Just as the sun’s heat can damage your house, it can also damage your car. Direct sunlight actually causes some car exteriors to reach temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. These extremes can mean several different things for your car. Check out our list of everything to look out for as temperatures climb.
Regularly Check Fluid Levels
Your car’s coolant, transmission fluid, and oil tend to run at a lower efficiency during the summer. Because of this, they are used up more quickly. If you aren’t paying attention to fluid levels, they could drop quicker than you’re expecting and cause quite a bit of damage to your car.
Check and Replace Air Filters
High temperatures allow for more dust and debris to float in the air, putting more pressure on your air filters. Clogged air filters can cause your AC to work harder and make gas mileage suffer.
If you can park in a shaded area, opt for that over an unprotected parking lot. This will keep your car’s interior as cool as possible and also protect your paint from direct sunlight.
Wash your Car by Hand
Summer highs cause grime to cake onto your car’s exterior in the summer. So, getting your car washed is important. If you have the time for a hand wash, it can make a difference in protecting the exterior paint. Hand drying your car with a soft cloth will remove the grime that automatic washers don’t.
Apply a Protective Wax
While you’re hand washing your car, you can apply a wax shine at the end which protects your car from the sun’s rays. This keeps your paint job looking clean and untarnished for much longer than it would otherwise. The wax traps in the paint’s oils that protect from sun damage. Just be sure to apply wax immediately after washing your car, as wax will also trap in grime on a dirty car.
Monitor Tire Pressure
Keeping tabs on your tire pressure is one of the most important things you can do as a car owner. Under-inflated tires are much more likely to blow out during the summer, and this will mean several hundred dollars of repair in the best case scenario. Under-inflated tires also compromise gas mileage.
Use Reflector Panels
Reflector panels may seem like a pain to pull out every time you run for groceries, but they can save your car’s interior. They greatly reduce the temperature in your car as well as prevent upholstery from bleaching. This helps your car retain its value should you want to sell it at any point.
Apply Paint Protection Film
If you have a new or custom paint job, investing in paint protection film is going to ensure your investment lasts for a long time to come. This option is going to cost you more than the others, but it’s the most effective way to ensure that the summer heat doesn’t damage your car. Taking the extra effort to protect your car from the sun can save you a lot of money in the long run.