If you’re planning on storing your car for winter, a quality car cover can be a great way to protect it’s exterior from getting dirty, scratched, or rusty. Here are several considerations to take into account when determining which car cover works best for your vehicle, and how to get the most out of it.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Car Covers
If you plan on parking your car outdoors for the winter, you need to understand the effect the weather conditions will have. For Ontarians, the winter months with their intense snow storms can accelerate the wear process, and ice that is left on a car’s surface for extended periods of time can cause dents and scratches.
A heavy-duty car cover made of WeatherShield fabric, which sheds water as soon as it hits the material, is recommended to protect against heavy snowfall during the winter.
If you’re storing your car indoors, a lightweight car cover made of woven polyester or a poly-cotton blend may be sufficient to protect against dust build up.
Custom Vs. Universal Car Covers
Universal covers are made for the average car, so they will fit your car’s approximate size but won’t have designated pockets or holes for your mirrors or antenna or any of your car’s unique features. A car cover that is too baggy may be less resistant to the elements, and one that is too tight may put stress on the body and be difficult to put on and take off.
A custom car cover is your best bet if you plan on storing your car away all winter. Like a tailor-made suit, custom car covers hug every part of your vehicle – they’re made specifically for the year, make, model and style of the vehicle it was purchased for. They last longer than universal covers, and are available in a wide range of materials.
Applying Your Car Cover
If your car cover comes with mirror pockets (most custom fit patterns do), it’s important that they be placed over the side mirrors before the cover is stretched over the bumpers.
Next, identify the front and rear of the cover (the front will be market front, and the rear has a loop sewn into the hem). Hook the loop around the licence plate or inside the trunk. Cover your vehicle front back to front, securing firmly over the front and rear bumpers. Secure if with grommets if included with your car cover. To uninstall, reverse the process and unroll the cover back along the car and fold down the sides.
Car Cover Cleansing & Maintenance
The performance of your car cover can be compromised if it becomes dirty. Cleaning properly when necessary helps to extend its life. Instructions vary depending on which fabric your car cover is made of, but generally, car covers are best spot cleaned with soapy water using a mild detergent and cool or lukewarm water.
Most car covers can be washed in a washing machine, but it is best to avoid using one with a centre agitator, using fabric softener, or drying any type of specialty cover in a dryer.
A high quality car cover can be a helpful accessory to preserve your vehicle’s appearance through the winter months – but it’s not enough to ensure it’s full protection. Even if it is dormant for months at a time, insuring your vehicle with the right coverage is the most important measure you can take. Before winter sets in, make sure you’ve got the right coverage.
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