Cover Your Car Right: Tips on Using a Car Cover

If you do not own a garage and have to park your cars outside on the street, you might consider using protective car covers. The covers are ideal for vehicles that have to be parked for an extended period of time. These are a good option for cars that need work and are inoperable. They also help protect a pristine paint job.

The covers are a barrier between your car, and the environment, but only to a certain extent. Car covers are only a tool. Car covers need to be maintained and checked on just as often as the car being covered.

Get a Custom Fit

Outside car covers come in a range of prices, and in a variety of fits, from generic to nearly exact. For the best protection, get a cover that is specifically made for the make and model of your car. If those are too expensive or hard to find, get the closest possible match. Ask staff at automotive stores what outside car covers are the best fit for your make and model. Before purchasing, be aware of the store’s return policy.

The seams should be strong and sealed, and the elastic should be heavy duty. Car covers that are too loose can potentially damage your car, and create a traffic hazard for passing cars on your street.

Do not Improvise

In a pinch, a tarp may be used temporarily if it is secured very well on the car, but generally it is best to use tailored covers on cars that have to be parked outside of a garage. Even tarps that are secured well can become loose and whip and damage the car, something the car covers are meant to prevent. Tarps that become loose and are not attended to can quickly become a traffic hazard. The tarps can block the view of drivers passing.

Remember That Car Covers are Temporary

Car covers should not be left on for longer than necessary and, used outside a lot, it will eventually need to be replaced. Loose car covers permit dust and grit onto the car, and if the cover is not removed after this build-up, the damage to the paint job could potentially be worse than if there was no cover at all.

Even inoperable cars should be checked on every once in a while. Car owners who feel the car should be covered all the time should remove the cover periodically. Owners should check the condition of the car and even wash the car. Inspect the cover and the seams and replace after the car is dry.

Consider a Car Canopy

People who park their cars outside of a garage on an uncovered driveway might consider a slightly more permanent option. Some car canopies are so sturdy, it can be used permanently. The canopy will not stop dirt from blowing on to the car, but will block most of the sun, rain, snow, and other weather that would otherwise hit uncovered cars. The canopies will also protect cars from falling branches, fall leaves, and bird droppings.

Use a Cover on the Street and in the Garage

While car covers may be most useful when used on cars parked outside of a garage, a car cover can be used in the garage, too. People with crowded, multipurpose garages will get the most use out of the covers. The covers will protect the car from accidental spills and scratches.

It is not necessary to use car covers when vehicles are used daily and parked outside of a garage. However, car covers are a good option when vehicles have to be parked for an extended period. Although car covers are simple to use, it should still be monitored occasionally. Since it is exposed to the elements, a car cover does not last for very long. It must be checked often, and replaced when damaged.