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What is a car cover

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A car cover is a product that can be used to cover a car, possibly protecting it against the elements. It is often used when a vehicle isn’t used for a certain amount of time and needs to look dust- and dirtless.

Why use a car cover

When a vehicle isn’t used for a long time, it can become dirty from external sources such as rain, wind or possibly leaves falling on it. Car parked indoors can get dusty, or run the risk of getting unwanted particles getting on the surface. For example when you are painting the garage. A car cover can be used to protect the car by covering it with a removable cover. This cover can be made from several different types of materials and can be designed to withstand different kinds of dirt.

What is a car cover

A car cover is a very large sheet of a certain type of fabric that has a very rough shape of a car. Tailormade car covers will be made to fit the vehicle it is designed for, but car covers for general use have a very generic car shape that should fit most cars. There are also covers for motorcycles, bicycles and many other vehicles. The car cover is often used when a vehicle is stored away for a certain amount of time, or when being left unused for a while. It can also be used to protect a vehicle against snow, tree juice, dirt, paint and other contaminants. There are several different types of car covers to suit different needs.

Differences in car cover

Inside of outside

Inside car covers are often made from woven polyester with sometimes a soft lining. It is light and breathable. It is not waterproof and will not offer protection against most liquids. Inside covers are made from different materials then outside covers. Outside covers are designed to be waterproof, are noticeably more sturdy and often thicker and heavier then inside covers. The outside cover is capable of withstanding rain, snow, leaves falling and many other sources of contaminants. Not all covers are breathable, creating the risk of trapped moisture. Outside covers are also often made with sturdy forms of mounting, preventing them blowing away in the wind.

Tailormade or general

A tailormade car cover will have the exact shape and form of the vehicle it is designed for. It should fit like a glove and often has special spaces for the side mirrors and or a rear spoiler. Tailormade covers are generally used for more expensive or unique cars, or purchased by people who spent an above-average amount of money on their vehicle. The only downside with these covers is often the cost and difficulty of finding a supplier.
General car covers are designed to fit many different types and models. The only difference with these covers can be the length. They are usually just a rectangular shape with an opening at the point where the front or rear window would be. These are a lot cheaper but often made from inferior materials.

Heavy duty or light use

There can be a difference between car covers that are designed to keep the vehicle free from dust, or the ones that are designed to protect the vehicle underneath. The difference is often the thickness of the material or the type of material. Inside covers are generally made from woven polyester with breathing characteristics. Outside covers are usually made from a PVC type of material that is heavier, thicker and waterproof. Some manufacturer add extra thick pads in certain areas to help prevent damage such as dents.

Variations on the car cover

There are several different ways to cover a vehicle out- or inside. These are not all considered car covers, but can have similar properties or offer the same type of protection.

  • Car umbrella, a type of unfoldable umbrella attached to the roof of a vehicle
  • Small garage box, a type of fold out box that can cover the vehicle
  • Large plastic sheet, just a large piece of transparent plastic foil that is used to cover the vehicle with. It is not very strong, hold moisture and offers virtually no protection
  • Cocoon box, an inflatable large box that can hold 1 vehicle
  • Car tent, a self carrying cover with a similar system as a camping-tent

Risks when using a car cover

  • Moisture can get trapped under the cover, leaving the surface wet much longer then without a cover
  • Many car covers don’t have a proper inside lining, giving the risk of creating swirls and other surface imperfections when removing or applying the cover
  • If the cover moves, the edge can rub against the paint, causing damage
  • Cars under a cover can be broken into without anybody seeing

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