Many vehicle owners who use car covers often find themselves in a curious and frustrating situation — no matter how well they care for their car, they still find scratches and abrasions that mar the otherwise flawless finish. Chances are, too, that these minor damages appear in unusual places on the car that cannot be attributed to parking lot incidents or driving mishaps. Surprisingly, many abrasions and scratches are unwittingly the fault of the car owner. By understanding some of the more common reasons for these surface damages, though, a car owner can easily prevent many of them from occurring in the first place. Covering a Dirty Vehicle Even if drivers use car covers to protect their vehicles, regular washing is still required to keep the surface of the car clean. Dirt, leaves, or other debris that may be present on a car when the car cover is placed on top can actually damage the finish. When the car cover rubs against the dirt or debris on the car’s exterior, the dirt acts as an abrasive that causes scratches and other surface damage. Making a regular appearance at the car wash is an easy solution that can help prevent dirt from building up and creating problems. Using a Dirty Car Cover Keeping car covers clean is just as important as keeping a vehicle’s exterior clean. Many car owners, especially when pressed for time, have a tendency to wad up the cover and toss it in the trunk or on the floor of a garage when it’s time to drive. Drivers should avoid this impulse, though. Any dirt or debris in the trunk or on the garage floor can be easily picked up by the cover and then transferred to the car’s surface when the cover is replaced. Just as with a dirty car, a dirty car cover can rub against the finish and cause abrasions and scratches. When not in use, car covers should be stored neatly in a bag to keep them clean. Improper Covering Technique It’s a natural instinct to cover and uncover a vehicle by sliding the car cover across the vehicle’s surface. Sliding a cover on and off is an efficient way to do it, but it’s also a potential cause for some of the curious surface damages that car owners may find on the vehicle. Once again, the existence of dirt or debris is to blame. Any dirt or debris on the car’s exterior or on the car cover itself can cause surface abrasions as the cover slides across the finish. Instead of sliding car covers on and off, drivers should roll or fold them as they go. Doing so can prevent damage from occurring. Preventing all car scratches and abrasions from happening is probably not possible. Taking a little extra effort, though, to keep a vehicle clean, to stow car covers more carefully, and to use better techniques when covering and uncovering a vehicle can go a long way in preventing some of the mysterious surface damages that appear on a car’s exterior.