You’re looking at your just-finished pride and joy sitting in your driveway. You have spent years making everything on your classic just perfect; the interior, the engine, the paint, everything is just the way you had imagined it would be when complete. But, now you’re afraid of something happening to it. You need to protect it, but how do you that? The easiest solution is to get a car cover, but have you looked for one lately? There is a myriad of choices, and depending on your parking/storage situation, even more choices. So, we decided to see if we could shed some light on the subject and help you decide which cover is best for your car.
Let’s begin with a major factor that needs to be decided upon; do you need a woven or non-woven cover. Both styles provide certain benefits to the user. Which one you choose will depend on your particular needs. The obvious difference is that a woven material is typically thinner than a non-woven material. Because of that, they are less bulky, so storing them is easy. They also breathe better, and prevent heat and moisture from building up underneath. Most woven covers have some sort of protectant that delivers sun protection, and/or helps repel water.
A non-woven cover is made from a polypropylene material. These materials are manufactured in layers, which makes them stronger and thicker than woven fabrics. This also gives them an advantage when protecting your car from dents and dings. One downside is that the thickness makes them heavier and bulkier when storing them. Like most woven covers non-woven covers offer protection from the sun, and/or repel water.
Choosing a car cover is easy if you know what you need. First of all, will you be using the car cover outside or inside? Some car covers are designed for indoor/outdoor use, while others are specifically intended for garage-kept vehicles. If you need to decide on a car cover, we want to help. We contacted California Car Cover, to get their recommendations;
Superweave is their most UV, water, and weather resistant car cover. The material features unsurpassed moisture, dust and pollutant protection. Superweave’s fabric repels dust, so it will keep your vehicle clean whether it’s stored inside or out. The material is exceptionally breathable, which allows moisture, condensation, and heat to escape from under the cover. Rain literally runs right off of it. When folded, it is quite compact (about the size of a sweatshirt or jacket). Similar in look and feel to umbrella material, Superweave is washer and dryer safe. They do not recommend this cover to customers in windy areas because it is lightweight, and can damage paint in windy conditions.
Noah fabric is a multi-layer material that is highly dust and moisture resistant. This cover material is a breathable fabric that will prevent moisture from seeping through the cover, but still allow air to flow through to help evaporate moisture and condensation underneath. Noah provides excellent protection in all weather conditions. They recommend this material be used in moist, wet, or humid climates.
Multiweave II is an economical cover designed for outdoor use. Like the others, this is a multi-layer material that provides “good” protection from dust and UV rays. But, it only delivers a moderate protection against moisture. Basically, it will likely keep the morning dew off your car, but get it wetter than that, and the moisture will soak through. This is a borderline outdoor cover, and is recommended for those concerned with only dust and UV protection (think garage or car port usage).
Customweave is a soft material that makes a great indoor cover. It combines a polyester knit with Lycra/Spandex technology. This combination of materials assures the cover has excellent stretch and memory capabilities. Basically, it hugs the contours of your car, and gently wraps it until you are ready to get it out and go for a drive. This indoor cover is designed to snugly fit your car like a glove. The inside is lined with a cotton/terry loop, which is not only a very soft feel against your skin, but it is perfect for protecting the paint on your car. California Car Cover recommends covers that are made of this material for use on cars that are only stored inside, and only need protection from dust, not weather elements. Covers that are made of this fabric are only available for limited vehicle designs.
California Car Cover tells us that their most popular indoor material is their Plushweave. This is a 100-percent cotton cover with a cotton flannel lining. This material is good at protecting your car from accidental dings and scratches, and is great at keeping the dust off of the car. While it is recommended for indoor use, it can be used outdoors during fair weather conditions. Plushweave is popular with cars owners that store their vehicles indoors most of the time, but want to keep dust off of their car when they do take it out. The fabric will prevent morning condensation from soaking through the fabric, and the flannel lining will not scratch clean paint.
Dustop is another soft fabric that is virtually dust proof. It’s a multi-layer material that is as soft as a cotton cover, but can provide four times the dust protection of a basic woven cover. The fabric is able to provide some ding/scratch protection (Think your wife’s minivan door opening). It is a popular choice for display vehicles and collector cars.
The Softweave cover is made of 100-percent cotton. This indoor only cover is really soft, and features the same. minimal dew/moisture repellency properties as the Plushweave. California Car Covers recommends the use of the Softweave cover for owners of convertibles. The reason for this is recommendation is because Softweave does not have a flannel lining that could leave lint on the convertible top like the Plushweave material can.
Do You Need a Custom-Fit Car Cover?
A car cover that doesn’t fit your car, can actually damage you’re the paint more than not having it covered at all. Any time wind gets under a cheap, loose car cover (or GASP, a tarp), the flapping of the material will—not maybe, will scratch the car’s finish.
Cleaning Your Car Cover
Most car covers are washable. We said washable, not dryable, which will allow you to clean your cover to remove dirt and dust that can build up in the fabric over time. A clean cover will help keep your car clean, and even help your cover last longer.
When it is time to clean your cover, it is best to follow the cleaning instructions that come with the cover, because the different materials require different cleaning processes. It is not recommended to clean a car cover in a washer with a center agitator, nor should you use a fabric softener. The agitator can destroy the cover, and the softener could hurt the water repellency and UV protection. Never dry a car cover (Superweave notwithstanding), they should be allowed to air-dry because dryer heat can melt the polypropylene fabric.