Sand damage is a common issue for drivers here in Dubai, especially during the summer, when sandstorms are most likely to strike. And research shows they’ll probably keep getting worse (thanks, global warming!), so it’s more important than ever to be aware of the dangers sand poses to your car.
But fear not: there are things you can do to protect your vehicle from sand-related damage all-year round.
How to protect your car’s body paint from sand
A beautiful paint job is just one of the many amazing features of a sleek, stylish car. But if you’re not careful, sand could cause severe superficial damage that robs your vehicle of that eye-popping gleam.
Why? Because it will cling to your car’s exterior, scratch the paint, and can become lodged in spots where paint has been chipped away.
Rinsing sand from your car’s exterior is a quick, simple way to protect your car’s body paint. But don’t use a sponge — grains of sand can get stuck in the soft material and scratch the paint even more as it glides across the body.
Use a water hose instead, and pay attention to all of those nooks and crannies where sand might lurk out of sight. Apply car wax after rinsing for extra protection and to minimize signs of wear on the surface (including spots where sand has caused damage already).
Consider investing in a car cover for when your vehicle’s parked in the open and exposed to the elements, too. Simple but effective.
How to protect your car’s air filter from sand
Sand can clog your car’s air filters and reduce airflow to the engine. This might lead to overheating, warped cylinder heads and damaged sensors, belts, or wiring.
But that’s not all: sand could clog the cabin filter and leave your oil contaminated. And if that happens, you’ll have to organize an oil replacement, which can be inconvenient and costly.
Get into the habit of cleaning your car’s air filters yourself or hiring a specialist to handle it for you. Leave the filters to dry before putting them back.
How to protect your car’s windshield from sand
Temperature fluctuations can damage your windshield: if it’s parked outside in the blistering heat all day and you switch the AC on to maximum when you get behind the wheel, this drastic change can have a warping effect on the safety layer inside the windshield.
And if your windshield has any existing cracks (no matter how small), they may become clogged with sand while you’re driving. This will weaken the glass and exacerbate any minor damage, compromising your visibility and safety.
Start cleaning your windshield regularly, possibly multiple times per week during periods of high winds.
Remember, though: rinse the windshield before wiping it clean. You’ll remove most of the sand and reduce the risk of scratching the glass yourself. Check cracks carefully for embedded grains of sand before you start.
By washing your windshield often, you’ll stop sand building up and inhibiting your view.
How to protect your car’s interior from sand
It’s always tempting to leave your car window open on hot days, whether you’re driving or parked up for a few minutes.
But while this keeps the interior cool, it can leave your seats, carpets, and dashboard coated with sand. And sand is tough to remove once it’s taken hold.
What’s more, beach trips can result in a lot of sand making it ways back to the car with you. So what do you do?
Let’s be honest: the best way to deal with sand inside your car is to avoid it in the first place!
So, you have a few options.
For one, you can keep your windows shut — but that’s not a nice idea in the summer. Plus, you’re not going to stop going to the beach during summer, just to keep sand out of the car, are you?
So you might prefer to cover your seats and carpet with blankets or towels instead (with one for your dash, too, if necessary). When you’ve stopped driving for the day, just shake the blankets or towels out carefully to remove the sand. Quick and easy.
Alternatively, you could try vacuuming your car’s interior and following this up with a damp cloth (ideally, made from microfiber). Sand can leave stains, so the cost of neglecting your car’s interior could be worse than you realize.
Squeaky clean and sand-free
Follow these steps to protect your car from sand, inside and out. Establish a regular cleaning routine, or your car’s good looks and smooth performance will suffer in the long run.
Fortunately, with our car subscription app, all routine service and maintenance is included in our cost-effective monthly fee. Save money, access hundreds of vehicles, and focus on the fun of driving a car without the hassle of owning one — plus, a sand-free experience is guaranteed!