4 Ways to Protect Your Car Without a Garage

The family vehicle is a valuable asset, so naturally, you want to take care of yours. The best way to do that is by storing it safely in a garage. But if you’re like many Austinites, you may not have a garage, or you use yours for storage. So, how do you protect your car without a garage?

1. Build a Garage Alternative

When it comes to sheltering your vehicle, a garage isn’t your only choice. Building a carport is a less expensive alternative to keep your car out of the elements. Without shade, the sun can damage your car’s exterior, so any shelter you can provide will do a lot of good.

If construction is out of the question, consider looking into a car tent or canopy. These tents come in various sizes, so you’ll want to measure your vehicle before ordering. While you might not want to leave this up all the time, a tent can be an excellent temporary measure to protect from hail. Just be sure your tent is properly staked or weighted down.

2. Invest in anti-theft devices

It’s not just the elements that pose a threat to your car. A vehicle out in the open can be a tempting target for thieves. In Austin, catalytic converter theft is a widespread problem. There are many devices on the market that claim they can prevent theft. While we don’t have any that we recommend, you may want to do some research and see if there’s one that makes sense for you.

If you’re worried about someone stealing your vehicle, a steering wheel lock can make it less attractive. Some dash cams also begin recording when they detect motion and upload the video to the cloud. Of course, a classic car alarm can also go a long way toward keeping your vehicle secure. While thieves can quickly disarm some models, it can sometimes be more trouble than a thief is willing to go to.

3. Protect your car’s paint job without a garage

Keeping your car’s paint job looking new can help keep the resale value high. One way to protect your car’s exterior is with regular waxing. Learning how to wax your vehicle can save you a lot of money over having it done professionally, but the benefits are the same. Your vehicle will look shinier, the color will resist fading, and you’ll be providing some protection against chips and scratches.

A car cover can also protect your car’s exterior. It’s also a chance to show off your style, as these covers come in various colors and patterns. If you’re after a more straightforward and cheaper solution, a drop cloth offers many of the same benefits. Just be sure to tie the cloth down, especially if it’s windy.

Interestingly, car covers and drop cloths can also work as theft deterrents. Not only is it a pain for a thief to remove, but there’s no way of knowing what type of vehicle is under the cover until the thief takes it off.

Whether you wax or cover your car, keeping the foliage around your parking area trimmed is a smart move. Leaves and twigs that fall from overhanging trees can damage your vehicle’s finish. Those trees can also be attractive to birds, whose droppings can eat away at your car’s paint.

4. Keep your vehicle’s interior cool

If you make an effort to keep your car’s interior cool during the summer, you’ll also be protecting your seats and electrical components. The most cost-effective (although certainly not easiest) way to do this is to park strategically. We know we just told you to keep your trees trimmed, but even a manicured tree can block some sunlight, as can surrounding buildings.

Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if you’re in a perpetual parking war with your neighbors. A screen for your windshield can be a more reliable solution since it travels with you. These can be a bit of a pain until you get in the habit, but they do a great job of keeping your car’s interior temperature tolerable

A more permanent option is getting a window tint, but there are some things to consider first. Probably the most important is how much interstate traveling you do. The legality of window tints varies pretty wildly from state to state. It’s legal in Texas, but it’s something to think about if you’re planning a road trip.

Wrapping Up

While a garage may be the most straightforward way of protecting your vehicle, it’s also a luxury in a city like Austin. You might have to get creative without a garage, but there are plenty of ways to keep your car safe wherever you park it.

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