Moltex Outdoor Covers
Moltex Outdoor Cover
Q Is the Moltex material breathable?
A Yes, the material is fully breathable over the whole car, not just a vent at the front & rear.
Q Is the cover waterproof?
A Almost, a breathable material cannot be 100% waterproof, The covers are 99%
waterproof and only allow a small amount of moisture through in extended heavy rain. It is more important to allow the car to breathe to avoid condensation.
Q How can a material be waterproof and breathable?
A Moltex is constructed from FIVE separate layers of material. There is a perforated polythurathane (waterproof) centre layer which is sandwiched by two outer layers of material, the perforations are small enough to allow the air in & out without breaking the surface tension of the water thus not allowing the moisture through to the car but allowing it to breath. The further outer layer and then the fleece lining.
Q Does the cover have a soft internal lining?
A Yes, there is a soft fleece lining that is guaranteed not to scratch when ruffled by wind.
Q How is the cover attached to the car?
A Both ends are elasticated and there are two straps with buckles by the wheels to secure it further under the centre of the car.
Q Can the cover be put on a wet car?
A Yes, however do not expect it to dry overnight, the drying capabilities rely on warm air and a breeze to remove the moisture.
Q Will water go through the cover if a puddle of rain forms.
A No, as the fibres partially cover the breath holes the surface tension of the water will not be broken. We had a customer call recently that covered his boat whilst using his car, after a wet day there was a 12" deep puddle of water on the cover and the boat was perfectly dry.
Q How do you clean the covers?
A Either hang the cover over a washing line and hose it off or wipe a sponge over the cover on the car and hose off, any moisture you push through the cover will evaporate away. The covers are not machine washable.
Q Why should I buy a Moltex cover?
A We are obviously going to say they are the best quality & value for money etc etc. However we are best guided buy our customers, we have a number that purchase a second cover for another car or refer their friends to us. At exhibitions we have many customers that visit us to comment how pleased they are with their cover and it is the best they have tried for a number of years, what more can we say.
Winter Storage Advice
"Are you looking to store your pride and joy away for the winter?"
If you have a car you do not use very often or in the winter months, then chances are now is the time that you are looking to "hibernate" it before using it again next spring or summer.
We have asked Car Care experts Hamilton Classic what their top tips would be for those of you looking to store your pride and joy at this time of year.
Firstly, the best thing you can do before storing a car is clean it, thoroughly inside, outside and underneath. This makes sure there is no dirt festering in the crevices that can encourage corrosion to take hold. If you have a soft top car it is also worth cleaning the hood as any dirt could encourage mould to form and if you are storing the car indoors do not be tempted to leave the hood folded away as this traps moisture and can permanently mark it - put it up.
Secondly, check all your levels - ensuring they are all topped up and anything that contains water, such as coolant and washer fluid is not going to freeze should the temperature drop below freezing. It is also worth checking to see if you have any coolant leaks and get these seen to, as coolant can stain and leave a nasty residue which can be difficult to remove.
Thirdly, if you have the time - remove each of your wheel nuts, clean them and the hole they came out or the stud they came off of with an oil based penetrating spray (such as WD40 or Gibbs Penetrating Spray) and then refit. If you do this one at a time, it will mean you don't actually have to take the wheels off. How many times have you had a puncture and not been able to get the wheel nuts undone? If you leave a car stationary - in particular outside - this problem can be magnified.
Likewise if you have time change the oil. Old oil can have acids suspended in the fluid which can be potentially destructive.
However, do not change the brake fluid at this time. This is best done when coming out of storage. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and naturally absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. It will do this whether it is new or not, so best to change as "late" as possible. We recommend brake fluid is changed every 2 years. When moisture is absorbed into it, the boiling point of the fluid is reduced. The lower the boiling point, the fluid may boil and this will give you poor brakes under load - highly undesirable.
Tyres are easily forgotten when storing a car! If it is going to be stationary for any length of time then tyres can suffer. There are many different opinions to help protect them and most ideas are good ones.
The three main options to consider are as follows:
1. Jack the car up and put it on axle stands so the wheels are not in contact with the ground! This not only helps the tyres but can take the strain off bearings. However it is important to make sure the car is supported on the suspension - not the chassis.
2. Pump the tyres up about 15 psi higher than normal or
3. Use a product such as a "tyre trainer" and leave tyres at about 2 psi higher than normal.
Optional 1 is not for everyone and if you need to use the car for whatever reason it can be a nuisance.
Option 2 is what many of us would have done in the past and can certainly help - however, perishing can be encouraged and small flat spots can still form on the tyres - although this is less of an issue in the winter as it is in the summer. You also have to remember to drop the pressures again when you wish to use the car - it can be potentially lethal not to do so.
Option 3 is the most convenient solution as tyre pressures do not necessarily need much adjustment and the "trainers" will help prevent flat spots and premature perishing by supporting more of the tyre tread area. They also have the added benefit of doubling up as garage stop markers.
One final thing to do is inspect your tyres and try and remove wherever possible any stones or debris from within the tread.
Covering your car
If you wish to consider covering your car, there are plenty of companies who can help - but be careful as there are rules that we recommend you adhere to.
There are two things you should avoid when covering a car. They are as follows;
1. You must never use a material that is 100% waterproof (one that does not breathe), such as an "old tarpaulin" or plastic sheet. Moisture from below the car or air bound moisture will still get underneath this type of cover and will leave the car damp and "sweating". Mould will be encouraged to grow, water marks and micro-blistering may appear in the paintwork and the car will probably be in a worse state than if it was not covered at all.
2. If you are storing the car outdoors or indoors in a non-heated environment you should also avoid using a material which is hygroscopic. Cotton is such a material and although many cars have been covered with this material over the years it is not very suitable to use in a climate such as ours. Due to the way it is woven it does not have very good resistance to stopping dust from going through it and because it is hygroscopic it will draw to and hold moisture against the body of the car.
If storing your car outside
Ideally in this country you should use a good fitting semi-tailored car cover. By this we mean a cover that is designed to fit a generic shape and size of vehicle, not a "one size fits all" cover or a fully tailored cover.
A "one size fits all" cover will more often than not be too baggy, and as such will probably fit poorly and move about excessively in the wind - excessive flapping can damage the car beneath but also prematurely wear out the cover. This type of cover tends to appear value for money, but more often than not they can cost you far more than if you had spent three times the price on a decent cover in the first place!
A fully tailored cover, whilst without doubt will be well made, will sit too close the body of the car. In climates found in the south of France or Spain you can rely on the sun coming out, but in this country we cannot. Whether we like it or not moisture will get under a cover (and by moisture we do not generally mean rain) and you need either the sun and or air circulation to help remove this moisture. So even if the cover is breathable, because it fits like a glove it will not allow the air to circulate beneath it and if the sun does not come out the moisture can remain or at least take much longer to escape.
Therefore a good fitting, breathable semi tailored car cover will allow better air circulation beneath it meaning that it is not essential that the sun comes out to help remove moisture. Think of a well fitted mitten, rather than a glove and you will probably not go far wrong and if it has a soft inner lining then even if the wind picks up and the cover does move slightly, it will not mark the car.
The other properties that are important for an outdoor cover are that it should be breathable - preferably through the whole body of the material and not just through a couple of vents. Vented covers allow air circulation in small areas but still leave pockets where moisture does not escape from (i.e. if the vents are on the roof, the top of the car might dry out but the headlights will still be damp). To achieve this, a multilayer construction with offset perforations through every layer allow moisture and air to escape but does not encourage rain sleet and snow to penetrate. It should also be in a light colour to help reflect away as much damaging ultra violet light as possible. (Ideally covers should be made in white, but that is far too impractical.) If colours are dull or dark then the ultra violet is absorbed and this not only can be harmful to the vehicle beneath, but can prematurely destroy the cover making it brittle and fall apart. Additionally the seams should also be welded, as stitched seams can be broken down by ultra violet light. It should ideally be made in a multi layer construction as this makes them more rigid and less likely to flap about in the wind, and finally it should have good holding capabilities, preferably with strong elastic hems at each end to hook under the bumpers and some other form of strapping that can go under the vehicle to secure it in high winds. All outdoor covers should be removed occasionally just to help improve air circulation.
If storing a car indoors
For indoor solutions you have even more choices, but again there are rules that apply and the most important one, mentioned already, is to avoid covering the vehicle in a hygroscopic material unless the car is to be kept in a really dry environment.
So in general dry environments cotton or natural fibres are best avoided, but there are plenty of "non hygroscopic" man made dust covers out there and even in the "one size fits all" category, but remember the better the cover fits the least likely it is that dust will get underneath it.
If storing a car in an open barn or a garage that is not heated then a good semi tailored breathable cover is recommended for the same reasons as described for outdoor covers. However, if you have the luxury of a dry warm garage and you wish to spend the extra money you could go the "whole hog" and have a fully tailored cover. As to whether it does a better job compared to a good semi tailored cover, we doubt it, but they look fantastic!
On a separate note if you have a garage, there is a train of thought that you should seal it up to stop moisture and draughts getting in. However, in the majority of cases allowing it to be draughty can actually be a help rather than a hindrance. (This does not apply to a heated garage.)
If you use a de-humidifier, these are great at keeping a car moisture free, but be very careful how high you set them. If a de-humidifier is set too high it will draw all the moisture out of everything around it. That includes rubber seals, leather seats and anything made of vinyl or soft plastic all of which can become brittle and crack as well as anything made with wood, such as veneer dashboards which can warp and in turn force the veneer to crack. These can also be expensive to run and need emptying.
The remaining solution does not remove the moisture from the air, but does not allow it to settle. This final option is to use one of the "air circulation tents" on the market. - These "covers" never touch the car (In theory). There are four of these available in the UK, The Cair-O-Port, the Airchamber, the Car Capsule and the Carcoon. They use fans to constantly circulate air to stop moisture and dust from settling on whatever is within them.
All the air tents are very good at what they do, the Carcoon and Car Capsule lack any form of frame so they have to be erected and collapsed every time the car has to be taken in or out. The Airchamber and Cair-O-Port both have frames, the cair-o-port is the most sturdy and designed to be used in garages with up and over doors - it is also unique as it benefits from an extra fan to insure excellent air circulation under the car.
Covering in General
Remember the most important rule of all is a cover can only be put on a clean car, as any dirt between the cover and the panel work has the potential to scratch. (This rule does not apply to the Cair-O-Port or Airchamber as the material never touches the car, but to erect a Carcoon or Car Capsule requires material to be dragged over the body of the car and so therefore ideally it must be clean.) Finally if you are storing cars in the winter outdoors and it snows, the cover it will not be able to breathe - regardless of how the cover is made! Brush it off at the first opportunity.
Let us be honest one of the biggest nuisances of owning a car that you do not use very often is 9 times out of 10 when you go to start it - it won't, and of those cases 95 times out 100 it is because the battery has gone flat. This also applies to Lawn Mowers, Motorbikes etc.
Batteries are not getting any cheaper, and for about ½ the price of an average car battery you can buy a conditioner that will help you look after it so that hopefully you never have to replace it, or at least much less frequently.
The conditioners job is to keep the battery topped up so it is always ready to use. There are two main types - analogue and digital/automatic. We recommend the latter as they guarantee never to over charge a battery which is always a possibility with the analogue type. We have for many years recommended the CTEK range of battery conditioners mainly because of there reliability, ease of use, the fact they can be used outside and because they come with a 5 year warranty. Favoured also by the Telegraph's Honest John, Classic and Sports Car Magazine, the CTEK3600 model has won virtually every comparison test it has been entered for and is the current Auto Express best buy. CTEK Products are also recommended or supplied as standard or optional equipment by Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Harley Davidson, Lamborghini, Lexus, Maserati, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche among others.
The beauty of a product like this is you can connect it up as soon as you finish using the car and leave it connected permanently without worrying about it overcharging the battery. The CTEK units have the benefit over most of the opposition in that they are also water proof so if you do not have the luxury of garage space then you can safely use it outside too.
Finally, if you do not have the luxury of 240v to plug your car into, then you may wish to consider a solar conditioner. While these can never be as good for your battery as the mains conditioners, they will at least slow down the degradation a battery suffers when it is not being used.
Hamilton Classic is a specialist company dealing in accessories for the Classic & Sports Car Market. The senior management team have over 36 years experience in Vehicle Care and a further 22 years in the retail motor industry working with cars from Ford to Aston Martin.
They can be contacted either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on
0118 973 7300. Their website can be found at www.hamiltongrouponline.com
This article was written in September 2009 for a well known British Car Club at their request.