If you’ve ever driven past an old used car lot, you’ve likely seen firsthand the effects the sun can have. Faded colors, splotchy paint, hideous cracks and peeling—the list goes on.
Obviously, it isn’t a good look for any vehicle, but have you ever stopped to think about why this happens? The answer may surprise you.
How does the sun damage car paint?
If you’ve ever forgotten to apply sunscreen on a bright summer day, then you at least have one thing in common with all those sun-damaged cars. As it turns out, the very same culprit that’s responsible for aging and damaging our skin is the one fading our vehicles’ once bold colors: ultraviolet (UV) light.
These invisible yet powerful UV rays have been causing frustration for vehicle owners around the globe since the day automobiles first started rolling off the assembly lines.
When UV light comes in contact with a surface, that object gets supercharged with energy. While most of that energy is converted into heat, a small fraction remains behind and begins to wreak havoc on the object’s molecular bonds.
Over time, as enough paint molecules have broken down, your car’s surface will no longer interact with light in the same way. Less and less of the sun’s rays will be reflected as color, making the car appear much duller to the naked eye.
Fortunately, this process is easily—and almost entirely—avoidable.
Three ways to protect your vehicle from UV damage
Shy of a brand-new paint job, once a vehicle’s color has faded, there’s really nothing you can do to get it back. That’s why when it comes to sun damage, preventative care is the name of the game.
With that in mind, here are our top tips for how to protect your car’s vibrant color.
1. Keep it out of the sun whenever possible
Okay, we get it—this first one’s kind of a no-brainer, right? Well, you’d be surprised how many people will leave their vehicles directly in the path of the scorching sun day in and day out. If you can, try to park near a building or tall tree to at least provide partial relief from the sun.
For extended storage, be sure to keep your vehicle in a garage or shed, or underneath a carport or an overhang of some sort. If that isn’t an option, you can typically find a good car cover at your local automotive store that will be a whole lot cheaper than a new coat of paint.
2. Keep it clean and free of debris
What a lot of people don’t realize is that regularly washing your vehicle is about more than just looks. Mud, bug guts, and especially road salt will all slowly eat away at your vehicle’s clear coat.
By washing your vehicle every 2–3 weeks (or as needed), you can help keep those contaminants and debris from weakening your paint’s protective coating. With your clear coat intact, far less UV light will be able to penetrate and cause irreparable damage.
3. Keep it protected with Sea Foam Finish Fast Exterior
While regularly washing your vehicle is a great start, there is one more crucial step to take for maximum UV defense. Pick up a bottle of Sea Foam Finish Fast Exterior and apply the unique car detailing formula to your freshly washed vehicle for a long-lasting, protective shine!
Simply spray everywhere there’s paint (or chrome!) and wipe it down with a soft fiber cloth to lock it in. It works best when applied on a cool, dry day and not in direct sunlight.
Just like our other Sea Foam products, Finish Fast doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, which means it’s safe to use on clear coats, painted surfaces, chrome, and glass!
Not only will Finish Fast protect your vehicle from the sun’s harsh rays, but it will also:
- Give your vehicle’s surface a smooth, glossy finish
- Restore your vehicle’s luster without leaving any streaks
- Offer enhanced water-beading ability without removing any wax
- Help prevent mud, bugs, and other organic crud from sticking to your paint
Bring out the best in your vehicle with Sea Foam
Your vehicle is more than just a means of getting from Point A to Point B—it’s an extension of who you are, and the way you take care of your vehicle can speak volumes. If you think of your vehicle as the investment that it is, then it deserves to be treated with nothing but the best.
Shop our products today to see why mechanics, restorers, and car enthusiasts alike have been exclusively reaching for Sea Foam products since 1942.