Tips for Helping Your Car Beat the Heat

August 22, 2013

Summer may be coming to an end this month, but that doesn’t mean the heat is. Just as those who live in the snow need to take extra measures to protect their vehicles, prolonged exposure to heat can also cause numerous problems. Long exposure to the heat and sunlight can slowly cause damage to your car’s interior, exterior, and under the hood. Keeping your vehicle cool has more benefits than just comfort – although it’s also important. Remember these simple tips for protecting your car until the heat burns off.
Tint your windows. Tinted windows keep the interior of your vehicle cooler, meaning you can use your air conditioning less often and save fuel. The tinted film blocks UV rays, which not only protects your skin from harmful damage, but also your interior. Tinting your windows is relatively inexpensive and installations take just a few hours.
Invest in a covering. Seat covers can protect your upholstery and also keep your seats cooler. Covers also protect your seats from spills and purchasing a new seat cover is much cheaper than paying for repairs or replacements. An exterior car cover is the best way to protect your car from heat, and also keep your car’s finish in good condition.
Use a sun shade. Although they may seem cumbersome at first, they are actually quite simple to use. When folded, they easily fit underneath your seat. Once you experience how cool a sun shade can keep your vehicle when it’s parked in the sun, you will always want to use one.
Park in the shade. If possible, always try to park your car underground or in the shade. Keeping your car out of the sun protects your paint from fading over time, and also keeps the interior cool which protects vinyl and plastics from cracking. It may mean a few more extra steps to get your destination, but the payoff will be worth it.
Condition the upholstery. Leaving your car in the hot sun day after day can eventually cause your leather and vinyl to peel and crack. Just like you need to moisturize and protect your skin, you should also keep your upholstery conditioned. Auto stores carry a wide range of products, which can be easily applied by hand with a sponge or the provided applicator.
Check your battery. Excessive heat can shorten the life of your battery by causing fluids to evaporate. If your car’s battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly and add distilled water as needed. All batteries need to be changed eventually, but less often you need to purchase one, the better.
Keep an eye on the coolant. Antifreeze keeps temperatures down while engine coolant protects your car’s cooling system. Maintaining both is important to keep your vehicle from breaking down and leaving you stranded in the heat. You can have your cooling system checked by a professional and many retail stores also sell do-it-yourself flush and fill kits.