Protect Your Car's Interior From Sun And Heat Damage

The sun can destroy your car's interior. It causes the color of the dash and upholstery to fade, and eventually it weakens both plastic and fabric fibers so they wear prematurely. Taking steps to protect your car from the sun keeps it looking nicer and in better repair. It also makes the vehicle less hot when you get into it on a sunny day.

Start With the Tint

Your car's windows do little to block the sun on their own. Window tinting is one of the best ways to minimize sun damage. You have two options when it comes to tinting your windows:

  1. Purchase a do-it-yourself kit

  2. Have your windows professionally tinted

Both methods use a tinting film on the inside of the windows. The difference is in labor and quality. DIY kits can be difficult to apply without bubbles, making it a frustrating job that doesn't look as good as it could. The extra cost for a professional job is well worth it. You won't have bubbles, and professional grade tinting is less prone to scratches and damage.

Don't Skip the Front Window

You can't have your front windshield tinted, but this window still lets in a lot of sun. That light and heat can cause major damage to your dash. The front window requires a removable solution, such as a reflective window visor. These visors fold up small so you can slide them under the seat when the car is in use.

Prevent Drying

Plastic, vinyl and leather can all dry out, and it only becomes worse with sun damage. To prevent dry rot, condition these surfaces each time you clean the inside of your car. Rub a leather conditioner into leather seats. For plastic and vinyl, use an interior conditioner made for these materials. Go for the matte finish when choosing a conditioner. Glossy conditioners can cause sun glare when you are driving.

Crack a Window

Temperatures inside your car can rise well above 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny summer day. These temperatures can weaken plastic and cause heat damage to fabric and finishes. When possible, leave the windows cracked slightly when the car is parked. Although the temperature will still be high, venting the windows will allow some of the hot air to escape. This can prevent some of the heat damage.

It's best to use a combination of tinting, conditioning and venting to keep your car's interior in good shape. When possible, park in a garage or in a shady location to further protect your vehicle.