Every car is susceptible to heat damage, but the only way to avoid this problem is to take proactive steps. Research has shown that a car’s internal temperature can be 43 degrees higher than the outdoors because vehicles have enclosed spaces.
Prolonged heat exposure does more than fade the fresh paint on your car. It reduces the overall value and causes internal component damage that may be expensive to repair, making it essential to protect your car. These are some tips worth considering to keep your car cool, well-maintained, and protected.
Park in a shaded area
This step is one of the simplest ways to shield your vehicle from the sun’s relentless rays. Spots like under trees, in an enclosed parking garage, or other designated shaded areas are excellent ways to protect your car from prolonged heat. A shaded space prevents your car’s interior from overheating and causing potential damage to internal components. Vehicles with leather seats are more likely to heat up faster than fabric-covered ones due to their porous nature. Also, the risk of leather cracking or tearing under prolonged heat is higher when you avoid shaded parking spots. Shaded areas act as a natural coolant for your car and ensure that all your vehicle’s fluids are maintained at optimal temperatures to boost machine performance. Meanwhile, continuous sun exposure can wreak havoc on your dashboard and, depending on the material it’s made of, may begin to warp or crack.
Get a durable and sun-resistant cover for your car
A sun-resistant car cover is like sunscreen for your beloved vehicle. High-quality ones are designed with sun-reflective elements that allow UV rays to bounce off them. Others have UV protection coating on the outer surface to perform the same role. You can tell whether a car cover is quality using simple steps. The first is that it must be a breathable material with well-fitted elastic hems and edges. The latter allows the cover to fit snugly along the lower ends of the car to provide full coverage from the external heat. A high-quality sun-resistant car cover is usually fitted with a buckle strap to prevent it from being blown off the vehicle in windy weather. It should last indefinitely if kept in excellent condition. However, it would help if you changed it at the slightest sign of deterioration, like thinning, tears, and loss of elasticity on the edges. Always check for signs of retained moisture with the cover or your car to prevent rust.
Opt for window tinting
Aside from the privacy element that tinted windows offer, they do more for your car than you thought. For instance, some materials used for window tinting have sun protection elements beneficial for your vehicle. You can liken these to sunglasses, helping to keep out the sun’s rays as much as possible. They help reduce the internal temperature of your car and protect its upholstery. You can reduce the rate at which the interior materials fade and crack due to prolonged sun exposure by using window tint. However, there are rules regarding the use of window tinting for cars. Therefore, ensure to read the local regulations before using this option. Failure to do so may result in legal issues and heavy fines or penalties. In Florida, for instance, window tinting is allowed, but the guideline is to avoid making them extremely dark. The tinted windows should allow at least 27% light transmittance. In California, however, the law applies to the front windshield and front side windows without restrictions on how dark the back windows and tint on the rear can be. Knowing these regulations is essential to avoid any legal issues.
Conduct regular coolant checks on your car
Your car’s engine works harder in hot weather to ensure the AC system cools optimally and other fluids perform well. One essential car fluid is the coolant, which is responsible for your vehicle’s entire cooling system. In hot weather, however, the coolant can be compromised and cause temperature elevation in your car’s crucial components. That is why conducting regular coolant checks in hot weather is recommended to avoid any surprises when your coolant fails to play its essential role. Also, top up your coolant if you have an extra bottle in the trunk of your car. Otherwise, the best solution would be to drive to the closest Lube station to get any coolant problem resolved. In some other situations, the best thing is to allow your car to cool down completely in a shaded area before moving it. Overheating is a common automobile problem, but some proactive measures like the ones highlighted can help prevent it from happening.
Sunshades are inexpensive but highly effective at shielding your car from intense heat from the sun. They are best used when your vehicle is parked in an open area under the scorching sun. You can’t use them when you’re driving because of their opaque nature and the increased risk of accidents. Although it’s easy to confuse window tints with sunshades because of the similar roles they play, they’re entirely different. Remember that tints are like sunglasses, while sunshades are the umbrellas for your car.
Sunshades will come of great use in the summer and other hot days when you must park under the scorching sun for some time to attend to some pressing business. If you find yourself in a secured parking area, you can still use the sunshades while sitting in the car with your AC turned on. It will dispel UV rays and make your car cool faster, helping to prevent heat damage.
Check your tire pressure regularly in hot weather
According to auto experts, your car tires expand when exposed to prolonged high temperatures. The air within them is responsible for this and can cause over-inflated tires, increasing the risk of a blowout leading. That can, in turn, lead to a car crash, especially when you fail to check the pressure within all four tires. The first thing to do after parking in the sun for long hours is to check your tire pressure. It is most convenient when you have the tools to do so; otherwise, drive to the nearest car servicing station to get them checked. It is better to take extreme precautions than to allow avoidable damage to your car. If you want to determine whether your tires are over-inflated, first look for signs of treading, especially in the middle of each tire. You will also notice signs of bulging on the sides, which is a classic characteristic of over-inflated tires. It’s advisable to have portable tire pressure gauges in your trunk to help keep an eye on these problems.
Avoid turning on the car’s AC to full blast after prolonged parking in the sun
As convenient as turning your AC on to full blast after parking in the sun for a long time, it can have negative effects. Doing this can cause immense heat damage to your engine and the entire AC system. Therefore, give your car time to adjust to the external heat to avoid straining the engine. A helpful tip is to roll your windows down for about two minutes with the AC lowered before turning on to full-blast cooling. Remember that your car is a machine and is influenced by the external environment and the actions you take.
Heat-damaged vehicles are expensive to repair, so take preventive measures such as those highlighted above to reduce the risks.