During these unprecedented hot summer months your car spends most of the day parked out in the direct sunlight, roasting on hot pavement. Just like we put protect our skin and bodies from the heat and UV rays, your vehicle needs to be cared for. The sun and heat can be very damagind to a car. It’s not only the interior that you need to guard from the sun’s dangerous rays, a cars finish and engine are also at risk.
Sun protection is important to keeping your vehicle in ship shape. Here’s how to do it.
Protecting your interior
- Park in the shade. It is the easiest form of protection. By avoiding direct sunlight, you’ll help keep your dash from drying and cracking. If it’s safe to do so, open the windows a crack to help lower the interior temperature and equalize the air pressure.
- Use a windshield sun protector. It’s a way to keep your car cool and prevent sun damage.
- Wipe dash with a microfiber cloth. Dust and dirt can cause tiny scratches that can become worse over time. Wipe down the dash frequently to remove all particles. A low-gloss detailing product will also protect it and reduce glare.
- Install seat covers. They not only protect leather and fabric seats, but they also help keep them cool.
- Protect leather seats with a conditioner. The sun and heat can really do a number on them. To help avoid cracks or tears, keep seats clean, and apply leather conditioner often.
Under the Hood
- Top up fluids
Pop-up the hood and review the fluid levels of your motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and your brake fluid. Refill as needed.
- Look at the battery
The heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate at a higher rate and this can lead to corrosion on the terminals and connections. If you see this build-up, clean it away from the battery terminals and cable clamps to allow the clamps a tight fit.
- Blast the A/C
Crank up the air conditioning in your car to ensure that it reaches the maximum temperature and each vent has proper air flow. If it’s not maintaining the right temperature, your refrigerant levels could be low. Having proper air conditioning doesn’t just provide you with an escape from the heat – cool air can also reduce driver fatigue, thereby increasing driving safety.
- Inspect your belts
Take a look at your hoses and drive belts to see how worn they are. You’ll want to keep an eye out for cracking, soft spots or any other signs of wear and tear as worn parts are more likely to fail in hot driving conditions.
- Properly inflate your tires
Temperature changes can affect the air levels in your tires. If you combine an overinflated or underinflated tire with hot pavement and brake friction, you could be steering towards a tire blowout. Review your owner’s manual to find the proper inflation level and check your tires once a month (even your spare) to make sure they are within these guidelines. Don’t forget to review the treads for any cracks, bulges or signs of uneven wear.
- Test your wipers
Your windshield wipers face the toughest of road conditions – they chip through ice and snow in the winter and they sit on a blistering windshield in the summer. The harsh elements can cause them to crack, lose flexibility and become misshaped. Determine whether it’s time to replace them – you’ll want a great working set when you’re stuck in a summer thunderstorm.
- Give it a good clean
Wash your car frequently and wax or polish periodically to provide a little extra protection.Tree sap, bird droppings, bugs, acid rain and road dust can accumulate on your car over the summer months and potentially damage the paint.