You may believe that winter is the worst enemy of the vehicle because of its freezing temperatures or the salt and other chemicals used on the roads. And while it is true that the cold takes its toll on the car, the heat is no lesser enemy. The sun and heat can damage the paint on your car, ruin its exterior and interior and cause trouble under the hood. Here are a few tips to help you take proper care of your vehicle during the summer months.
Prevent sun and heat damage to the exterior of your car
The exterior of your car is the first thing that will get damaged by the scorching temperatures and the long stay under the sun.
- Prevent paint damage: The paint is one of the most sensitive elements that you need to take good care of during summer. Wash your car regularly and use auto paint protection kits to make sure that it is well protected. Waxing your car is also a good recommendation. Even though it may require some time and effort, it will protect the exterior from further damage and make its cleaning and maintenance easier.
- Wash your car properly. It is important to wash your car regularly, especially in the summer heat; however, you need to do it properly. Use appropriate cleaning products to remove road oils, tar, dead bugs and overall pollution. Avoid dish detergent or harsh soaps as they may damage the paint. It is also very important to dry the car afterward using a soft cloth or towel in order to remove any minerals and avoid water spots.
- Wax your car. We already mentioned that this is an important step in protecting your car exterior from the sun rays. In addition, it will prevent the accumulation of dirt and will make the next washing much easier and quicker. You can purchase a buffer that will make the entire waxing process much more pleasant.
- Take special care of your convertible top. If you are driving a convertible, make sure to take proper care of the top according to its type. There are special cleaning and protection products for both canvas/cloth and vinyl tops. Always buy the appropriate ones and follow the instructions on how to use them if you want your top to have a longer
How to protect the interior from sun and heat damage
The interior of your vehicle is equally endangered by the heat and sun during the summer months. Do not forget the greenhouse effect, which means that the temperature inside your car is much higher than the temperature outside. Here are a few tricks:
- Garage your car whenever possible.
- Park in the shade.
- Make sure to park with your rear facing the sun so that you can reduce the UV damage to your dashboard.
- Use reflectorized panels on your windshields.
- Install tinted windows.
- Use seat covers—they will both protect the interior and increase your comfort level.
- Keep your interior clean. Vacuum and wash it regularly, and apply protectant or conditioner in accordance with the type of interior you have: leather, vinyl or cloth.
On the hottest days, given that your car is parked in a safe place: leave your windows slightly open so that the temperature inside doesn’t rise that much. Do not do this if you have parked in an unsafe neighborhood or unfamiliar place.
How to protect engines and tires from sun and heat damage
The sun is equally dangerous for all the parts hidden under the hood of your vehicle and for its tires. The best advice is to have your car checked by a mechanic who can make sure that everything is okay. If you are good at doing this yourself, then do not forget to check the following:
- Make sure that your cooling system is working properly. All belts and hoses should be in good condition and without cracks. Check that you have sufficient coolant and that it was replaced accordingly.
- Check all the fluids. Make sure that motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid are at the recommended level.
- Make sure your battery and charging system is functioning properly since high temperatures can wear it out quicker and even make the battery fail.
- Check the air conditioning. It is very important that you stay cool while driving in the heat.
- Check tire pressure. Under-inflated tires are very dangerous in hot weather. Since there is more friction with the heated pavement, the tires may blowout. Always make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s recommendations in terms of tire pressure. It is also important to keep your tires and rims clean.
Do not underestimate the damage that sun and heat can cause. If possible, have your car checked by a mechanic at the start of the summer so that you can be calm while driving.