Do you park your car at an open-air HDB car park? Here are some ways to protect it from the heat

PHOTO: The Straits Times file

Is the open-air HDB carpark your only option for your HDB season parking?

While most drivers avoid parking at these carparks due to prolonged exposure to the natural elements (like the scorching sun), some simply have no choice.

From open-air HDB carpark to roadside carpark and surface parking of condominiums, open-air carparks are common in Singapore. If you are one of those that park your car in the open, here are some ways to care for your car!

Exterior protection

Exterior protection refers to the protection of your car's bodywork, tyres, and head lights. When these components are maintained well, your car will be looking fabulous, leaving others in awe of the exterior condition of your car.

Here are ways to care for your car's exterior:

Ceramic coating & Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Ceramic coating comes in a liquid form. When applied to your car, it fills up the minute gaps, cracks, and blemishes of the car's surface, providing the hydrophobic effect for your car. It makes it easier to clean off dirt in both liquid and solid form.

On the other hand, PPF is a clear film wrapped over your vehicle's exterior (Yes, think of it like vinyl wrapping but in a clear film), protecting your car from stains and scratches.

Both products serve the same purpose - to act as an extra layer of protection for your car against environmental hazards such as UV rays, excess heat, and bird droppings. Moreover, they also prevent water spots and oxidation from occurring so that your car's paint job remains in an excellent state.

Wax and UV protective solution

If you park in the open regularly, my advice is to minimally use wax and UV protective solution if ceramic coating and PPF are not your kind of thing.

Wax comes in various types and forms - natural, synthetic, paste, liquid and spray wax. Regardless, they all provide a form of protection against any form of natural element. Let's just say wax serves the same purpose as how sunscreen works for humans.

Upon prolonged exposure to the sun, the UV rays will cause your car's exterior lights (like your head lights for example) to turn yellow or cloudy. This is where UV protective solution works its magic in preventing these exterior lights from turning yellow. Trust me, no matter how cool your car is, it looks hideous with those yellowish head lights.

ALSO READ: The thrifty driver's ultimate guide to car parks with free parking in Singapore (2021 edition)

Tyre shines

It may be purely for aesthetical purposes, but the benefits of a tyre shine go beyond its name.

Besides enhancing the gloss and colour of the tyres, tyre shine provides overall protection for your tyres by preventing the formation of cracks and ensuring they stay moisturised and lubricated.

Furthermore, it gives your car that whole 'new car' look. What's not to love?

Interior protection

Interior protection refers to protecting your car's leather seat and interior trims such as the dashboard, door lining, and steering wheel. Maintenance of these components will ensure a comfortable environment for both the driver and passengers.

Trim protectants

Unfamiliar with trim protectants? Don't worry. Trim protectant is a lesser-known product among car detailing products.

It enhances the appearance of dark coloured trims by adding a deep, lustrous black look to them. At the same time, it gives the trim added protection against those UV rays, preventing discolouration or premature ageing.

Leather conditioner

As with all things leather, it requires some moisturiser for it to remain in tip-top condition.

A leather conditioner moisturises the car seats and removes dirt, stains, and gives them a layer of protection against the aforementioned.

Moisturising your leather seats prevents them from cracking or chapping from the prolonged exposure to the sun.

ALSO READ: Carparks that P-plate drivers should avoid in Singapore

Solar film/window tint

Solar film or window tint is a common necessity for car owners in Singapore.

As previously mentioned, harmful UV rays can cause your leather seats to crack and discolour. Considering Singapore's hot weather, window tint keeps the interior of the car cool by blocking out harmful UV rays from penetrating the car and reduces glare while driving.

An added benefit of window tint is its ability to hold the shattered glass together if the window shatters.

With these tips, I can guarantee you that your car will remain in tip-top condition no matter where you park. The after-effects of open-air parking will have nothing on you!

This article was first published in sgCarMart.