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Old 04-14-2011, 10:23 PM
Location: California
396 posts, read 883,055 times
Reputation: 279


Hi, I will be attending UA starting this summer. I am concerned for my car: dark blue with tan leather interior. I will probably be in Tucson for 2 years and possibly move after grad school. I might intern back home during the summer so my car may come with me.

Will my car get damaged in the sun in that short time frame (<2 years)? I will install some tint (but not too much) as well as use a windshield cover to prevent the rays from wrecking havoc on the interior. Also, I might get a car cover that prevents UV rays. But I have a feeling that if I park it on the street, that someone would try to steal the cover (I'm paranoid!).

Anyone have ways to keep their car looking like new? I saw some cars with bad sun damage while down there so I don't want that happening.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:15 PM
Location: Southern Arizona
9,549 posts, read 29,863,352 times
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Basic common sense goes a long way, odannyboi.

In addition to what you already have planned, a high quality Leather Conditioner applied to the interior on a regular basis plus plenty of quality polish on the exterior and your car will be fine. Most of those vehicles with severe "sun damage" were either abused or neglected.

Naturally, a covered parking spot or at least some shade will help as well.

Welcome and Good Luck
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:38 AM
Location: Green Valley, AZ
351 posts, read 910,626 times
Reputation: 311
For the exterior there isn't much you can do aside from keeping the paint clean, scratch free, and regularly waxed. If you stay in Tucson, consider buying a car with a light colored paint job (white, silver, yellow). Darker paints absorb the heat and will degrade, fade, and peel much sooner.

For your leather interior, tint your windows to the darkest legal tint, use a windshield sunscreen, and leave a window cracked open to let out the heat. Also use a leather conditioner occasionally to keep it from drying out.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:58 PM
Location: California
396 posts, read 883,055 times
Reputation: 279
Thanks guys. Good point about the faded paint on some cars being due to neglect. I cringed at the sunspots on cars!

I am not a fan of tint, but I'll try to get it installed to keep my car cool. I plan on having it sit parked for quite a while (plan on walking close by to campus and only using the car to go on errands, once in a while explorations of the area, and anything else I would need it for school).
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:21 AM
Location: Tucson
205 posts, read 701,040 times
Reputation: 376
I have discovered that waxing a car in Tucson is a much more frequent process than in my previous state. The sun is so strong that it literally degrades the wax in 6-8 weeks of summer weather. Car wax, despite some dubious claims to the contrary, do not provide UV protection but they do provide some essential "nutrients" to the clear coat/paint that help preserve it as well as cleaning the airborne contaminants.

UV blocking tint, sunshield in the windshield and some good leather conditioner will keep the interior upholstery nice. For the dash, try something called 303 protectant (NOT armor-all). I've used it for years on all my cars and it truly works. Came from the marine industry where conditions are always harsh and the car world discovered it about fifteen years ago. Sometimes hard to find except at a marine supply store but I usually get it online.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:22 PM
1,087 posts, read 3,328,647 times
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Where I lived before, I rarely had to condition my interior, so I didn't think too much about it when I moved here. I figured my sunshade was enough. Bad mistake. After only 6 months here, and half of that being in winter, my interior started cracking. Never had a crack in the 10 years I had the car out of Arizona. Conditioning is a must here.

A bigger problem I've had with my car here is the body, but not from the sun. People are totally inconsiderate about other people's cars here. At the store, they don't put their carts in the return. They leave them in parking spaces for the first wind to ram them into someone's car. It doesn't matter how far out I park, I almost always find a cart sitting next to my car when I come out of the store. I kept my car's body looking nice all these years, but within a couple of months of living in Arizona my car had all kinds of scrapes from carts and even worse, very large dents and creases from people's doors slamming into mine. They just don't care about other people's property here.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:45 PM
300 posts, read 502,631 times
Reputation: 321
I've had my Toyota pickup 10 years now. When I was in San Antonio in the 80s my car was in the sun all day at work. Think it was 5 yrs later that the dashboard and steering column cracked. When I got my '93 Toyota pickup I bought a dashboard cover and leather steering wheel cover. When I traded it in 10 years later for my present T pickup the dash was in good condtion except looking a little dull/faded in some spots. My 2003 T pickup - I had it detailed every year for 5 yrs, then just get a hard shine a few times a year. Retired now, but when I worked I did a simoniz wax myself every 3 mos.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:59 PM
Location: GoJoe
713 posts, read 1,380,525 times
Reputation: 318
tom4416 has good advice.

i say 20-35% tints (i like 35%, fyi, metalized films will kill AM and possible sat radio if the antenna is on the glass). and a good full coverage sun shade for the front. Mothers Protectant is great for plastic/vinyl/rubber, has UV blockers and no petro distillates. outside is a good wash and wax (car wash regularly). outside is subject to sandblasting from gritty blowing winds.
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