Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Just like with your skin, the sun’s rays can damage your car. Since the initial colour of his maroon BMW was damaged by exposure to the sun in 2018, Eric Ssemwanga has had to repaint the car three times, although its original colour is now totally gone.
“I have been to the garage three times to repaint the car. Unfortunately, the paint does not last before it starts to fade again. With colours such as maroon, when a small patch develops, you have no choice but to repaint,” Ssemwanga says.
With no garage at his home, Ssemwanga is considering moving to a more spacious place with a sizable compound or garage where his car will be guaranteed protection from direct sun rays.
David Balunywa, a car painter, says cars with colours such as black, maroon, black and blue, among others are susceptible to damage because of exposure to the sun compared to colours such as silver, white and grey.
Direct sun rays can cause irreparable damage to both the exterior and interior of your car. Studies indicate that sun exposure can lead to heating up of exteriors and interiors to as much as 2000 F and 1450 F, respectively. Here is how to protect your car from the harmful rays of the sun:
Use wax or polish
According to Balunywa, when ultraviolet rays from the sun get in touch with your car paint, there is a certain level of oxidation that takes place underneath the car paint. The paint starts to fade gradually and overtime, a patch starts to develop, especially on the roof.
The solution here, he says, is to apply a coat of wax or polish on your car every time it is washed. The polish should be applied when the car is dry so that it blends and coats well to the car’s body for a lengthy period.
Park in a shade
Kampala City centre has more buildings than trees that would otherwise have provided shade for parking. The only option, therefore, is to park in basements.
Alternatively, one can erect a car shade at home or at their workplace, if possible. Godwin Lematia, a car tent maker, says installing a car tent at home costs between Shs1m to Shs5m, depending on the size.
You could have seen a car whose dashboard, just below the windscreen, has a long crack that runs from one corner to the other. This is one of the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun. Alex Kadoli, a mechanic, recommends using a silver dashboard protector to shield your dashboard from the sun’s rays.
“Most dashboards are made of hard plastic or leather on top. Much as the two materials may appear strong, exposure to the sun overtime makes them susceptible to the sun. Originally, the cracks are small but eventually widen because the inner sponge material succumbs to high temperatures and the top material splits,” Kadoli explains, adding that a genuine and strong dashboard protector costs between Shs100,000 to 200,000, depending on where you buy it from.
Check tyre pressure
According to Kadoli, the more your tyres are exposed to direct heat from the sun, the more unwanted pressure they are likely to take in, especially when they are parked. This means you will have more tyre pressure than the recommended levels. He recommends having a tyre technician reduce your pressure before the tyre bursts.
Wash and dry your car often
According to Newport motors, an online portal, washing your car frequently helps to get rid of debris, minerals and even dead bugs that get stuck on the external surface of your car.
If not maintained frequently, these minerals and dead bugs could react with high heat from the sun and cause fading of paint.
“The bugs undergo bacterial decomposition releasing some acids, which could further damage the surface of the car. It is best to wash your car with a car shampoo than your regular laundry detergent as they are specially formulated for a car’s surface. Wash your car often and then hand-dry it with a soft microfibre cloth to get rid of all the remaining grime,” the portal states.
Check fluid levels
Maintaining the appropriate coolant levels is necessary. It is not the only fluid though that needs to be checked upon. Scrutinising engine oil and transmission fluids also become a must job as far as hot weathers are concerned.
Keeping optimal levels of the mentioned fluids can help avert overheating of parts and the subsequent wear and tear of your car.
Longevity is the key objective when how to protect your car from sun damage is in question. Remember to feed your car with optimal fluid levels.