Does the car cover damaged paint?

Categories: Tips & Tricks

According to research by many global car manufacturers, using a car cover will help protect the car from harmful agents and increase the durability and service life of the vehicle. However, with Pittsburgh Plate Glas(PPG) Industries - the car paint manufacturer, the frequent use of car covers is the cause of scratches on car paint. The little scratches will also cause dull, rusty marks on the body if not corrected in time. Does the car cover damaged paint? Let's find out about this article!

1. Causes of paint scratches when using car covers

Car covers do not directly harm your car but will scratch the car's paint if done incorrectly. Here are the causes of paint damage to your vehicle.

Dirt and debris

Car covers prevent dust particles from sticking to your car, but what if your vehicle is full of dirt? Unfortunately for you, dirt and debris will scratch your car's paint. Under normal conditions, the friction between the cover and debris will cause damage to your car's paint if this continues for a long time.


Wrong size

The size cover is necessary, for a too-large car cover will be easily blown away by the wind or easily disassembled by thieves. In addition, dirt will easily stick to the inside of the car cover and cause scratches, dust, mold, and damage to the car's exterior.For too-small, it will cause marks on the body when you tighten the belt, creating wear and scratching the car paint.


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Incorrect installation

Manufacturers always provide detailed installation instructions for covers. But we often ignore the thought that they are simple and easy. However, some car covers require a front and back or have specific specifications for straps, accessories, or other installation notes. Some mistakes will lead to damage or scratches to the paint and even damage to the metal accessories on your car's body.

Therefore, you should follow the installation instructions for the car cover. And make sure the tarp is sturdy and fits.

Low-quality materials

The criteria for the cover material will directly affect whether they protect your car or not. The low-quality and cheap covers do not help prevent damage to your vehicle and cause indirect damage if used for a long time. The low-quality car cover can damage the car's paint, trap moisture that causes mold, and cause wear and tear on metal parts of the body.

Therefore, you should note the quality criteria and ensure durability in natural environmental conditions.

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2. Tips to help you use a cover that won't scratch the paint?

When choosing car covers, you need to be sure they will help protect your car and won't cause any scratches on the bodywork. You should use soft covers or satin material for the intended use. Do not choose panels with corners or sharp edges because they will cause damage to the car when used.

Choose the material and type that are right

One of the top priorities when choosing a car cover is to suit your needs. You should choose an indoor cover when you leave it in the garage or store your car in the house. Similarly, with outdoor covers, you should only use them when you need to park in the sun or environment with wind, rain, and snow.The material used to cover the undercarriage must be suitable for each type of need and help prevent harmful agents from the environment.

  • Indoor: Should be made of cotton, soft fabric, satin, or fleece to help protect the car from dirt and ensure that it does not scratch the car's paint.
  • Outdoor: Priority should make by polyester and nylon, other waterproof and heat-resistant materials. For outdoor covers, you should buy one that fits well, has a soft inner lining, and comes with accessories such as a license plate cutout and reflective cloth to protect the car safely when parked in the sun or severe weather conditions.
    Quality car upholstery materials will match their price. You should choose the cover that suits your budget but ensure the quality matches the size of the car.

See also Top 16 Durable Car Cover Materials

Never use a car cover on a dirty car

One of car manufacturers tips when using a car cover is that you shouldn't use a clean tarp on a dirty car and vice versa. Using a dirty tarp on a clean vehicle will bring more harmful elements to your car than you think. Dirt and debris can scratch a car's paint, even if it's a little, but over time, they will wear and tarnish the car's paint, affecting the shine and appearance of the vehicle.

Besides, you do not use a car cover when the car or tarp is wet. Water vapor clinging to the inside of the car cover will cause mold and bacteria and affect the interior and leather equipment of the car. It will even cause rust and tarnish on your car's metal equipment.


Use car covers with anti-scratch inside.

A car with a shiny, clean, non-scratch, and well-groomed look will always be more sympathetic than a scratched and dirty car. Therefore protect the car's body, you should buy car covers with an anti-scratch layer inside.

Car covers are resistant to harsh weather environments. Debris, dirt, or snow that gets inside the canvas will also cause scratches and build up steam and moisture. Therefore, you should choose a breathable, soft layer to protect and avoid these dangers. The material that should be inside these indoor car covers is usually satin, fleece, or soft cotton.

As for the belt, accessories of the cover also need to be sure there are no sharp edges, non-scratches, or marks on the car's body.


For car owners who cover the car every day with a car cover, I recommend applying a coat of wax to the bodywork. They make the car shine and be more eye-catching but also act as a protective layer for the car from scratches caused by snow and dirt.

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Correct installation

Proper installation according to the manufacturer's specifications should be the priority before use. You should remove and install the tarp gently and firmly. Sudden and violent movements can damage your car's body and paint.

You also ensure the straps, ties, and covers are properly installed, fit, and secure. In the cold climates, with snow and freezing temperatures. If you install it too loosely or too tight, the snow will cling to the car cover and cause damage to the paint and the car's body.

See also Installation Guides - Car Covers


3. What to do when the car is scratched?

There are many ways to fix car damage caused by car cover. If the scratches are not too big and it has just appeared on your car, we have tips for you to deal with them effectively.


For minor scratches such as fingernails around door handles, scratches by car cover, or dirt. Wax polishing is an effective and cheap method. You may need to wash the car and use wax to polish around the scratch.

Another suggestion should polish by hand instead of using a polishing machine and hitting in a circular motion. Because when used by hand, it will help increase the impact force on the car's body and help fill the scratches.

See also How To Properly Wash Your Car For Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide To A Spotless Vehicle

Using toothpaste

If the car's scratches are not too deep (no deep than the base paint), using toothpaste to fill in the scratches is quite effective. If the scratches are deep, you should use a scratches removal kit.

To repair scratches with toothpaste, you should wash and dry your car. Any dirt on the car's body can cause more damage if you deliberately ignore its existence. And choose toothpaste with whitening effects in the best way.

  • Step 1: Apply toothpaste to a soft and damp cloth. Ensure the towel/fabric is soft and clean because you will rub them on the body. Using a hard or dry cloth may cause damage to the vehicle.
  • Step 2: Press the cloth with toothpaste on the scratched part and move it in a circular motion. You need to ensure enough impact and even hand to polish and fill scratches on the surface car's paint.
  • Step 3: Rinse off excess toothpaste after doing step 3.

You should repeat the process of the steps a few times until all the scratches are satisfied.

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Using a Scratch Removal

You can also use professional scratch remover. It is usually solutions or waxes that help remove scratches on the car. Usually, you can find them at professional auto repair shops.

How to use them? You need to wash the car and dry the car completely. Ensure the car's body is no longer dusty before using a Scratch Removal. Then, spray or apply them to the scratched part and dry again with a soft, damp cloth. Move them in a circular motion to ensure maximum efficiency.

You need to wipe off the excess product after doing the above action. Note that no solution/scratch remover is left, and you can repeat those steps a few times until you are satisfied.

Using the Car Scratch Repair kit

Using a professional repair kit is quite a method with an investment cost. With deep scratches and lots of scratches, you must pay a few dozen to several hundred dollars for a professional repair kit. You will need some paint the same color as the car to apply this method.

●     Step 1: Clean the car and dry it.

●     Step 2: Sand the scratched surface.

●     Step 3: Cover and protect the places that do not need to be painted, avoiding the paint on the car when you work.

●     Step 4: Spray a primer on the area to be repaired. Using a primer with the original paint color of the vehicle.

●     Step 5: Spray the base coat after the primer has dried.

●     Step 6: Wait for the paint to dry and polish the paint.


4. Conclusion

Using a car cover properly will help protect your car optimally and save money on vehicle maintenance and repair. Scratches on the car's body when using a car cover are caused by the fact that the car cover, the size, and the material used are not suitable. Therefore, you should choose the right car cover with a soft lining inside to protect the car, and don't forget to choose a breathable cover!

5. FAQs

Are there types of car cover anti-scratch that protect the car from harmful agents?

Usually, a car cover will be advertised as protecting your vehicle from scratches if used correctly. Therefore, when buying attention to the following:

  • The car cover needs to fit the size of your car. The tarp is not too big or too small. Too large will cause friction and create unpleasant scratches, while a small cover will not protect your vehicle.
  • The car cover should be breathable and made of soft material for indoor use. With an outdoor car cover, ensure a soft cloth lining inside to limit friction.

Should I use car covers when parked indoors?

For those who always use the car to go to the office the next day, they won't use an indoor car cover. However, protecting the vehicle from risks is a must. Indoor car covers are like insurance, and it is pretty much useless under normal conditions but will be very useful if dirt, objects, or small tree branches are in your car by the wind.

Trust me! You won't know when these hazards will reach your vehicle. Invest in a suitable car cover in your home to keep your car clean and protected.


What is the price of car undercarriage?

Car cover prices are very diverse depending on the style, material, manufacturer and suitable for which climate conditions.

Typically, indoor tarpaulins cost from a few dozen to several hundred dollars, and outdoor tarpaulins cost a little more. You can check prices on websites from our online dealer or retailer on website:

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Lucas Gream