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Are Car Covers Worth It?

Is it worth it to cover your car if you don’t have a garage to store it in?

My car is a 1970 Nova that I recently had painted but don’t have a good storage place on my property.

No garage? That’s why they make car covers.

The car covers seem to do an excellent job of protecting the finish and interior of cars that are parked in the open. Tree sap, UV rays, bird droppings and excess heat on the interior all seem to be minimized with a good cover that is properly used. I was very happy with the results on an old Cadillac,8 winters covered and a Toyota MR2, 3 winters covered.

I cover my 93 Caprice if it’s going to sit for a few weeks. It’s not worth the hassle for a daily drive. Invest in a quality cover, preferably a fitted one. I’ve had good luck with “Technalon”, a quilted breathable material.

They may work well in some areas but not around here. The inexpensive ones (dust covers more than anything else) fall apart pretty quickly outside. The more expensive ones hold up much better but with the way the wind blows in OK most of the time the covers move around with the wind and may chaff the paint a bit here and there.

If you go with a hgh end cover and anchor it down where it doesn’t flop around you should be ok.

Yeah- the one I have was like 30 bucks and already seemed to be a little messed up after only having been used for about a week or so by my mechanic when he had it at his house to work on- I guess I should look into a better quality one. Thanks.

Those inexpensive ones last about 2 weeks around here if the wind is not howling. The other day it was close to 60 MPH so odds are even a good cover could have been shredded.

I used the cheap one over the winter once on my Dads car and seemed to work ok. They also have those quanset type enclosures that are fairly cheap. They are ugly and zoning may not allow it but they will cover the car and not be touched by the fabric.

Personally I avoid them. However they are a good idea for some people. It all depends on a number of factors.

That said, I suspect many if not most of the covers that are purchased and used off no advantage and may cause damage to the car. Like wise many people who do not use any cover may be suffering damage that a cover could have prevented.

It all depends on the cover and the local conditions.

If you don’t use the car for a few weeks between outings a cover is a good idea. I use my covers primarily in the spring and fall when all the junk from the trees just gunks up everything. If your car is parked away from trees the cover might not be necessary.

A covered car that isn’t used much might be more attractive to mice and other pests. Keep this in mind and a few strategically placed mouse snap traps baited with peanut butter on the ground beneath the car can help.

Another complaint I’ve heard on these is that they can wear or leave “rub marks” on the edges of the car body they make contact with. Especially if they flap in the wind.

BTDTBTTS. I’ll never cover a car outside again. Even if you leave it covered 24/7, dust and dirt will accumulate under the cover. Changes in temp will result in moisture and blown dust/dirt will end up between the cover and car. I’ve bought the most expensive covers you can get and regardless of their claimed ability to breathe and not trap moisture, they still do if you have the right conditions (e.g. anywhere but the southwest). That means it’s not only dirty but scratched over time. I also had big issues with the covered cars developing mold/mildew for the same reasons. Uncovered cars never had that problem. You shouldn’t put the cover on a hot car or one that is dirty. What does that mean? It’s a PITA to wait to put it on after driving and it needs to be perfectly clean if you want to preserve the paint. And you have to cinch them down pretty good because when the wind picks up at 2am, it’s gonna flap all over the place while you lay in bed thinking about how you should have tied it down better :wink: Not worth it to me.

Well- I guess I won’t put any money into a better one either- I will just let nature take it’s course. My car isn’t going to be in shows and if it loses a little glimmer from sitting out I don’t mind- It is 42 years old after all. Maybe if I come into some extra $$ I can have a shelter put up for it of some sort further on down the road.

My daughter had an older car that she seldom used and put a cover on it. After a month or so the constant flapping due to the wind had rubbed several dull spots into the paint. This happened even after running many feet of 1/4" rope around it to help hold it all down.

Nice car you have though. A guy here still has a couple of Novas of that era for sale but they’re overpriced in my opinion. They do look good though.
Many years ago someone was wanting to trade me a '67 Nova and I did seriously consider it for a while. It was slick but more suited to the track than the street. It had a beefy 350 with dual 4-barrels, long tube headers, and a roll cage. A real grocery getter… :slight_smile:

The subtle point is that the damage from the sun is far less than the cover in a lot of cases. The lesser of two evils…

Mine is also a 350 cu inch with a Holley 4 barrel carb and flow-master dual exhaust- No roll cage though-LOL! She has a good bit of pick up. I like it because it’s a 3 speed on the floor. The other 2 Novas I owned in the past were both automatics.

Just keep a good coat of wax on it; give it a bath once in awhile to keep the crud off it, and you should be good.

You should only use a car cover for inside parking. Outside parking with a ar cover will damage the paint or the car cover. You should see what wind does to car covers.

If you have enough cash, consider an indoor storage unit – even one with shade can help protect from UV and heat, and you may not need it all year. Car care online .com has some good suggestions for proper cleaning your car and protecting the finish (you don’t need to buy their products and they have some good suggestions). I’m sure you can find other websites just as good.

If you live in an area with lots of wind, car covers are probably not a great idea (except for times when the winds are still). If you park under a tree with copious sap or bird droppings, go for it. I use a car cover (two queen-size flannel sheets) for our semi-classic garaged car and plenty of dust still gets underneath it, so they help but are not a panacea.

“It’s only a car.”