We all know the Winter is hard on vehicles, but did you know Summer can be hazardous to your car as well? The relentless sun and heat place unnecessary strain on vehicle systems and damage your interior. Longer drives and heavier loads will also push it to the limit.
How to Protect Your Car From Summer Stress
You can protect your vehicle from damage and prevent problems by following these easy tips:
1. Stay Cool
If the air conditioning system is functioning optimally, your car doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool. Consider having all cooling systems professionally serviced, including your radiator coolant and hoses.
2. Check all Fluids
Your vehicle fluids can perform and facilitate many functions, including reducing heat stress. Check your radiator coolant, brake fluid, oil, steering fluid and transmission fluid before it gets too hot outside. Take some time to research accessories and consumables to find out which are most highly recommended for driving in hot weather. Consider installing accessories like an oil cooler kit for optimum performance.
Shade will protect your vehicle interior from damaging summer sun. It keeps your car cooler overall, which reduces strain on your air conditioning and protects you from a hot steering wheel and upholstery. Luckily, you don’t have to drive around looking for a parking spot under a tree. Investing in a quality sun shade will provide the optimum protection from the sun and keep the heat in for winter driving.
4. Interior Protection
Pick up some multi-purpose interior protectant and apply it to everything the sun abuses, including vinyl upholstery, the dash, your steering wheel, visors, and the console. You’ll prevent fading, cracking and general degradation of materials.
5. Baked Bugs
Summer insects hitting your windshield are quickly baked on in the heat. They can limit your visibility and they’re tough to clean off. Consider installing a bug deflector for a clear view on hot Summer nights.
“Bug deflectors and hood protectors are one of the most underrated vehicle accessories out there,” say the Canadian auto experts at TDot Performance. “Bug deflectors are designed to modify airflow toward your vehicle, diverting any insects up and over your windshield.”
We tend to transport larger loads when we hit the road in the Summer. Luggage, bikes, campers, people and other heavy items can make your vehicle struggle that much more in the heat. Follow the load limits in your vehicle manual to prevent silent wear & tear. Distribute the weight by using a roof rack or trailer if you can.
Under-inflated and worn tires generate more heat, which can result in a blowout on hot days. Make sure your tires are inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations (you should find it in your vehicle manual) and check your spare. Rotate your tires and replace them when the treads are worn.
What if Your Car Breaks Down in the Summer?
All of the above tips will reduce the chance of car trouble in the Summer, but it can still happen.
“Vehicle operating problems are always an inconvenience, and sometimes they can put you in harm’s way,” states the AAA Guide, What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down. “If your vehicle breaks down, your first consideration should be safety for yourself and your passengers. There’s no way to absolutely guarantee personal safety. But knowing what to do in such a situation is something you should prepare for in advance, not wait to figure out when you’re experiencing the problem.”
Pack a road safety kit and emergency supplies so you’re ready to deal with car trouble. Let different emergency scenarios run through your mind so you’re ready for any situation.
If you do break down in Summer, follow these basic steps for a safe recovery:
- Be aware of where you and your vehicle are
- Identify the issue your vehicle is having and act accordingly
- Pull off the road if you can
- Alert other motorists by turning on your emergency flashers. If you were able to pull over, raise the hood of your car and carefully place any additional emergency lighting or reflectors you have.
- Call for help
- Stay in your vehicle if you can safely do so
- Stay hydrated
- Don’t leave pets or children in a hot vehicle.
??? What’s your best tip for protecting and maintaining your car in the Summer?
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
WARNING! Dogs Die in Hot Cars & Campers
The Big Guide to Planning and Building an Outdoor Kitchen
Canadian Snowfall Facts and Snow Removal Safety (Infographic)
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