7 ways the environment can damage your car

Our 4-wheeled babies are so much a part of our lives – they not only go where we go, they take us there comfortably and conveniently. Very often we hear about how cars have a negative impact on the environment and the dangers that come from the effects of riding around from place to place - it’s not often you hear someone talking about the side of the story – how the environment can affect your car.

Here are seven note-worthy environmental effects which may cause damage to your car.

  1. Prolonged sun exposure
    Tanning may sound like a good idea to you, but when it comes to your car it’s a totally different story. Too much sun exposure on our skin can cause damage – likewise, it can cause damage to your car. We don’t always have an option because the only open parking spot happens to be in the sun, but, if you can, rather avoid leaving your car in the sun for extended periods. Sun damage is a common cause of body paint fading and chipping off. Try to ensure that your car is under shade and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the costs of having to deal with cosmetic damage to your paintwork. Leaving your car in the sun can also affect the interior (think leather upholstery) and decrease your car’s battery life. Washing and waxing your car regularly will help to revive your car’s paint job!

  2. “Wash me!”
    We’ve all seen a car with a “Wash me!” hint drawn onto its dusty and dirty exterior. The age-old excuse of “what’s the point of washing it if it’s going to get dirty again” is an inexcusable one when it comes to your car. Dust may take a while to become visible, but it doesn’t mean the impact of it doesn’t exist. Leaving your car dirty means that your car is more prone to miniscule scratches – dulling your paint job. Who doesn’t feel proud to be seen in a clean, shiny – and clean car?

  3. It’s like cellulite for cars…
    We’ve all found ourselves caught in the midst of a hail storm at some point in our lives. There’s always that fear that balls of ice, each the size of a tennis ball, will add some (not so cheeky) dimples to your car. Hail damage, once incurred, cannot be hidden without specialized panel-beating skills. Parking your car in a garage or under a roof will remove the risk of hail damage during a storm. If you can avoid being on the road, it would be ideal, otherwise do your best to get to cover as soon as possible to avoid extensive hail damage. MiWay clients receive hail storm notifications via SMS – and, if they were affected, can claim easily using our claims wizard.

  4. Long-term tree parking
    As much as trees offer great shade, they aren’t the best option for long term parking. Parking your car under a tree for extended periods exposes it to the different elements that fall from the trees – from bird droppings to tree goo… and, in unfortunate circumstances, sometimes something more solid and damaging, like a branch.

  5. Driving in hot weather
    Unfortunately, we can’t avoid driving in this heat - life simply has to keep moving. However, if you are going to be driving long distances in the heat, be sure to stop frequently and allow your car to catch a quick breather. Check your tyres for any adjustments that may need to be made, but be careful not to overinflate them - heat causes air to expand – which could compromise their performance.

  6. Driving in cold weather
    Experts will tell you that driving in cold weather is best for your car as performance is ideal. However, this doesn’t take away the downside of it. Cold weather has an effect on your car too – your tyre pressure fluctuates, your engine takes a while longer to heat up and fluids thicken. This is something to be conscious of, as you may need to give your car a little more attention than usual.

  7. Coastal living
    If you’re spending some time in coastal areas, or you’re lucky enough to call it home, you surely must be enjoying your turbo-charged car. With the advancement of design and technology, manufacturers have improved the elements that go into a paint job. Some car will unfortunately still get affected by the salty atmosphere of the coast. The salt-based air eats away at the paint and accelerates rust.

Nature is a big part of our lives and certain elements can’t be avoided. However, it does help to be informed - that way you can take preventative measures where possible or make decisions that could lessen the impact on your vehicle. While you’re considering what can affect your car, check your car insurance policy to see what acts of nature your insurer has you covered for.

Related Articles

Get your car road trip-ready

Padkos. Check. In-car entertainment. Check. Everything but the kitchen sink. Check. You may be ready for your upcoming holiday, but is your car?

Potholes, Sinkholes and Holes in Your Pocket

Tips for taking on South Africa's aging roads. It should come as no surprise to motorists on South African roads, that most tyre repairs are the result of damage...

Tyres and trackers: Your pre-departure guide

Before hitting the road with your loved ones in tow, it's important to give your car a thorough once over - including paying attention to your tyres and your tracking...