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How to remove damp in a car

How to remove damp in a car

If you have damp in your car, find out what can cause it, how to get rid of it and how to prevent it in future. Our handy guide covers everything you need to know to keep your car dry.  

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 16 JANUARY 2020

What causes damp in a car?

The main culprit is condensation. Car interiors tend to be warm, and when the warmth from the inside hits glass cooled from the outside, moisture is created.

Steam can also bring about damp. If a car contains anything that’s wet and the interior is heated by the sun, the rising steam collects on the surfaces as moisture.

Sources of moisture inside your car include:

  • Breath from passengers in cold weather
  • Wet items, like shoes and umbrellas
  • Leaks from doors, windows, the sunroof or vents
  • Steam from hot drinks and food
  • Coolant leaks.

How do I remove damp in a car?

The best thing for removing damp is to let your car air out. If it’s a mild day with no chance of rain, open up the doors and windows for as long as you can.  

Check the vehicle for leaks and remove any excess moisture with dry cloths. And if you don’t have a spell of decent weather, try using a fan or hairdryer – or turn on the heating inside the car, for the same result. 

How can I prevent damp in a car?

There are a few simple ways to keep damp from forming in your vehicle.

  • Keep an eye out for signs of moisture
    Watching for leaks and condensation, and acting quickly, will keep your car free of damp. Try to keep the windows open when you have hot drinks and food, and remove anything wet as quickly as possible. Check the boot of the car and other areas, regularly, for signs of a leak.  
  • Keep your car covered
    If you keep your car in a garage, using a lightweight cover that’s breathable will help keep it free from damp. If you can, use a dehumidifier or a low-powered heater to keep the air dry.

    Just remember that any car that’s stored for long periods should be taken for a short drive at least once a month. This will keep everything ticking over and give it a blast of fresh air.

    For more on keeping your car in a garage, and its possible impact on car insurance, see our overnight parking guide. 
  • Use your air con and windows
    It sounds simple, but keeping the windows ajar on hot days and closing them on wet days will help keep your car damp-free. 

    Turning your air conditioning on for a while during winter, every few weeks, can also boost circulation and stop any pipes or vents from clogging up.

Does having damp in my car affect my insurance?

While damp in your car won’t affect your insurance, it could damage your car. Leaky parts, mould and water can cause problems for your car, leading to expensive vehicle repairs. 

Check out the common problems that lead to breakdowns in our guide. 

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