Protect Your Car from the Damaging Effects of Sun and Heat
Summer is here and school’s out! Unfortunately that also means the sun is out too and the heat is rising.
The combination of sun and heat can be damaging to your car.
However it’s not just the outside of your car you need to pay extra attention to, you need to take special care of your car’s interior as well.
Based on research from Popular Mechanics, interior air temperatures have been recorded well in excess of 145° F and vehicle interior surface temperatures on areas directly exposed to sunlight run in the excess of 195°F.
Take not we are not just talking about dashboard and seats that you need to care for. Nope. Your car’s engine may also be at risk.
The following tips are meant to have you ready no matter whether or not you live in a warm climate year-round or just require protection during the hot summer months.
And keep in mind your ABC’s: Always Be Cool.
Interior Care During Summer Months:
There’s an easy tip: park in the shade.
If you can manage to avoid direct sunlight, you will prevent any part of your interior from drying and/or cracking. If your car does not prevent it and if you trust the neighborhood, feel free open the windows a crack to help lower the interior temperature and equalize the air pressure.
One of the best things is getting a windshield sun protector. This makes a significant difference in keeping your car’s interior cool and preventing sun damage. They may look a little silly cumbersome at first, but are very easy to use. Find the size that fits your car.
Clean your dash. The combinations of dust and dirt can cause tiny scratches that can become worse over time especially in heat.
Clean your seats or cover them up. Whether you have leather or fabric seats, whenever you park your car you need to cover them up to minimize direct sunlight. This will also keep them from frying your butt when you get in. Take special care for leather seats by regularly applying a leather conditioner. The sun and heat really messes up that luxurious leather you paid up for.
Protecting Your Car Under-the-Hood during Summer:
Be sure to check your cooling system often. You need to ensure your engine does not overheat. Inspects all belts checked and have all the antifreeze/coolant drained then replaced on a regular basis as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.
The possibilities of experiencing overheat only increases when fluid levels are below recommended levels. This is why before you drive you should check motor oil levels and also transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid.
If any of your vehicle’s fluids need to be topped off, double check your owner’s manual about the types of fluids you need.
Check that battery. Extreme temperatures, hot or cold coupled with high accessory loads (use of the vehicles air conditioning or heating) can cause your car’s battery to wear out and fail quicker than otherwise. This is where a professional mechanic comes in. A professional will make sure your car’s battery is functioning properly.
Make sure your air conditioning works. That AC not only keeps you comfortable, that comfort is in fact a key for you driving alertly. If your car never feels cool enough, the refrigerant charge level in the air conditioning system may be low. If the problem persists, there may be a more serious problem and you will need to have it checked by a professional.
ABC: Always be cool, no matter how hot it gets. The combined efforts of preventative maintenance and simple upkeep will keep you on the road.
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Alex has worked in the automotive service industry for over 20 years. After graduating from one of the country’s top technical schools, he worked as a technician achieving a Master Technician certification. He also has experience as a service advisor and service manager. Read more about Alex.