The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Don't Get Burned - Sunproof Your Vehicle

25 May 2000

Don't Get Burned - Sunproof Your Vehicle
    DIAMOND BAR, Calif., May 25 During the summer, few people
venture out in the sun for work or play without slathering sunblock on every
inch of exposed skin.  Many people even remember to draw the drapes or close
their blinds to protect the carpet and furniture in their home from the
harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
    But what about the family auto sitting in the driveway or parking lot?
    "Just as the sun can damage your skin and fade your furniture, it can make
your car look old before its time by drying out the paint and the tires,
fading the interior, or causing the dash to crack," said Chris Horn, vice
president for consumer affairs for the Specialty Equipment Market Association
    "Fortunately it's even easier to protect your car or truck from the sun's
harmful rays than it is to protect your skin," said Sue Elliott-Sink, consumer
products spokesperson for SEMA.  "You have to apply sunblock to your body at
least every day. You can apply a good coat of wax to your car once or maybe
twice a summer.  Choose one with UV inhibitors to protect your paint and keep
your vehicle looking shiny and new."
    Another option is paint protection film, which covers a vehicle's body
just as window tint covers its windows.  The film also features UV inhibitors,
plus it will protect the paint from rock chips, acid rain and bug debris.
    "Your car has other outside surfaces besides paint that need to be
protected from the sun," continued Elliott-Sink.  She suggested using
high-quality tire care products with UV inhibitors for extra protection
against cracking, browning and fading.
    If you have a fabric convertible top with a plastic rear window, applying
the right protective coating will keep it from discoloring and warping in the
    "Tinting your windows can help protect the inside of your vehicle from sun
damage," she said.  "Today's tints come in many colors-not just black, but
also gray, brown and rose and even colorless varieties."
    Many tints are designed to block UV rays, so they keep an interior cooler
and prevent seats and carpets from fading.  Be sure to check with local law
enforcement officials before tinting your windows to make sure you are in
compliance with local laws and regulations.
    To keep the dashboard looking new and crack-free, you should apply a
premium vinyl protectant. These products both clean and protect many kinds of
vinyl interior and exterior surfaces, from armrests and seats to car tops.  A
top-quality leather cleaner and protectant will prevent leather seats and door
panels from aging prematurely.
    "Choosing the right protective products and applying them properly will
keep your car looking younger much longer," said Elliott-Sink. "That protects
your investment and lets you enjoy the drive even more."
    For more information on sunproofing your vehicle, visit or write to SEMA Consumer Affairs, 1575 South Valley
Vista Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765.
    SEMA represents the $21.2 billion specialty automotive industry. The trade
association is composed of more than 4,200 member companies nationwide, and is
the authoritative source of research data, trends and market growth
information to automakers and the specialty auto products industry. The
industry itself provides appearance, performance, safety, comfort, convenience
and technology products for passenger cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs and
recreational vehicles.  It's a specialty market as old as the automobile and
as new as today's cutting-edge technology.