Sunlight can be incredibly damaging to the interior of your car. UV light can dry out the material of your dashboard over time, leading to cracking and wear. Of course, sunlight also means heat, and the interior of your car can quickly climb to 150 degrees or more on even a relatively mild day. The answer is to use a shade for parking.
There are a couple of considerations that need to be made before you buy a parking shade. You first need to consider the size, as well as the material. You need to also consider UV resistance and installation method.
Size: Size is one of the most critical factors here. You need a shade for parking that’s wide enough to fit your car’s windshield. Check the packaging or product description to see what models it’s rated to fit. If it only provides the dimensions of the shade, you’ll need to measure the inside of your windshield to see if it will fit.
Material: Shades for parking come in a number of different materials, including cardboard, fabric and metallic-coated. Of the three, fabric is generally the least protective and the shortest lasting. Cardboard provides good light and heat blocking, but doesn’t last that long. Metallic-reflective coated shades offer the best mix of temperature control and light/UV ray blocking.
UV Resistance: Ultraviolet light is present at all times, even when it’s cloudy. If it’s daytime, damaging UV rays are penetrating your car’s dash. These rays can be very destructive, and that applies to your shade as well. Check the shade’s UV resistance as this will give you a good idea of how long it will hold up, allowing you to make an informed buying decision.
With the right shade for parking, you can block damaging UV rays from your dash, and help control the interior temperature of the car.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy Good Quality Windshield Shades for Parking and was authored by Valerie Johnston.