How to Protect Your Vehicle Interior from the Sun

June 25, 2012

In the summer month’s people are always looking for ways to stay cool. Parked vehicles can become a sauna when left in the sun, but while most drivers are willing to take a better parking space for momentary discomfort, they don’t think about permanent damage done to vinyl and leather interiors that are left baking while they’re in the cool air conditioned supermarket.

After all, you can take the heat until you get the windows down and the AC going, but your interior might never recover. Harsh UV rays and excess heat cause cracking and fading of vinyl, plastic, leather, and rubber surfaces, which significantly reduces resale value. Keep the following tips in mind to protect your interiors and yourself this summer.

Park in the Shade

Parking in the shade is an obvious solution to a steamy interior, but you’re also doing your vinyl, fabric, and leather interiors a favor by protecting them from those harmful UV rays that cause cracking and fading. While everyone else is battling for a space up front, take the extra time to find a shady spot to prevent permanent damage and preserve resale value.

Chemical Treatments

You can’t always be in the shade, which is why you put sunscreen on your skin. You can use treatments to protect your interior surfaces from UV rays too. There are plenty of vinyl and leather treatments that protect interior surfaces and block UV rays just like sunscreen. Treating your interior regularly will keep it looking new and protect from damage. You can ask a local detailer or auto care center about products that protect from UV and fading.

Windshield and Window Guards

I’m sure you’ve see plenty of cars with those metallic shields pressed to the outside of rear and front windows. These shields are a cheap way to let you make your own shade and block unwanted heat from entering your parked car while also protecting your dashboard from the harsh rays that fade plastic, leather and vinyl surfaces, and can easily fold and store in your vehicle.

Window Tinting

Window tinting is relatively affordable and is designed to block the UV rays that cause damage to your skin, eyes and your car’s interior. Window film also blocks much of the unwanted heat transferred from the sun’s rays so you can stay cool and your interior can feel safe. Window tinting comes in a variety of shades and properties and can even appear clear while still blocking the sun’s harmful UV rays, but be sure to review the state laws and regulations for tint application to maintain within the states darkest legal limit.

So the next time you leave your car in a sun-baked parking lot, keep in mind that you aren’t the only one that’s going to suffer. Considering the tips above will not only keep you comfortable in many cases, but also preserve your interior, maintain a new car look, and hold better resale value.