Before the late 1980s, some will recall cars that changed color, e.g. red cars that oxidized, turning pinker over time. Cars used to be factory painted with several layers of pigmented paint over a primer coat. The color coating had little resistance to the sun's rays. Eventually, the finish would degrade to a chalky surface. That layer would then be polished with a rubbing compound. Repeating the polishing process would then thin the paint layers until the primer and metal were exposed. Modern color and clear coat finishes have come a long way, and few areas of an automobile are as misunderstood as the paint.
Car manufacturers began using clear coat finishes making a more durable coating than in the past. The paint has a pigmented layer that is covered with a translucent layer with UV protectants. From waxes, polishes, clay bars, to covers, looking after your vehicles facade can be confusing with so many competing companies vying for attention.
Here is a look at some fabric car cover considerations.
People buy car covers to safeguard against moisture, scratches, debris, pollen, insects and bird droppings. But the number one reason most vehicle owners want a protective cover is to keep their paint jobs in pristine condition and prevent fading from UV sunlight.
Manufacturers of car covers' main promotion of their products are in the claim of how effective a fabric cover is in blocking UV rays, implying that when a car is exposed to the sun, the paint will fade, crackle and peel.
Modern clear coat finishes have come a long way, with UVA and UVB radiation inhibitors, as long as the finish is in good condition, the paint will be protected. Plastic and rubber interiors do benefit from a cover, but the paintwork does not need the same amount of protection from the sun as did automobiles of the past. As a word of caution, if it is protected from UV radiation you are wanting, some fabric car covers do not actually protect against UV rays.
One primary reason for buying a fabric car protector is to keep a vehicle from becoming scratched, when in fact, putting on a car cover with any dirt or debris can cause some minor scratches. The cover itself will not scratch but the dirt it picks up can. Fabric covers attract and hold particles that can scratch the clear coat as it is slid over a vehicle.
Hailstorms are another reason people use car covers, however, covers typically lay on the surface of the vehicle and offer very little protection from large hailstones. There are car jackets that can inflate over your car that can provide a cushion of air to prevent hailstones from causing damage.
As is mentioned above, covers for RVs and vehicles attract dirt. They are also difficult to wash. Though vehicle covers can be nice for indoor use when storing a vehicle, keeping an automobile covered outdoors for several days isn't always the best idea. Even covers that are said to be 100% waterproof will allow moisture to collect between the car's surface and the cover. Moisture and hot, sunny days can create a degrading environment and damage bodywork.