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DAMP CAB: How does moisture get in your car and how do I get rid of it?

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

Damp can form quickly in bad weather, but what should drivers do if they experience damp in their car? Below Dan Hutson, Head of Motor at reveals the causes of damp in your car, how to get rid of it, and future prevention methods.

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 damp. If a car contains anything 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 to 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 (remember to keep an eye on your car though).

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 to prevent damp in a car

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, breathable cover 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.

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 your car affect your insurance?

Getting rid of condensation is essential before you set off on a journey so your vision is not impacted. Lack of visibility means you’re driving illegally so if an accident arises, then your insurance will be affected.

Leaky parts, mould, and water can also cause problems for your car, leading to expensive vehicle repairs.


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