sunlight damage car paint

Can Sunlight Damage Car Paint?

Most people understand that sunlight can damage our skin, but don’t know that the rays also damage your car paint as well. Although ultraviolet (UV) light is invisible, the paint fading on your car will not be. The good news is we are not powerless when it comes to preventing sun damage to car paint. Keep reading to learn more!

Can Sunlight Damage Car Paint?

Damage to Car Paint From the Sun

Over time, the paint molecules of most vehicles will fade and lose its color if unprotected from the sun. Darker car colors like black, red, and blue are particularly vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation and sun damage. Plastic parts on your car’s exterior are also susceptible to damage from UV radiation.

Protecting your Car

The easiest way to protect your car from being damaged by the sun is by making sure your car isn’t bathing in the heat for hours on end. For example, when possible, park in the shade. Also, during summer months, if there is a parking garage close to where you are going, consider parking your car there instead of outside in the sun. Should there be no shade or parking garage available, consider using a car cover to protect your car. Car covers are effective at protecting the vehicles paint color when it has to stand in the sun for an extended period.

Car Wash

Regular washing of your car will help get rid of any dirt accumulates since the last car wash. If you fail to wash your car regularly, dirt and debris can begin to cake into the car from the hot sun. Adding a layer of wax will help the paint resist cracking or fading (more on wax below).

Clear Coat Protection

Many newer models of vehicles come from manufacturers with clear-coat protection over the vehicle’s paint. The clear-coat gives the car paint a vivid and shiny appearance while at the same time protecting it against the dangers of the environment. As useful as the clear-coat is, it still isn’t the only car paint sunlight damage preventative measure you should take.

If your car did not come with clear-coat protection, consider applying a car paint protection coating like a sealant or car paint protection film, also known as a clear bra. Sealants offer longer protection because of the polymers that give the car’s paint a smooth and slick feel. Do keep in mind that clear bra applications are costly and should only be installed by professional detailers.

Car Wax

For optimal protection, wax your car every three months. Waxing your car by hand, either by you or a professional is much more effective than the wax that an automatic car wash applies. The wax that gets applied through a car wash provides minimal protection for a short time, while hand waxing provides long-term car paint protection.

It is always a good idea to wash your car out of direct sunlight. Also, avoid washing your car during the hottest part of the day. Always use a soft cloth or sponge to wash your car and rinse the exterior thoroughly to ensure no residue from cleaners remain.

Your car may be well cared for on the inside, but now you can keep it well cared for on the outside too!

Additional Reading: Protect your car from the damaging effects of sun and heat

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