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Do Car Sun Shades Work?

By Ryan Wegman
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Do Car Sun Shades Work?


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Even though they’re made of durable materials, cars have plenty of surfaces that the sun can damage. The exterior paint is the most exposed, but even the interior surfaces can be affected through constant sun exposure. The heat that builds up inside your car on a hot summer day makes it unpleasant to get into and can even cause minor burns if your hand touches the hot metal on a seatbelt. You need to protect your car’s interior from as much sun exposure as possible to keep it safe, comfortable, and looking its best.

Sun shades have long been an option for shielding your car from the sun and heat. However, the answer to the question “Do car sun shades work?” is complicated because car sun shades don’t protect the exterior of the car. Although sun shades can help reduce the interior temperature, car covers are still a better option for keeping your vehicle cool and free of sun damage.

What Car Sun Shades Do

Car sun shades work to protect your car with a physical barrier that blocks out sunlight. They use either a reflective material to bounce sunlight back out of the vehicle or a non-reflective material that absorbs the UV rays. Car owners place these large, stiff boards under their windshields as close to the glass as possible to properly reflect the sunlight.

However, much of the resulting heat still stays trapped inside the car. Even though the seats receive less direct sunlight and UV damage, thanks to the sun shades, they still can suffer from heavy exposure to heat. Since sun shades are rarely custom-fitted, a lot of sunlight can still get around the edges of the sun shade and scorch your seats and dashboard.

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Only covering the front windshield does little to protect the windows and roof of the car. Although windows are often tinted to reduce sunlight exposure, this is usually insufficient to protect your interior. Some states with high levels of UV rays also have laws strictly limiting the amount of tinting that car windows can have. The overall effectiveness of car sun shades may also decrease if your car is black or another dark color. Dark surfaces absorb more heat than lighter ones, so only covering the inside of your windshield has little effect on the amount of heat the vehicle retains.


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How to Protect Your Car

The best way to prevent heat and sun damage on cars parked outside is to cover them as much as possible. Parking under a tree or another form of protection can help, but it still leaves your car exposed to the sun from certain angles. Leaving your car under a tree also exposes it to falling fruits, nuts, and bird droppings.

Parking indoors is the most reliable choice, but it isn’t always a practical option, especially if you have multiple cars in one household. Having a light-colored surface over your entire vehicle is one of the best ways to keep your vehicle protected daily.

Benefits of Car Covers

Car covers provide year-round protection from sunlight, even when the sun is low in the sky in the winter. Since they wrap entirely around your car, you can keep your paint protected instead of just covering the windshield. You can even protect a large portion of your tires with a properly sized cover. There are three main sizing options available for car covers. Universal car covers are designed to cover a wide range of cars in a given class like sedans and SUVs. They can blow off easily in the wind due to their poor sizing, so they’re not recommended.

A semi-custom cover fits a specific car make and model. It provides an outstanding balance of fit and value and stays securely in place in most situations. A custom car cover offers the best protection because you can customize it to account for accessories you have on your car, such as storage racks or grille guards.

Our most versatile outdoor car cover is the Platinum Shield cover, which has a water-resistant yet breathable polyester exterior and a soft interior layer to help prevent scratches. It offers a strong layer of UV resistance that envelops your entire car like a glove for effective sun protection. The cover is backed by a lifetime warranty. We also offer the Ultimate Shield cover, which provides incredible polypropylene-based UV protection with a 10-year warranty. These covers also protect your car from bird droppings, dirt, ice, and other problems that can accumulate outside. They’re even a good idea for indoor use because they can help prevent minor scratches.


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Protecting Your Car Year-Round provides semi-custom and custom car covers made of high-quality material that protects your car from UV rays and heat. We work hard to source materials that will last, and we engineer seams that hold up to frequent use. We also have floor mats and other accessories to keep your car in the best condition possible. Whether you’re driving the latest luxury vehicle or trying to protect a classic car, count on us to keep your ride looking fantastic.

May 18, 2021
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