Car enthusiasts across the world rely on car covers for one sole purpose: protection. When a vehicle is left sitting outside for any considerable amount of time, contaminants such as bird droppings, tree sap, and industrial fallout attack the exterior of your car causing various forms of damage. If your car is kept outside but is regularly used and washed then these haphazards have less of a chance to damage, and it would simply be too impractical to put on and remove a car cover every day. However, if your car is going to be left sitting for any more than a few days, for example if you go on vacation or have more than one car, then we recommend using a car cover to protect it. A quality car cover will help to extend the life of your car and retain much of its value while preventing minor nicks, scratches, and even small hail damage from occurring. Even if your car is kept in storage, an indoor cover is a smart investment in protecting your vehicle’s exterior paint. Indoor car covers will protect against dust, dirt, metal particles, and other airborne pollutants that can be found in garages or in storage spaces.
Coverking Bespoke Program: Custom Cover
We took a trip out to Coverking headquarters located in Anaheim, CA, to witness firsthand a demonstration of their 3-D Scanning equipment. Coverking recently launched its Bespoke program, which is ideal for owners of super-customized vehicles that also include crazy aero, allowing them to protect it with a perfect fitting custom-made cover that wont necessarily fit underneath a universal cover. We used our Mitsubishi Evo IX equipped with an aftermarket Voltex wing, street series bumper, canards, and custom side skirts as the perfect candidate for Coverking to scan and design a custom cover. Upon arrival, Coverking began the initial process by using a specialized scanner to take 3-D measurements of the unique body design.
Once the scan was complete, the data log information is relayed to their engineering department before finalizing the cover design to begin manufacturing. The Bespoke cover takes a mere week from the date of measure and is offered in a variety of fabrics and colors to choose from, as well as custom piping, embroidery, and logos. We chose to go with the Satin Stretch fabric, which is made for vehicles parked indoors. Stretch Satin material has Lycra fibers for stretch in both directions and is soft to the touch. The elastic-type material helps to mirror every perfect contour of our vehicle and uses a fleece inner liner to protect against scratches.
The New Generation of Covers
This isn’t your grandpa’s old-school car cover. Don’t assume all car covers should be watertight in design. Coverking and their team of engineers designs its own fabrics to specify exact material composition and construction and does not use “off-the-shelf” fabrics. All Coverking outdoor Custom Car Cover materials are breathable, which allows moisture that is trapped under the car to escape through the cover, preventing a “greenhouse” condition of condensation, which may result in rust damage—another reason why you should never use plastic tarps to cover your car. Car covers are specifically designed to let water run off and they are made of materials that will not degrade in weather, heat or humidity. Tarps trap water and have been known to cause significant damage to your paintjob, and since they can trap pooled water and moisture, you actually run a higher risk of rusting on your car. Along with the custom 3-D Bespoke cover, Coverking also provided us with their Stormproof cover for our Subaru STI, which spends most of its time outdoors. The Stormproof material consists of millions of microscopic yarns that is combined into a microfiber material and is extremely water and fade resistant, yet remains completely breathable. The end result is a cover that handles the extremes of any climate, wet or dry, with outstanding UV resistance yet soft to the touch and won’t scratch your paint’s surface.
Selecting the Proper Cover
Whether you live in a warm or cool climate, protecting your ride with a car cover is a smart choice. Live in sunny California? Choosing a UV-protected, outdoor car cover would be ideal for a warmer climate similar to California, Texas, or Florida to protect your vehicle's interior and paint from fading from the baking summer sun. What about wet and stormy East Coast weather? Coverking's wide selection of covers, which include their Monsoon model, provides excellent protection against Mother Nature's worst punishment, which includes rain, snow, and ice-ideal for a cooler climate such as New York, Minnesota or Washington. As rain water works its way over the exterior and over time may begin to corrode any sensitive or unprotected areas. No matter what types of weather, Coverking has the perfect cover.
When comparing a Coverking custom car cover to a universal cover, you will immediately notice how well it fits and is crafted, thanks in part to the usage of the fewest seams possible for better appearance. All Coverking covers are made using advanced CAD/CAM design and production systems pioneered 20 years ago. Many inferior covers, including our universal cover, use material patterns which are "chopped up" into small pieces, and sewn together creating a patchwork effect in efforts to cut down on material costs. Although patchwork sewing is cheaper to produce, many of these covers look shoddy in appearance and resemble your grandma's patchwork quilt design more than a car cover. Along with numerous patches sewn together, numerous seams must also be used, which are prone to coming apart or leaking. All outdoor Coverking Custom Car Covers are sewn using double needle and overlapped seams, resulting in a durable, leak-resistant seam that has a backup stitch if the main stitch fails, while their indoor Stretch Satin fabric is sewn with a "blind seam", which is ideal for use in the indoor, show car conditions the fabric was designed for.
Top 10 Questions with Coverking:
CK: A couple reasons. Coverking patterns are designed from actual 3-D scans of the vehicle, leading to the best possible fit. Coverking uses the fewest seams in constructing their covers-this is not the most efficient way, but it leads to a much cleaner look with less chance of seam leaks. Coverking also spends a significant amount of time and money on material engineering, offering covers for virtually all needs and budgets.
IT: When it comes to vehicles, a car cover is perhaps the last thing many consider important. Why is that not the case?
CK: We'd offer a differing view: Vehicles are exposed to the harshest environments-dirt, dust, scorching UV rays, acid rain, bird droppings-and all will permanently damage car paint if not removed quickly. A cover protects from these hazards, while offering other benefits-keeps the interior cooler, protects the interior from fading, makes a really good security system (no thief is going to want to remove the cover and draw attention to himself). Think about the purchase of a smartphone-one of the first purchases is the case/cover; it really isn't much different for the car cover.
IT: There has been a longtime fear among enthusiasts that car covers cause scratches and mar the paint due to water collection and mold. Can you clarify these accusations and tell us if these are indeed fact or fiction?
CK: Scratches occur when a sharp object etches onto the paint surface. This could be caused from a dirty car cover, or from a car cover put onto a dirty vehicle. It could also be from sand blowing onto the car during a windy day. A cover can be complicit in spreading dirt onto a vehicle, or it can protect the vehicle from scratches-as with most things, it depends on how it is used.
IT: Please explain the difference in Coverking's quality of material and fitment versus universal covers sold at auto parts stores.
CK: Think of a T-shirt (small, medium, and large) versus a custom suit. A T-shirt is available in a few sizes, and usually in one color-same with most universal car covers. A Custom Car Cover includes mirror pockets, many times pockets for GPS/Satellite Radio antennas, and is made for one individual vehicle, and offered in several colors/fabrics.
IT: Coverking offers numerous types of covers using different material which include Satin Stretch, Triguard, Coverbond4, Mosom Plus, Silverguard, Silverguard Plus, Autobody Armor and Stormproof. What does the consumer need to know about each of these when purchasing a cover specific for their regions climate?
CK: First thing is where the cover will be used. Indoor use only or in the outdoors under harsh weather? What about outdoors in mild weather? How long would you like the cover to last? Do you want the cover in a unique color? Once those decisions are made, you can simply go on our site and decide which cover works best.
IT: Can you give us an example of the ideal cover to use for a car in three completely different regions? One car is located in Minnesota, which experiences extreme cold, wind, and hail; whereas Miami is known for its hot weather as well as rainy conditions. Lastly would be California, which is dry for the most part, but periodic with hot temps, especially with the summer season approaching.
CK: Minnesota: outdoors, Autobody Armor is the best choice. We're a little concerned about hail-no cover will properly protect from heavy hail. Miami: Stormproof or Mosom Plus; it will cover up and protect from heavy rain and has a soft liner. SoCal: Stormproof, Silverguard, or Silverguard Plus is the best fit. And for all scenarios, Satin Stretch for indoor usage.
IT: We will be using a Stormproof cover for our project car that sits outside for months at a time. Can you offer us more details on this specific type of cover and the pros/cons versus a lighter, more durable cover such as the satin stretch?
CK: Stormproof is made by a Japanese textile company known for their advanced development of nanofibers. There are literally millions of nanofibers wound together to create a yarn. This blocks water droplets from getting through, but still allows the cover to breathe. The fabric is totally untreated; there is no coating to make it water resistant, it is inherent in the design of the weave. It should function as well in day 500 as it did on day one.
IT: Regardless of the type of covers being used. Is there a proper and improper way to take care of covers? What is the typical longevity for a cover?
CK: Longevity is 100 percent based on the material. A cheap universal cover will be lucky to last for a year. Stormproof should last several years. Covers should most importantly be kept CLEAN. They can be washed in a commercial washer, or just turned inside out, put on top of the car and hosed off.
IT: It is mentioned on your website that Coverking was founded in Southern California by an industrial and electrical Engineer who worked in Southern California's Aerospace Defense industry. What theories or methods were used in designing the covers?
CK: The founder worked on the MX Missile and B1 Bomber projects. He purchased the same CAD/CAM equipment for Coverking as the defense contractors used to cut composites for the advanced weapons systems. The CAD/CAM company didn't understand he was using it to cut auto accessories, since it was such over-the-top technology and cost-we were the ones pushing them to sell the equipment to us!
IT: What is the process each cove goes through when being designed for a new type of vehicle? CAD/CAM systems?
CK: Coverking is the only company to fully scan the entire vehicle on a 3-D scanner. This file is then cleaned up, a surface is applied and offset to accommodate the thickness of the cover, and address issues that will make installation easier. If the vehicle is a truck, we need to think about how to design the cover to avoid pooling of water on the flat surface of the bed. Then the file is applied to a stress analysis, which identifies areas that will cause excessive stress and strain on the fabric. We can actually see where the cover will fail. We address these issues until the stress levels are under control. Then, another program takes the 3-D shape and flattens it into a 2-D pattern. The designer is involved in this process, to ensure the cover looks good, can be produced properly, and most importantly, will fit and protect.