Managing your car's cover - Honda CRZ Forum: Honda CR-Z Hybrid Car Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Managing your car's cover

Hi all-

I just bought the OEM Honda cover for my CR-Z. I really like the degree to which it does its job of enshrouding and enveloping the car, to protect it from sun, weather, and the inescapable organic debris that accumulates on a car that lives outdoors, as mine does.

BUT- it's a big, bulky thing that is difficult to manage by myself. It's so new that it's still stiff, and does not offer any obvious pattern for folding. Of course it came with a case (for want of a better term) but so far I've not even considered trying to cram it in there. And I can foresee that on a wet day removing and stowing said cover would inevitably result in getting myself pretty thoroughly doused.

The slightest bit of breeze makes the thing act as if it were a spinnaker on an America's Cup race contender.

Trying to fold it on the ground is unpalatable because if all the crud and grit; I don't want that on the cover, where it would soon get ground into the very paint the cover is supposed to be protecting. (Besides, of course, making the cover all the dirtier more quickly, which in turn would transfer to me as well as the car.)

Has anyone got strategic or tactical suggestions for how to live with a cover, when you are not storing the car long-term but not necessarily running it daily? I don't have a garage (if I did there'd be no need for the cover) so I can't simply yank it off, wad it up, and drop it in the corner.

In the driveway: 2015 CR-Z (manual); 2004 Honda ST1300 (motorcycle); 1998 Toyota Tacoma V6 4WD (manual)
Gone and not forgiven: 2011 MINI Clubman (manual)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 12:56 PM
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I had one which I used for a couple of years storage (and am now selling in the classifieds, shameless promotion).

My strategy was to roll it up in such a way that deploying it the next time is easy (and involves no more ground contact).

For unrolling:
1. un-connect the belly strap if you used one.
2. Free the mirrors from their condoms, and loosen the lip in front and back.
3. Lift the cover from one side of the car from about the mid-line (say, under the window) toward the roof, folding it backwards at the roof/hood/hatch line over itself (so you have the following layers: piece still on the hood/roof/hatch, the upside down top half of the side of the car, and the lower side of the car with its "top" side exposed). IIRC, it basically folds up to the centreline of the car on the roof/hood/hatch.
4. Repeat on the other side, so you have a number of layers lying on the centreline of the top of the car.
5. Now either fold from front to the roof and from rear to the roof (a similar double-fold will leave the roof part of the cover as the only bit with a car-touching surface exposed), or roll it up (I found that from front to rear was less likely to have it roll right off the car and into the dirt, but I also had a small hatch-lid spoiler to help catch it!).

Installation is just the opposite, but lock the mirrors in as soon as possible to prevent it from sliding or blowing around. If your car has a good wax and sealer finish, it gets quite slippery!!!

Storing it in its bag is difficult but possible this way, but forget about putting it back in the box it shipped in for the season. I finally did get mine stowed away again for shipping (and then the guy backed out), but it's a colossal pain in the posterior to do.

Curious to read what others do.

Eco Stig
SOME SAY, that when he gets into his car, he plugs the IMA cable into his left ear but no one can tell who is charging whom!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 01:29 PM
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My S2000 came with one, but I'm no longer using it. I found that I was getting a lot of particulate between the cover and the car and I was seeing MORE dirt, not less, between the cover and the car.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 07:51 PM
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I only use my car cover on a CLEAN car, and almost always while it's in the garage (to protect it from ME while I'm working on other projects.) The idea of using it in cases where you don't have a garage, it's a good idea to use a bungee cord or the cable/lock that came with the cover to keep it more secure from strong winds.

I think @CR-Z Canadian described the way I put it on and take it off too, but for those who don't read Canadian, I made a quick video. It's of low-grade quality, but you get the idea:

...cover on:


...cover off:


I'm more concerned about getting the cover dirty, and scratching the surface you wish to protect, and that's why I never put it on unless the car is clean in the first place. I've had it on while the car was outside, and it collected bird crap and leaves, so I sprayed it off before removing it. It wasn't much fuss removing it wet--and just a little bit more manageable. You just need a close line to lay it over an unfold it to let it air dry.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:06 PM
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Yup, very similar idea, give or take a ranom letter "u" here or there!

Oh, and a fence also works to lay it over to hose it off or allow it to dry.
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Eco Stig
SOME SAY, that when he gets into his car, he plugs the IMA cable into his left ear but no one can tell who is charging whom!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:26 PM
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I'm currently using a Tyvec cover that I found on ebay for a bargain PREMIER CAR COVER SIZE 3 TYVEK NEW IN BOX NIB USA MADE 14'-16' Midsize | eBay . I usually use a Budge sortafabric (it's sort of fabric, but isn't- recycled whatever they found pretending to be material), but this one has a extra year on the warranty. I use a cover because the car lives outside, and I hope it cools it a bit in the lousy Central Valley sunshine that's supposed to be so pleasant, which I suppose it is if you love 110 and your car isn't black. It also catches the bird crap.
To manage it, I grit my teeth really hard, lean all the way down there to pull the elastic (all the way around the bottom of the cover) free from the front bumper, free it from the mirror (no pockets), walk around the back and around to clear the other mirror, cussing the whole way. I then wad it unceremoniously into a sort of mushroom and throw it on one of the other covered cars in my automotive garden. Foul language seems to help.
Of course, if it's been breezy (over 2 knots), I have to go over to the neighbor's front yard and retrieve the cover before driving. Just the nature of the material (or, synthetic) world.
I usually use the #3 Budge cover from Walmart because it costs twenty bucks. In this sun, nothing lasts more than two years. I'd never consider the Honda cover because the cost (as with virtually all Honda parts and accessories) is absolutely absurd. I guess they think they're Porsche.
I've been using covers since the days of MG Mitten, on my Datsuns.
I suppose I should worry about the cover using its collection of grit to damage the finish, but I worry more about trucks throwing rocks through the windshield. I already have a broken fog light. In comparison, a bit of grit doesn't make the radar.

Oh, and if your car's nice and clean and waxed and pretty, the cover loves to play ride-the-slide with you. Snagging the rear edge on the shark fin will give you a slight advantage.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I'm getting a couple clear take-aways here.

1: Soothing background music may help keep blood pressure down during the process. Cussing may also produce the desired effect, by venting pressure as it builds.

2: A cover is not something I want to mess with if I use the car on a daily basis, unless I want to dedicate half an hour to unveiling and re-applying it.

3: Using a cover is the best gas-saving strategy going, because it absolutely dissuades me from driving anywhere "because it's easy". I'll walk or ride my bicycle or my motorcycle (after dealing with *its* cover...) instead. This also produces an unintended side benefit of getting me to be at least a slight bit more active.

4: Doing the job in the wind is going to be an exercise in learning how to remain calm under duress.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 04:06 PM
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1. A list of suitably-soothing terms can be supplied on request. The site's nanny will not allow posting. Unlikely as it seems, some previously-uncombined combinations and imagery are still being discovered.

2. The "mess" of dealing with it is in keeping the cover itself non-messy. If you can adopt a scheme similar to a bachelor's underwear drawer, it actually goes quite quickly.

3. I'd use a motorcycle a lot more if I didn't have to hassle with a helmet to keep the government away, despite having used one in the past for its purpose. However, they're not much good for a shopping trip if you have more than two bags. Bicycles are right out, as for an object of my stature, they just aren't safe.
Be sure the pipes are cool before covering a motorcycle.

4. The wind is your friend if you keep it at your back- I've actually gotten covers to "inflate", and flown them down to a successful landing over the vehicle. It'll also let you shake out dust, without having to shake.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
1. A list of suitably-soothing terms can be supplied on request. The site's nanny will not allow posting. Unlikely as it seems, some previously-uncombined combinations and imagery are still being discovered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
... Be sure the pipes are cool before covering a motorcycle....
Pirating my own thread momentarily: the aftermarket pipes on my bike run cool enough that the cover goes on right away, without fear of melting or other damage to the cover. They don't even get hot enough to be uncomfortable if I momentarily brush against them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
4. The wind is your friend if you keep it at your back- I've actually gotten covers to "inflate", and flown them down to a successful landing over the vehicle. It'll also let you shake out dust, without having to shake.
NEW SPORT: Cover-sailing! (1) Don roller skates (your choice as to whether they are rink type or in-line) or mount your skateboard. (2) Grab corners of the cover. (3) face in the direction the wind is traveling, and smoothly lift the cover into the wind. You're off! (Might take a while to get back to your starting point on a breezy day...)
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In the driveway: 2015 CR-Z (manual); 2004 Honda ST1300 (motorcycle); 1998 Toyota Tacoma V6 4WD (manual)
Gone and not forgiven: 2011 MINI Clubman (manual)
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yesterday I needed to actually use the car, so I tried the technique described / shown in the video. It worked to perfection- thanks!
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In the driveway: 2015 CR-Z (manual); 2004 Honda ST1300 (motorcycle); 1998 Toyota Tacoma V6 4WD (manual)
Gone and not forgiven: 2011 MINI Clubman (manual)
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