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a Dangerous World Out There without a Proper Car Cover
ou’ve just bought a new car and can’t help peeking
out the window of your living room every now and then to admire it
— how it gleams in the sun, how it seems to radiate power and
strength, how raindrops bead up and gleam like diamonds on it’s
hood. Wait! Raindrops!
That’s when it hits you — it’s a dangerous world
out there. Snow, hail, sleet, ultraviolet radiation, acid rain, bird
droppings, scratchy particles floating on the wind, even the
razor-sharp claws of the cat next door. You feel yourself breaking out
into a cold sweat until the answer comes to you, suddenly, like a
bolt of lightning: YOU NEED A CAR COVER!
But when you go to
your local auto shop, you’re assaulted by a vast array of
different covers: plastic ones, waterproof ones in a bewildering
assortment of fabrics, weights, and types, even plain old cotton
covers. And you have no idea which one is the best cover to protect
There are some important facts you need to be
aware of before you buy a car cover. Buy the wrong type and it may
actually damage your car. A cover that doesn’t fit properly may
actually be more damaging than no cover at all. Too loose, and wind
may cause it to flap against the paint and scratch it severely. If
your car is not clean, the dirt caught between the cover and your
car will cause scratches when the cover is installed or removed. You
can order a cover that will be custom fit to your particular car,
but they are expensive. The “one size fits all” are cheaper, but
will not give you the tight fit that a tailored, custom-fit cover
The key to avoiding damaging your car without
going to the expense of a custom-fit cover is to put a cover that
fits tightly on a clean car. Buy one that has a bottom locking
system with a plastic coated cable holding the bottom of the cover
Besides fit, you need to figure out which
type is best for your needs. There are three basic types —
waterproof, water-resistant, or “breathable” covers which are
only water-resistant. They both have distinct advantages and
Waterproof covers are usually made from
plastic film or plastic coated fabric. They keep the water off your
car, but they also trap condensation between the cover and your car.
This moisture may corrode your paint job with worse results than if
you had just left your car out to fend for itself against the
elements. If you store your car in a garage over the winter, a
plastic cover with a flannel cloth cover against the surface will be
useful. The flannel will protect the paint job from moisture, and
the plastic adds a tough outer layer to keep rodents, squirrels, and
the like from nesting in the soft cloth.
Water-resistant covers are available in a
variety of fabrics, weights, and types. These covers will repel most
of the water while allowing air to circulate, preventing
condensation. Many have an ultraviolet screen woven into the mesh to
help prevent UV damage, and they are often mildew resistant.
The lightest weight cover is made from a
material called Tyvek. Weighing around 3 pounds, it is easy to put
on and take off, very water resistant, and will shed most of the
water. However, because it is so light, the wind will tend to beat
the cover against the finish, which is something you definitely want
to avoid unless you want your car to become an Etch-A-Sketch. You
must make sure this type of cover is very tightly fitted. Tyvek
covers are best for short-term use, such as daily parking in your
office parking lot.
Another car cover is called Evolution made by
Kimberly-Clark. It was created to provide the best combination of
water resistance and breathablity in a car cover fabric. The fabric
is a laminate of a fabric called spunbond on the top and bottom and
two layers of a fabric called meltdown in the center. The spunbond
provides strength and durability, and the meltdown filters out dust
and rain. It provides excellent protection from the elements, is
available in many colors, and is thick enough to soften the blow of
chips and dings. The fabric blocks most UV rays from damaging the
paint and interior trim, and has an ingredient that prevents the sun
from degrading the car cover itself. The bad news is that they are
heavy, difficult to put on and take off, and if your car is not
clean, they tend to scratch the surface. They are best used if you
are storing your car outside for a long period of time.
Another type of composite cover, more suited
for short-term use, utilizes a breathable nylon or polyester outer
layer with a foamed acrylic lining. It is not very water-resistant.
Instead, it filters out the dirt from the water, so only clean water
reaches your car. However, it does not protect from acid rain. These
covers are lighter and easier to install and remove.
The third major type of cover material is
good old 100% cotton or cotton/polyester blends. They are available
in a regular cloth or a flannel style. Take note that the polyester
fibers may scratch the paint. These covers are not water-resistant
and should not be used outside for any length of time. For indoor
use, however, the cotton flannel cover is as gentle on your paint
job as a pair of pajamas.
Read your car cover’s directions for
washing and drying instructions. Never store your cover when it is
wet. If it is wet when removed, dry it out as soon as possible.
Remember that solvents like gasoline will eat holes in your cover,
and if draped on hot exhaust pipes, the covers tend to melt and
leave behind a stubborn gooey mess.
If you value your vehicle and want to
preserve its beauty and functionality, a car cover is a wise
decision. Just make sure you have the facts before you purchase one.
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brought to you for general information purposes only and there are
no warranties as to accuracy, completeness, or results obtained from
any information posted on this or any linked website.