Car Paint

What Causes Sun Damage to Car Paint and How to Prevent It

The sun’s rays can benefit some, but they can be a huge detriment to vehicle owners. The intense ultraviolet radiation from the sun can be detrimental to our cars, resulting in fading and damage to the paint. This is a problem that car owners must deal with all over the world.

As such, it is important to protect your vehicle’s paint, plastic trim, headlights, and other components from the sun’s harmful rays. In this article, we will explore how you can protect your car from the damaging effects of the sun. Read on. 

How Sun Damage Occurs 

Ultraviolet (UV) light is an invisible form of light with a wavelength measuring between 10 and 400 nanometers, shorter than what is visible to the human eye and longer than X-rays. It is a type of energy present in natural sunlight and makes up about 10 percent of the sun’s total electromagnetic radiation. UV light is very powerful and can have a range of effects on living things.

The sun’s ultraviolet radiation can cause damage to car paint, diminishing its protective qualities and leading to fading, cracking, and other deterioration. This can make the car look old and worn out and reduce its resale value.

Over time, the molecules in automotive paints, clear coats, and other materials are broken down by UV light, resulting in the loss of their original brightness and color. This phenomenon, called the dulling effect, affects automotive paints, plastic trims, headlights, glass, tires, and wheels.

Automotive paint colors will absorb all the colors in the spectrum except the one they are designed to appear as. This, unfortunately, makes them more susceptible to damage from ultraviolet rays, which are also part of the spectrum. 

Common Causes of Sun Damage on Your Car

  • Accumulated Dirt 

When a car is not regularly cleaned, dirt, dust, and other contaminants accumulate on the surface, causing damage to the paint and clear coat. This damage can be seen as a loss of shine and color, fading, and increased vulnerability to UV light. Regular cleaning will help preserve the car’s appearance and protect it against further damage.

  • Organic Wastes

Bird droppings, tree sap, and bug remnants can all contain high levels of acidic components that can cause rapid deterioration of car paint and other surfaces. Uric acid, which is especially abundant in bird feces, can start to break down clear coat paint in a short amount of time.

  • Salt 

Salt is a type of contaminant that can make it easier for UV light to damage car parts. It can quickly get through protective surfaces like car wax, transparent coatings, or paint sealants. 


Protecting car paint from sun damage is essential to maintain the look and health of a vehicle. Parking in the shade or using a sunshade when possible is important. It is also important to regularly clean the car and wax it at least twice a year. Additionally, a paint sealant can help protect the paint from UV rays and other elements. Taking these steps can help ensure that your car will look good for many years to come.

If you are looking for an auto body paint shop in Edmonton, choose Lucky 13. We take pride in being experts in auto body repair and custom paint services. We are dedicated to providing our customers with quality workmanship, trusted service, and competitive pricing. Get a free quote!