Protect Your Car from the Elements | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

Protect Your Car from the Elements

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Image of a car being protected by a large umbrella.

If you’ve recently gotten a new car or you have one that needs to last you for many years, you will want to take measures to make sure your car is protected from the elements. Even though some snow or a light rain may seem small to you, those elements can damage your car over time. Through spring, summer, fall and winter, find out some tips that can help protect your car from the elements so it stays in good shape for years.


Wear and Tear on Your Car

Cars are purchases that should last you quite a long time, but that also depends on how well you take care of your car. One of the easiest ways to protect your car from most damaging elements—temperatures, weather, people, or vandalism—is to keep your car safely in a garage.

However, many people don’t have the luxury of a garage, especially if they live in an apartment and if they commute to work. That leaves your car susceptible to wear and tear over time that can cause it to become damaged more quickly than it otherwise would. The elements outside (heat, sun, snow) are your major concerns for keeping your car in good condition. However, you can protect your car from those elements fairly easy.


View of a silver car that has a sun shade inside covering the dash and interior of the car.

Protect Your Car From Sun Damage

Did you know that the sun can damage and fade your car over time? Some colors of cars (like red) can fade in the sun if they don’t have any protective waxes or barriers for the sun. Make sure your car has a proper finish or new coat of wax on it to protect your car from sun damage. A professional wax finish can protect your car paint from sun damage and fading.


Heat is the main factor to consider to protect your car from damage. Studies show that it can get up to 145 degrees inside your car. The actual surfaces (like the dashboard) can reach temperatures of 195 degrees. Those temperatures can fade interiors of a car in direct sunlight, including carpets and seats. High temperatures can also affect your tire pressure, and can damage your car battery. Make sure you get your car serviced at least once a year to check these if you live in an area with high temperatures.


Easy ways to protect your car from temperature and heat is to get a car cover. These are often less than $100 and can protect your car for years from damage to the interior and exterior. Special covers can also be purchased to protect your car from hail damage, which can cause major dents and expenses to your car in just one storm. There is generally a cover for any element, that you may want to consider investing in. If not, make sure you park your car in the shade and out of direct sunlight, if possible.


Image of a car with a cover over it as it is parked outside a house in a driveway.

Protect Your Car in the Winter

Have you ever driven your car in the snow and the next day you have white streaks on it? Those streaks almost appear to be white dirt, but are in fact salt particles from the public roads that were salted. In the winter, most counties throughout the 50 states have road treatments to melt snow and to make roads drivable. When you drive on those streets, you not only have snow and ice being thrown up on your car by the tires, but you also get all of them chemicals as well.


Ordinary water won’t damage your car, but the particles in the water might. When it rains, those rain droplets will collect pollutants from the air as they fall. Those pollutants will be in the water that hits your car, and if the pollutants are heavy, it can make those water droplets a type of acid rain. This can leave water spots all over your car that can damage or erode paint over time. Snow is simply a colder version of that rain, and it collects pollutants both from the sky and from road treatments. As salt is a great way to melt ice, it is used everywhere. However, that salt can be very damaging to your car’s paint finish and can leave fine lines and scrapes all over your car.


It’s actually recommended that you wash your car less than 10 days after it gets that salt on it. This is to help remove not only the salt from your car’s paint finish, but to remove the salt on all the parts underneath your car such as the fenders, brakes and tires. Many people have to scrape their cars off from fallen snow as well, which can leave scratches on your car. If possible, park in a covered area. If not, invest in a snow cover for your car, which protects it while making it easy to remove all the snow.


Other Factors to Consider

There are ways your car can become damaged outside even if the elements and temperature aren’t a problem.

  • Avoid vandalism. Protect your car by parking it in well-lit areas, close to where people frequent. Don’t leave the windows rolled down or the doors unlocked or your car is an easy target for vandalism. Make sure to keep all valuables hidden or in the trunk.
  • Consider washing your car at home. Many car washes use aggressive soaps that can wash away some of your car’s wax sealant. Make sure you look up the proper way to wash your car at home to prevent fine lines, scratches and other damages.
  • Keep up on car services and fixes. You should be taking your car into a shop every year to check the oil, filters, alignment, tires and more. When parts work correctly, they can last much longer and can prevent damage from happening to parts all over the car.

If it has been some time since you had your car serviced or if you already know you need parts fixed, call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto today at (970) 682-4202!

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