Protect your car before you go
The elements can be tough on your car, and sometimes it needs a little extra love and attention. Summer holidays can create opportunities for extra damage to your car, so whether you’re a car lover who’s familiar with the ways of waxing and detailing, or you’ve never considered the damage summer can do to your car, we’ve got the tips you need to care for your vehicle.
We all look forward to the sunshine – long, hot bright days filled with day trips and holidays. But just like you protect your skin at the beach, so should you protect your car. The sun’s heat and UV rays beating down on your paintwork can cause damage, particularly in highly exposed areas and in sun trap regions like holiday beach destinations. Light damage includes fading the colour and shine and creating a dull or uneven appearance, while heavier damage includes peeling and cracked paintwork, particularly if sun heat is combined with heat from the engine.
Give your car a layer of “sun tan lotion now” before the sun heats up by waxing it. Wash your car first with a good shampoo, then dry it thoroughly. Then when the car is cool, apply a wax. You could choose a liquid spray on wax, which will be easy to apply but will wash off when you next clean the car. A hard wax like Simoniz Original Wax can last for months, giving you protection throughout the summer along with a rich beautiful shine, but will take longer to apply as you need to do it in small sections.
Sun doesn’t just affect your car’s exterior – your interior can suffer too. UV rays can cause your dashboard and interior trims to fade, and if you have seats made from leather or coloured fabrics, you might notice them fading or drying out from the heat.
A visor on the windows or windscreen when your car’s parked is one of the best forms of protection. For leather interiors, keep the material protected with Simoniz Leather Protection Cream. A dashboard treatment for either a matt or gloss finish will also help to restore the appearance of your interior plastics to maintain that important showroom appearance.
Salt from the air (or on the road in winter) can cause your car to rust. In general with salt from the sea, you’d need exposure to a lot for it to cause damage, but if you’re driving to the sea and parking up by the beach or staying in a seaside hotel, your car could suffer from the spray. You need to be particularly careful if your car’s finish has any scratches, because salt can get into these and damage the metal underneath.
Again, wax your car before you go. Also, keep your car clean. If you’re just going for a few days, give your car a good shampoo when you’re back. If you’re staying longer, wash every couple of weeks that you’re there and keep the wax topped up. If your car does have noticeable scratches, you should get these fixed before you go. You can try this yourself or ask a professional valeter to help.
Like salt, humidity can speed up rusting and corrosion, but it can also cause interior mold.
Try and keep your vehicle parked inside away from the humid air if possible. Make sure its ventilation system is in good condition with no blockages before you set off. Clear out your car as well – make sure there’s no food or old rubbish hidden under seats for example – and give your interior a good clean. Keep a demisting pad or cloth in the car and if you notice water or condensation on windows wipe it away quickly.