Guide to Buying and Using Car CoversThe following is from a Canadian Insurer interested in making sure that their client's vehicles are stored well (they don't want claims!). Their great advice is good for Australians who also want to look after their cars. The original article can be found here.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Car CoversIf you plan on parking your car outdoors for the winter, you need to understand the effect the weather conditions will have. For Ontarians, the winter months with their intense snow storms can accelerate the wear process, and ice that is left on a car’s surface for extended periods of time can cause dents and scratches.A heavy-duty car cover made of WeatherShield fabric, which sheds water as soon as it hits the material, is recommended to protect against heavy snowfall during the winter.If you’re storing your car indoors, a lightweight car cover made of woven polyester or a poly-cotton blend may be sufficient to protect against dust build up.
Custom Vs. Universal Car CoversUniversal covers are made for the average car, so they will fit your car’s approximate size but won’t have designated pockets or holes for your mirrors or antenna or any of your car’s unique features. A car cover that is too baggy may be less resistant to the elements, and one that is too tight may put stress on the body and be difficult to put on and take off.A custom car cover is your best bet if you plan on storing your car away all winter. Like a tailor-made suit, custom car covers hug every part of your vehicle – they’re made specifically for the year, make, model and style of the vehicle it was purchased for. They last longer than universal covers, and are available in a wide range of materials.
Applying Your Car CoverIf your car cover comes with mirror pockets (most custom fit patterns do), it’s important that they be placed over the side mirrors before the cover is stretched over the bumpers.Next, identify the front and rear of the cover (the front will be market front, and the rear has a loop sewn into the hem). Hook the loop around the licence plate or inside the trunk. Cover your vehicle front back to front, securing firmly over the front and rear bumpers. Secure if with grommets if included with your car cover. To uninstall, reverse the process and unroll the cover back along the car and fold down the sides.
Car Cover Cleansing & MaintenanceThe performance of your car cover can be compromised if it becomes dirty. Cleaning properly when necessary helps to extend its life. Instructions vary depending on which fabric your car cover is made of, but generally, car covers are best spot cleaned with soapy water using a mild detergent and cool or lukewarm water.Most car covers can be washed in a washing machine, but it is best to avoid using one with a centre agitator, using fabric softener, or drying any type of specialty cover in a dryer.A high quality car cover can be a helpful accessory to preserve your vehicle’s appearance through the winter months – but it’s not enough to ensure it’s full protection. Even if it is dormant for months at a time, insuring your vehicle with the right coverage is the most important measure you can take. Before winter sets in, make sure you’ve got the right coverage.
Official agency publication - economic growth doesn't have to wreck environmentAn official agency has published some good news on the subject just two weeks ago. The Australian Bureau of Statistics published its “Australian environmental-economic accounts” for 2015-16, which contained what certainly looks like good news, but interestingly it has attracted minimal interest from the media and environmental groups. I've written a few blogs about how we Australians, some of the quickest in the world to adopt new technologies, are lagging behind when it comes to generating our own solar power. Is this another example of our apathy on the subject of increasing economic growth BUT at the same time caring for our environment and the future of our children and grandchildren?I do care about our environment and this is a really good -news story.Another good-news story would be the interest shown so far in the release of Australia's first solar carport kits In just over a month, we have had over 63,000 hits on our website and many inquiries. Solar Carports are another small step in creating power for our future economic growth without destroying our environment in the process another pointer to the fact that economic growth doesn't have to wreck environment.
Solar carports will protect your car and generate your electricity
Are you storm prepared?
Find out how you can protect your car from storms.
Keeping your car under cover during these events will offer the greatest protection against damage, however this isn’t always possible or practical.Here are some tips to protect your car from storm related damage.
- Plan ahead. If a storm is forecast, try to make arrangements to park your vehicle under cover, delay the trip or use alternative modes of transport.
- If caught in a storm, look for safe shelter. This could include a covered car park, a service station awning, under a bridge etc. Don’t place yourself or others at risk by where you choose to shelter. Be considerate of property owner’s rights if sheltering on private property.
Safety should always be your priority
- Don’t park or shelter under trees. They can be blown over or drop branches.
- Don’t speed up to beat a storm. This can lead to a crash – instead look for a safe place to shelter until the storm passes.
- If caught in a severe storm where visibility is reduced, try to pull well off the road to avoid being hit by other traffic.
- Turn on lights to increase visibility while driving and use the hazard lights if you are forced to stop at the side of the road. Wherever possible choose a safe place to stop.
- If it’s flooded – forget it. Even relatively shallow flowing water can sweep vehicles away.
- Consider where you park. If the area has a history of flooding in extreme weather events, find somewhere else to stop.
- If your home or yard is prone to flooding organise a safe alternative parking spot for your car.
Are you storm prepared?While we live in the Sunshine State, us Queenslanders know it's not always blue skies. From cyclones, floods and summer storms, we've experienced our fair share of natural disasters. Alarmingly, RACQ statistics show half of all Queensland homeowners have done nothing to prepare for the upcoming storm season. So, are you and your family prepared for when disaster strikes next? Take a look at the first RACQ TV episode about being storm prepared. It has a checklist of simple things to do around your home to make sure you're ready for that next storm.
Insurance CoverEnsure your car is properly insured.
- Repair bills for hail damage can typically exceed $5,000.
- Even minor damage can take a week or more to repair. More extensive damage that necessitates panel replacement can extend the repair time to several weeks.
- Up to 25% of storm damaged vehicles are written off because the cost of repairs nears or exceeds the value of the vehicle.
Hail coversPadded car covers intended to prevent or reduce the damage caused by hail stones are available at the best price here
- The level of protection offered by hail covers will ultimately depend on the type of cover and the size of the hail.
- Hail covers are unlikely to prevent damage from very large hail however they may reduce the level of damage.
- As a guide, hail covers can cost from $200 to more than $500. The price will depend on the quality and features of the cover and whether it is custom made for your particular car.
- Overall quality of the product i.e. fit, stitching, extent and thickness of padding, quality and durability of materials.
- Covers that don’t have padded sides are unlikely to protect side panels.
- Check that it has adequate tie-down points to prevent flapping or loss of the cover in high winds.
- Check the quality of stitching and the durability of the cover as it needs to withstand frequent fitting and gusty winds.
- Consider the size and weight of the cover. Remember that it needs to be stored when not in use. Storing bulky covers in cars with smaller boot/hatch areas can be a problem.
- Check that the cover manufacturer warrants the product for UV resistance and manufacturing defects.
- Choose a cover that best fits the vehicle – too big and it may flap around, too small and it will not fully cover the lower sections of panels. Try this our for more information
Hail covers - tips and advice
- Practice fitting the cover before a storm. It can take a few attempts to get it on the car without too much effort.
- Avoid dragging the cover over the ground as it may pick up grit that can scratch the car’s paintwork.
- Avoid dragging the cover on the body paintwork when fitting / removing to prevent dirt / dust on the car causing scratches.
- Heavy or bulky covers may need more than one person to fit / remove and roll up for storage.
- Remove covers regularly to allow any moisture to evaporate. Moisture trapped under a cover could induce rust."