How to Choose the Right Custom-Fit Car Cover
If you're shopping for a car cover, you're making a very smart move. Your car is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, and a car cover is a great way to protect that investment. A quality custom-fit car cover can:
- Protect your vehicle's paint and interior from the sun's damaging ultraviolet radiation.
- Keep bird droppings, paw prints, acid rain, leaves and other pollutants from damaging the finish.
- Keep your car's interior cooler in the summer.
- Save time and money by making washes and waxes last longer.
Choosing the right car cover is easy--once you know what you're looking for. There are two major things to keep in mind when you're shopping for a quality car cover:
First, will you be using the car cover outside in the elements -- or in a garage? Some car covers are designed for indoor/outdoor use, while others are specifically intended for garage-kept vehicles.
Second, you'll want to consider how often you're going to use the car cover. Once a week? How about several times a day? A bulkier car cover may provide more protection against nicks and dings, but if it's too much of a hassle to put on, take off or store, you're probably not going to use it as often as you should.
At AutoSport, we know car covers, which is why we sell only the finest custom-fit car covers from the industry's best manufacturers. If you have questions, our car cover experts are here to help. No matter what you're looking for, we've got a car cover to fit your needs, your budget and your vehicle.
Car Cover FAQ
Why do I need a custom-fit car cover?
An ill-fitting car cover can actually damage your car more than not having it covered at all. Any time wind gets under a cheap, loose car cover (or tarp), all that flapping and shifting will scratch the car's finish. The bottom line: plasticized tarps and sheeting will damage your paint. That can really hurt when it's time to sell or trade the car. It's also worth noting that a custom-fit car cover is much easier on the eye!
Should I buy a waterproof car cover?
Absolutely not! A good car cover fabric is water repellent, but not waterproof. Our quality car covers have been treated with a DWR (durable water repellency) treatment during the manufacturing process, so they keep normal rain from penetrating. But the fabric also breathes, which allows condensation or other moisture to evaporate through the cover. Moisture that gets trapped under a waterproof car cover can cause staining, mildew and, if left for an extended period of time, rust. Honestly, an uncovered car is better off than one that's kept under one of those ubiquitous blue plastic tarps.
How does Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) affect car covers?
Inexpensive, untreated car covers literally rot after only a year or so of use. Our car covers are far superior, because UVR-inhibiting chemicals are added during fabric production. The fabrics used in our car covers are the finest available and are amply treated with UVR inhibitors, so they'll last for years.
What's the best way to fold a car cover?
Remove the car cover from the front and rear bumpers and fold each side up to the center of the roof. Continue folding in this manner, until the car cover ends up about 2 feet wide. Then, fold the front and then the rear to the center of the roof and continue folding to the center until the folded fabric is about 3 feet long. This method of folding prevents scratches caused by the cover dragging across the car.
What's the best way to install a cover?
The exact opposite of removal: lay the folded car cover on the roof of the vehicle and gently unfold it, front to rear and then down the sides. If the car cover has mirror pockets, place those over the mirrors first. Then, gently pull the car cover over the front and rear bumpers.
How should I clean my car cover?
Keep your car cover in a storage bag when not in use and don't be afraid to wash it. Dirt particles can compromise the water resistance of the fabric and also scratch the car's paint. Smaller, less bulky car covers can be washed in a home washing machine, while larger car, truck or SUV covers may require a trip to a laundromat for a spin in a large commercial machine. Mild laundry detergents will not remove the UVR inhibitors or DWR treatment. We recommend Tide® laundry detergent.
How should I dry a wet car cover?
Since our car covers "breathe," the best way to dry the car cover is to put it on a clean car and let the moisture evaporate through the cover. Only the WeatherShield® line is made to be dried in a clothes dryer. Other car covers have synthetic fibers that could melt in the high heat.
Won't a car cover cause my car to get really hot inside on summer days?
Not at all. Parking in the shade blocks sunlight and helps keep your car cool. Putting on a car cover has the same effect--but you don't have to drive around looking for a shady spot. If the area's general level of security allows it, we also recommend lowering your windows an inch or two to allow air to circulate through the cover and the car. If you live in a particularly sunny area (Phoenix, Miami), we recommend lighter colors and our AutoSport Sunbrella Plus for the ultimate in sun protection and UV durability.
How does snow affect my car cover?
We recommend that you brush the snow off your car cover after it snows (or while it's snowing, if an especially heavy storm hits). Simply having snow on the car cover isn't a problem, but if the snow partially melts in the sun and then re-freezes, the cover could become frozen to the car.
Any other hints or tips on car covers?
We don't recommend using lock and cable mechanisms to secure your car cover, since there is a danger of the lock damaging your car in heavy winds. If your situation requires this added security, we suggest our AutoSport Silver Car Cover, which includes a protective pocket that keeps the padlock off your car's finish.
A note about the sizing chart in our print catalog: Here on our website, we'll give you the exact price on a car cover for your vehicle's year, make and model. In our print catalog, however, we've given examples of vehicles and labeled them "Small," "Medium," etc. to give a general estimate of the prices. We work very closely with our manufacturers to determine the correct car cover for each vehicle. Some vehicles, although smaller, have a more complex body shape and require a different price. Think of it like this: gift-wrapping a box is pretty easy… but gift-wrapping a football is a much bigger challenge!
Shop Now for Custom-Fit Car Covers.