The year-round sun shining above the UAE might be a boon for those aiming at getting a tan going, but the inclement heat could be detrimental to the external and internal condition of your automobile. The salty and moist sea breeze is a catalyst for rusting and unforgiving temperatures in the summer can give a vehicle’s exterior a run for its money. A garage seems the obvious panacea for all these weather ills, but as a majority of residents in UAE live in apartments, most car owners are left without the luxury of a dedicated garage. But before you think maintaining your car in the UAE environment is a lost cause, consider these helpful tips to keep your vehicle looking like new every day of the year.
Getting a decent car cover is one of the simplest ways to prolong the life of your car’s exterior paint and protect the body from unnecessary scratches and marks.
Look for a car cover material that is both dust and water proof, as the ones that are not will create more trouble than ease by making dust particles and water droplets travel onto the car surface and leave hard-to-remove marks. It will only take a minute of your time each time you try to put the cover on or off, but this little effort will add years to the life of your car’s exterior surface.
Get a portable garage
This method would suit people who at least have a dedicated parking spot at their disposal. There’s a wide variety of portable and easy to use tents, gazebos, tarps and canvas covers that can be purchased to provide a safety cover for your car. Most are easy to set up and require little space when folded up. A few might actually fit inside your trunk when wrapped up.
Keep cool in the shade
Cabin temperatures of parked cars in the UAE can well cross the 55℃ mark during summer months, making conditions extremely taxing for the car’s exterior paint as well as plastic materials inside the cabin. The best way to avoid a simmering cabin is finding a shady spot for your car to park. Thanks to the high-rise structures across the UAE, there are a number of shaded areas available in most parking lots, but the same spots are highly prized. If you drive to work, try parking in a spot that is shady in the latter half of the day. This way, you’ll not only provide your car several hours in the shade, but also avoid a scorching cabin and steering wheel by the time you decide to head back home.
Avoid parking under trees
While they are a tempting spot to get your car some respite from the blazing sun, dead leaves, branches and sticks can really mess with your vehicle. Also, trees are a haven for birds and make way for bird droppings of all hues across the surface of your car. If left unattended, the droppings harden and the acids begin eating away through the protective layer of lacquer or paint sealant and damage the car’s surface paint. Only park under the tree if you can go through the hassle of cleaning up after the birds, and trees, as early as possible, every day of the year.
Put on some shades
Light reflecting sun shades can go a long way in keeping the heat out of the cabin and giving plastic materials inside the car a longer life. The shades will also keep your car’s dashboard in the shade, leaving lesser room for the sun’s rays to dry it and crack it open.
Wash and wax, wash and wax, wash and…
Regularly washing your car and sealing the surface with a quality wax can prolong the life of your car’s paint by creating a protective layer that repels dust, water and sun’s rays. While washing, do remember to hose down dirt and debris amassed in tight nooks and corners, as jammed dirt will retain moisture and eventually lead to metal rusting. Be careful to wipe the excess water from washing with a clean cloth, as air drying the car will leave permanent water marks on the metal and glass surfaces, making the car lose its gloss and you regret your haste.