Date Published: 2024/06/04

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Protecting Your Collector Car from Sun Damage

Paint peeling above the wheel well of a blue car from sun damage.

You know UV light isn’t safe for your skin, but did you know it can also damage the paint on your collector car? Both UV rays and heat exposure cause paint to fade. It can also cause damage to the upholstery and split the dashboard. If you don’t get the bird droppings off your car, that will cause paint damage, too.

Where you park and how you maintain your vehicle can make a big difference in preventing sun damage to your collector car. Check out these simple but effective strategies to preserve the value of your collector car.

How to Protect Your Collector Car from Sun Damage

When possible, park your car in the garage. That eliminates the problem from the start and can also keep those bird droppings and critter scratches at bay. What if you can’t do that? Apply these tips:

Polish that clear coat

Over time, the clear coat over the top of the paint can wear down. That’s more likely to occur if you have a car that’s often exposed to the sun. Maintain the clear coat to avoid this risk by using a dual-action polish along with a paint oxidation compound. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it.

Keep the paint clean

It’s not just UV rays that can cause oxidation, but any substance on the car as well. The interaction between heat and chemicals, dust, debris, and pest droppings can create significant damage to the paint. For that reason, make sure you’re washing the exterior (properly) to avoid any substance from sticking around too long.

Consider a cover

If you can’t park your car in the garage or under an awning (another excellent, inexpensive investment), cover it up. A car cover doesn’t typically cost much money, but you will need to purchase the right size and style for your vehicle. Cover the car any time it’s not routinely used. That’s going to block the UV rays, at the very least.

Pay attention to where you park

You may park at the very end of a parking lot to prevent door dings and shopping cart strikes but pay attention to the actual location.

  • Don’t park under trees.
  • Choose an area with the least amount of sun, if possible, such as behind a taller building.
  • Choose a parking garage, when possible, over an open surface lot.

Protecting Your Car’s Paint Means Going Further

Preventing sun damage to your collector car takes a few additional steps, specifically with waxing and coatings. As noted, your clear coating helps seal out damage and can help minimize oxidation. Meet with a restoration expert to discuss your paint’s current condition as well as any protective solutions that may go further than just waxing.

  • Always wash and wax weekly or, when possible, hand wash at least every two weeks while you’re using it. Hand washing gives you a better level of insight into the paint’s condition.
  • Use paint protection film. It is a transparent but thick layer of urethane that’s placed over the top of your paint. It helps to protect from scratches and UV damage. Look for a quality product that contains UV protection.
  • Consider another layer of ceramic coating. This is the highest level of protection and not always necessary. However, adding a ceramic coating over the top of your car’s paint protection film gives you yet another level of protection. Choose a product that includes silicon dioxide, which makes it thicker and more protective. You’ll only need to do this every 2 to 5 years.

If you’re struggling with damaged paint already, it’s worth speaking to a car restoration team to determine what you can do now to prevent any further damage. It may be necessary to clean the surface and seal it or consider the application of a new paint job if the damage is significant.

Get Help Protecting Your Vehicle From Many Risks

Preventing sun damage to your collector car is just one step to maintaining its value. Get a quote now from Orbit Insurance Services for collector car insurance, and let us cover you with the financial protection your vehicle deserves.