A guide to buying a suitable car cover and maintaining it right

A guide to buying a suitable car cover and maintaining it right

A car cover is an important accessory for your car, regardless of whether you park it indoors or outdoors. A simple cover can protect your vehicle from dust that needs to be cleaned every morning and is even more important to own if you do not have a garage, and your car faces the harshness of the sun, rain, snow, and even hail at times. Here’s a guide to help you buy the right cover for your vehicle and a few tips to maintain it the right way.

Different types of car covers
A car needs a shelter that can protect it from rain and sun, as both of these natural elements can be damaging to a vehicle in the long run. That being said, there may not be a covered parking space available at all times, so what should you do in such a scenario? Should you leave your car/truck outdoors in all seasons and hope for the best? The simple answer is no.

A car cover is what you need to protect your car in the absence of a garage or a shelter. There are several types of car covers made with various materials, so you can choose from breathable and non-breathable car covers, waterproof car covers, cotton covers, and several other options. One of the first things to do before you go shopping for a car cover is to understand the difference between and the suitability of each type. This can help you find one that suits your requirements.

  • Water-resistant covers
    Water-resistant covers are meant for protecting a vehicle from water and moisture during the rainy season. Most water-resistant covers are made using breathable fabric that resists water but allows air circulation. These covers also avert condensation, which means water won’t sit between the vehicle and the cover.
    Some water-resistant covers come with an ultraviolet screen that protects the vehicle from sunlight degradation, and most of them also provide protection from mildew. You can buy water-resistant car covers in various colors and based on your car model.
  • Composite covers
    Composite covers are light and easy to install and remove, and they protect the vehicle against dust but do not safeguard it against water. A composite cover filters any water that falls on it for dirt so that it does not stick to your vehicle. This cover is a good option for you if you live in a dry place, but your vehicle may experience corrosion and other forms of water damage if you live in a rainy area.
  • Waterproof covers
    Waterproof car covers come with a plastic coating and prevent water from seeping in and onto your vehicle, but they do not prevent condensation. This cover is not a great choice if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, because condensation is bad for the car’s paint.
  • Plastic covers
    Plastic covers are inexpensive, disposable car covers that are good for one-time use. These covers provide stringent protection from water and dust, but they may stick to the vehicle because of heat. They are ideal if you want to waterproof your cotton covers or if your car is parked in a garage, and you would like to cover it to keep out dust.
  • Cotton covers
    Cotton car covers are made with pure or blended cotton and are ideal for short-term outdoor use, as they do not provide any protection against rain. When purchasing a cotton cover, you should ensure that it isn’t a polyester blend, because polyester can easily scratch the paint. Ideally, cotton covers are suitable only for indoor use or when you want an inner covering for a different type of outer cover.

Tips for buying a car cover
A good-quality car cover can protect your car in all seasons, so it makes sense to spend on a cover to provide the best possible protection, come rain or hail. The following are some tips to help you pick the right one:

Find the right size
The first thing to do while buying a car cover is to know the right size. Car manufacturers usually offer car covers for every model, and these fit the cars properly to provide complete protection from external factors. You can also buy these covers depending on your car’s model from various online retailers, but ensure that you choose reliable options to get a good-quality product.

To purchase a car cover according to the model, carry the details of your car’s model, its year of manufacturing, and the trim (if any) when you’re out to buy the cover. The model-based covers fit every contour of the car and provide the utmost coverage and protection. Alternatively, you can get the cover custom-designed as per your car.

You can also buy generic covers that are designed according to standard sizes by choosing a generic cover size: small, medium, or large. To choose the right generic car cover size, you must understand which category your car belongs to. A compact car falls under the small size, while a compact SUV comes under the medium or large size. An SUV, on the other hand, is classified as a large vehicle.

Additionally, you need to ensure that the cover does not rub against the car as it can damage the paint. Find covers that come with bottom buckles, as they hold the cover in place and ensure that it does not move and damage your vehicle.

Compare the cost of the cover
The next thing to consider while buying a car cover is its cost. Car covers are available in various price brackets based on their quality and features. While a plastic cover may come in cheap, a cotton cover will cost you much more. So, you have to match your requirements and preferences with your budget and choose a cover that offers protection to your vehicle without burning a hole in your pocket. You can check out various car websites, online retailers, and offline shops to find the perfect cover for your car that fits your budget. Exploring your options will give you a chance to compare product prices as well as the quality before making a purchase.

Find out the type of cover you need
You will need an indoor or outdoor cover according to the setup of your home. If you have a garage or covered parking, you can purchase an indoor car cover to protect the vehicle from dust and other external factors. In contrast, you should purchase an outdoor cover to protect the car from rain, storm, scratches, UV rays, and dust during all seasons if you do not have a garage. Outdoor covers are made of superior-quality, durable materials and provide better protection from harsh environmental factors as compared to indoor covers.

Consider how often you need to use the car cover
If you’re covering your car for long, you need a heavy-duty cover that will weigh down on the car and protect it from external factors. A light car cover won’t provide the all-round protection a car needs when it’s going to stay covered for a long time. A lightweight car cover is ideal if you plan to put it on and take it off daily. These covers are easy to use and provide short-term protection that is needed with an overnight cover. So, determine the type of car cover you need before purchasing to save a lot of effort later.

Choose the right color for your car cover
If you primarily park your car outside, you have all the reasons to buy a custom-designed car cover. You need a cover that keeps the inclement weather from affecting your vehicle and protects against theft and accidental scratches and bumps.

You can find various types of car covers in the market, but you have to do your homework and find a cover to meet your and your car’s needs. Most people do not think of color as an important aspect to consider while buying a car cover, but that’s a mistake. The color of a car cover does a lot more than contributing to its aesthetics. Here are a few points that call for giving a thought to the color of your car cover as well:

  • A warm or sunny climate
    One of the main purposes of a car cover is to keep the car cool while it’s parked in the sun. If you live in a place with a warm or sunny climate, a dark-colored cover can increase your woes and turn your car into an oven. Consider buying a light-colored car cover made with a material that deals well with heat. Silver is one of the best color options if you live in areas with a warm climate, as it reflects the sun’s rays and keeps the interiors of your car cool.
  • Car’s color
    A light-colored car needs a light-colored cover because a dark-colored cover can bleed through and damage the paint. While this won’t be a problem for dark-colored vehicles, light-colored vehicles may end up with blotches and spots of the cover on the car paint. Spend on a white- or silver-colored cover to avoid bleeding accidents, and we recommend buying a cover of the same color as your car. Also, regardless of the color or design you choose for your car cover, ensure that it offers features like UV protection, water-resistance, fast-drying, and easy care.

Cleaning and storage of car covers
Your car cover is bound to get dirty because it is facing external and environmental factors like dust, rain, snow, and heat. Can you clean it? Yes, and you should clean it regularly because a dirty cover can spoil your car. Also, cleaning and maintaining a car cover ensures that it lasts longer. The following are a few cleaning instructions that will help you keep your car cover clean at all times, and they include instructions for both machine wash and hand wash.

Machine wash

  • Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with a low- or medium-heat option
  • Add laundry detergent to the detergent section, and set the machine to rinse twice to ensure that the detergent is removed completely
  • Air-dry the cover and use a towel to dry excessively wet areas; do not machine dry your car cover as it may cause damage

Hand wash

  • Lay your car cover out on a flat surface
  • Mix liquid laundry detergent with one gallon of water
  • Dip a sponge in the water and scrub it on the cover
  • You can use a brush if there are tough stains
  • Air-dry the cover and use a towel if there’s too much water or moisture at some spots

Moving on to the storage of your car cover, you can follow the mentioned tips to store it properly:

  • Start removing your car’s cover from either end while carefully and slowly pulling at it.
  • Do not forcefully tug at it because it may tear if it’s caught in something.
  • If there’s moisture on the cover, let it dry completely before rolling or folding it.
  • Lift the covers from the side of the car toward its top from both sides.
  • Start rolling the cover from the back of the car and move to the front.
  • Continue pulling the cover inside so that your roll is compact and looks like a sleeping bag.
  • Store the car cover in a storage bag to protect it from moisture and dust. Also, ensure that the cover is completely dry before you pack it away and put it into storage.

Take care of your car cover, and it will protect your prized possession in all seasons. When setting out to buy a cover, do your homework and spend on a good-quality cover that will stay with you through multiple seasons and years. Although your budget is important, don’t buy a car cover just because it is inexpensive, as it may be made of poor-quality fabric and may not protect your vehicle. A low-quality cover will do more damage to your car than you can anticipate.

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