Four Tips For Preventing And Managing Sun Damage To Your Car’s Interior

Sun can wreak havoc on your car's interior, as can constant exposure to hot temperatures. The following tips can help you protect your car so you can avoid most major interior problems.

Tip #1: Block the Sun

Tinted windows can go a long way towards minimizing UV damage to upholstery and plastic in your car's interior. Tint can also prevent the interior from heating up as quickly. Hot interiors cause adhesives to loosen, such as those that hold the headliner in place. Tinting alone can't block all sunlight, though. You can't really tint your front windshield. Instead, use a removable, fold-up sun-shield when the car is parked to minimize sun damage.

Tip #2: Keep the Heat Off

It's impossible to keep your car's interior cool all the time, but you can take steps to minimize the heat. The following ideas can help preserve the interior from the heat:

  • Park in the shade whenever possible. Even light shade from a tree or nearby building can lower the temperature in your car enough so that adhesives don't soften.

  • If you have a garage, use it. Otherwise, consider erecting a portable carport during the summer months.

  • Crack a window on exceptionally hot days. Even a small amount of air circulation can lower temperatures.

Tip #3: Keep It Clean

Believe it or not, a dirty car interior can be more prone to sun damage. Dust and grime on a plastic dash can cause etching, which is then more prone to peeling when UV damage weakens the plastic. The dirt and dust on your upholstery and headliner can weaken adhesives or cause stains when heated by the sun.

Keep your car's interior dusted and wiped down. Take a few minutes to vacuum everything – even the headliner and fabric door panels – regularly. If you see a stain, clean it out promptly with an upholstery shampoo. You don't want the stain to set and become permanent.

Tip #4: Fix Damage Fast

Ignoring sun damage will just make it get worse. Some fixes are simple – cover faded seats with seat covers so they don't degrade any further, for example. Others may require professional help. Case in point – If your headliner starts sagging, it will eventually weaken and tear. It can also interfere with visibility and pose a driving hazard. Since headliners are attached with special adhesives, you will need the services of a professional auto interior repair shop or a headliner repair service to properly fix the damage before it becomes more severe.