Summer can be rough, not only on people and animals but our cars as well. While it’s easy for us to take shelter indoors and turn the air conditioning on, our cars aren’t always that lucky.
The sun emits harmful UV rays that can accelerate the oxidation process of your car’s paint. This oxidation gives the paint on your car a dull and dated look. This is especially true when the car is left outside under the sun for extended periods of time. When the summer season rolls around, it’s important to make sure you’re properly protecting your vehicle. Regardless of whether you own a classic car, luxury car, commuter, or sports car, following the summer car care tips below will help keep your vehicle looking new all season long.
Protecting Car Paint from the Sun
The easiest and most obvious ways to protect your vehicle’s paint from the sun’s damaging UV rays are to use a car cover, park in a garage or shady area, and to do a full PPF (paint protection film) wrap. The first two solutions are simple, however we understand that it isn’t always possible due to certain circumstances. The PPF option is the priciest out of the three and costs thousands of dollars. Truth be told, that route isn’t a viable option for most people.
That said, there are some inexpensive ways you can protect your vehicle during the summer season using DIY (do-it-yourself) auto detailing products and techniques. These products are especially useful if you park your vehicle outdoors in the heat.
Regularly Washing & Drying
One of the most important aspects of summer care is to regularly wash and dry your vehicle. Washing your car removes dust, dirt, and other contaminants that can adhere to the paint under the sun. Using a high-quality pH balanced car soap and microfiber wash mitt will help remove these contaminants while avoiding scratching the clear coat. Once all of the soap and residue is rinsed off, it’s equally important to thoroughly dry the car. Again, by using a high-quality microfiber drying towel.
Avoid washing your car under direct sunlight. Aim to wash the car early in the morning when the sun isn’t out in full force, when the sun is already setting, or under a canopy, tent, or shaded area. If you have no choice but to wash your car under the sun, make sure to keep the car wet at all times so the sun doesn’t dry the water out.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget your wheels and tires, using dedicated wheel and tire cleaners.
Paint Protection: Wax
One of the best ways to keep your car clean in the summer is to make sure that dust and dirt don't stick to its surface to begin with. How, you ask? By using a premium car wax, you can add a protective barrier around the exterior of your car. Coating your vehicle with either montan wax or carnauba wax keeps your car paint smooth and shiny. Additionally, it helps prevent dust and dirt from settling into the paint. This also makes washing the car more convenient, as all the contaminants will glide off more easily.
The drawback of using wax is that it needs to be reapplied often. We recommend reapplying car wax every 3 months to maintain brilliant shine and ultimate protection from the sun's harmful UV rays.
Paint Protection: Ceramic Coating
Speaking of ultimate protection, ceramic coating is another great option for paint protection. Like wax, it acts as an extra layer on the surface of your vehicle. However, there are some big differences that ultimately make ceramic coating a better solution for long term protection.
Although both ceramic coatings and wax give your car a deep shine and slick feel, ceramic coating forms a much stronger bond with the car’s paint and clear coat. Ceramic coatings are designed to be a long term solution that repels dirt, dust, grime and is even hydrophobic. Meaning water beads and slides off the surface, ensuring you’ll never see a hard water spot ever again. Unlike wax, ceramic coatings have a longer lifespan and can last up to 5 years without needing to be reapplied.
Plastic Trim Protection
The plastic bits and pieces of your vehicle’s trim are often overlooked. In some cases, these plastic trim pieces get the most abuse from the sun and heat. If left untouched, they can fade and turn into a nasty gray color that really takes away from your vehicle’s appearance. However, no need to fear if the trim on your car has already taken a beating from the elements. There are premium trim restoration and protectants that can restore dull and faded plastic and bring them back to life. In addition to restoring its original look, trim care products actually protect and repel dust, dirt and grime.
In the End
Following 3D’s expert summer car care tips, you too can keep your vehicle’s paint protected and looking its best all summer long. Regular washing, paint protection, and trim protection are the key to maintaining your vehicle’s paint work. If you can’t get to doing a full-scale wash and dry, try using a quick detail spray or waterless wash spray to quickly get the car clean until you can do a full wash and dry on it. If you’re not sure where to start or what products to use, 3D Care Care has conveniently created a car wash kit to help you get started, and it comes with everything you need to keep your car clean.