us immediately to get it worked out before any further damage arises.

In certain situations, heat and sunshine cause fading and the paint to bubble and crack, which not only destroys the appearance of the vehicle but may cause long-term rust effects. Over your metal frame, the paint & clear coat serve as a protective skin that stops water and oil residue from penetrating the metal surface where corrosion will form.

The final step in any wash is to hand dry the exterior, which can be done with a clean & dry cotton rag or an air compressor. This step should never be skipped, as leaving the car to air dry can cause mineral deposits to form & bond with your paint leaving water spot damage which can be a hassle to work out.

Final Thoughts

Even if you’re already parking your car in the shade, use wax, paint sealants, PPF or ceramic coatings. Applying a layer of protection to your vehicle, whether it’s a coating or a physical film, is a key preventive step to minimize UV damage & protect paint from the sun and contaminants..

Take these simple measures, and your car will have its factory finish paint for many years ahead.

If you have any queries about the best ways to keep your car paintwork looking brand new, call Mångata Auto Pros.

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