Most Vehicles Will Experience Polymer Degradation…Why It’s Dangerous

Automobiles have transformed through the decades, adding more technology and using less metal. Whether it is for a better appearance or better function, vehicles have more polymer parts than the vehicles of the past. But, polymer is a material that can suffer degradation. And unfortunately, millions of autos are affected each year.

What It Is And Why It’s Bad

Polymer materials include rubber, vinyl, and various plastics, and is in exterior car parts like bumpers, black trim around windows, fenders, and windshields. It’s also in spoilers, air dams, and other aerodynamic body features.

Because this material suffers degradation, these parts on your automobile not only have loss of glossy appearance and faded color, there is reduced strength, decreased flexibility, and less scratch resistance.

This degradation can make for a less than safe vehicle. Bumpers, especially are installed to help protect us and our vehicles from worse damage.

Causes

Various elements hurt the polymer on trucks and cars. The worst culprits are sunlight, air pollution, road tar, salt, and oil. These all will break down the material over time.

The exposure to sunlight can be worse if a vehicle is out in UV rays all day long. This is because it is accelerated and becomes ‘photodegradation.’

What To Do

Extra care should be taken with this material. If you can, your automobile should be parked in a covered area away from the sun. But we know that’s not always possible, so products must be applied to protect these areas.

If your vehicle is 5 years or older, we recommend you have these areas evaluated for degradation. If there is such damage, we can replace the parts and not only will the look of the car or truck improve, but so will the safety and protection of these areas.