To answer the question right away, you should use a car cover outside. First and foremost, the cover keeps the car paint well protected and away from acidic bird poop. With a cover on, your prized four-wheeler is away from the humidity and dust as well.
In addition, most car covers are perfectly suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Still, there are a few things you should know that can help you find the right cover and take full advantage of it.
Outdoor vs. Indoor
Some car owners believe that it is enough to keep the car in the garage, but this is not exactly true. Tiny particles of dirt and dust live in the garage as well and they collect on the car’s surface. The worst thing about these is they can act like sandpaper and damage the paint.
Of course, keeping the car covered in the garage goes double for the second car you might not use that often. On the other hand, some four-wheelers spend the same time inside and outside. And yes, you should use the cover while the car is in the driveway, as well.
It might be a bit of a hassle to place and remove the cover from your car every time. But remember, going the extra mile to provide additional protection pays in the long run. Don’t think twice about spending a few extra bucks to get a heavy-duty cover if your car is often exposed to the elements.
When to Use a Car Cover
As you may have guessed, the answer is whenever you are not driving the car. You can get a super-lightweight cover for your daily driver to make things quick and easy. Most covers pack/fold down to a manageable size and you can keep one in the trunk at all times.
The important thing is to at least dust the car before you place the cover. Otherwise, the accumulated dust and dirt get stuck under the cover and it can potentially damage the car’s paintjob. If you are about to place the cover after washing the car, make sure that the vehicle is completely dry. Any trapped moisture can expedite rusting.
The following characteristics make a good car cover no matter whether you use it outside or inside. Here are the things you should be looking for.
Needless to say, the point of getting a car cover is to keep sap, dirt, leaves, and dust away, and covers do an excellent job in providing this kind of protection.
But like your car, a cover can collect grime, dust, and dirt. This is why you need to clean the cover regularly to keep it in pristine condition. If you have a vintage or sports car, you should give the cover a clean every time you take it off.
There has been some misunderstanding about car covers and UV protection. To be exact, the clear coating safeguards the car from UV rays. This goes unless you leave the car outside unprotected for decades.
However, the materials on the inside of the car usually have little to no UV protection. More importantly, the windshield and other windows can act as a magnifying glass and amplify the negative effects of the sun.
Waterproofing vs. Water-Resistance
Understanding the difference between water-resistance and waterproofing is crucial for car covers. Getting a completely waterproof cover sounds really cool, but these are not really breathable. Some moisture can still get trapped under the cover and trigger the build-up of mildew and mold.
For this reason, getting a water-resistant car cover is better if you plan to use it outside. For example, it allows the excess moisture to quickly evaporate after the rain. That said, you should always check the cover and the car after heavy rain. If need be, remove the cover for maintenance and wipe your car dry.
Assuming you’d want to use the cover outside, you should know that the key to its longevity is in regular maintenance. A lot of models use materials that are washing machine-ready, but if you fail to do clean it regularly, some stains can be really stubborn.
Car covers provide very little protection against hailstorms. But then, what does protect your car if there’s a hailstorm? The garage is the most likely answer, though when all hell breaks loose even your garage may take a hit.
Keep Your Car Nice, Warm, and Clean
Not only that you should use the car cover outside but you need it. Aim for a breathable, water-resistant model and don’t hesitate to extend your budget to get premium. The only thing that’s left is to keep up with the maintenance and you are good to go.