Shreveport, LA, gets 211 days of sunshine every year. With days frequently hitting 90 degrees and higher during the summer, your car deals with a considerable amount of sun and UV exposure. Unfortunately, direct sunlight can oxidize your paintwork, causing it to peel away and fade. However, it’s not just your car’s exterior that suffers. UV radiation poses a significant problem to your interiors if you don’t have tinted windows. Here are a few ways that sun exposure can damage the inside of your vehicle—and what you can do about it.

How to Prevent Sun Exposure From Ruining Your Car

1. Upholstery

Leather car seats are vulnerable to UV rays. The material fades under direct sunlight, and the heat dries up essential oils in the leather, causing the seats to stiffen or crack. You can use special treatment on your covers, if there is already damage. However, it’s best to prevent the situation in the first place. For a permanent fix, take measures to block the sun from reaching your upholstery, like investing in tinted windows. 

2. Metals

Metals will remain unscathed from intense sun exposure, but they can still get alarmingly warm to the touch. Seat belt buckles and gear sticks become searingly hot, which is dangerous for anyone, but especially for pets and children. Keep the interiors cool using sunshades and window tints for safe, comfortable car journeys.

3. Safety Equipment

Extreme temperatures can cause your car safety equipment to malfunction. In 2018, 37 million cars were recalled after a defect made their airbags explode when exposed to heat for a prolonged period. While this was an isolated incident, it demonstrates that leaving a car in high temperatures can have unforeseen consequences.

4. Dashboard

Dashboards are the most exposed car part when you’re outside. The sun beams down on it, and the windscreen intensifies the rays. Unfortunately, dashboards are not infallible. Your dash can fade and, in extreme cases, even crack or bubble depending on its material. Dashboards are also expensive and difficult to replace. Getting tinted windows will significantly reduce the risk of any long-term damage.

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