You Could Be Chasing Your Tail With The Best Of Intentions
When you take your clean (just washed) car out for a trip to the grocery store, you now technically have a dirty car. It doesn’t matter if it is raining or if it is a sunny day. It doesn’t matter if you drove through the mud or pavement, you now have a dirty car. When you return home, are you going to put the car cover on the car?
It is incredibly unlikely (realistically impossible) for you to put a cover over a car without some friction. In essence, you are grinding whatever dirt, dust, or other foreign substance from when you were driving into your paint. Even if you are applying over a freshly cleaned vehicle, the friction mentioned earlier is unavoidable and can cause imperfections when putting the cover onto the vehicle.
I would not even put a plush microfiber towel over my paint in this situation without some appropriate lubricity (car soap, instant detailer, etc.). It is often to the surprise of so many car owners when I tell them the source of the swirls (1000s of micro-scratches) and random deep scratches came from their car cover!
For example, the accumulation of scratches here (below) were likely in large part a product of the use of a car cover.
The biggest obstacle most enthusiasts have is that they are focused so much on short-term cleanliness that they become distracted from worrying about long-term damage.
If (that’s a big if) you are going to use a car cover:
• Limit it to indoors.
• Get a high-quality Indoor Cover.
• Use it for inside garage storage immediately after washing.
• Never put it over a dirty vehicle.
Ideally, this will work if you have a weekend car that you don’t want to get dust on. That plan will result in the least amount of damage from a car cover.