Summer means kids are out of school, vacations, and pool days, but it also means extreme heat and the constant battle to keep your car cool. Summer heat, and the effect it has on your vehicle, is a seasonal struggle that we need to prepare for in advance.
Scorching temperatures can not only wear you down, they can wear down your vehicle. The upholstery, paint job and occupants of vehicles are all affected by the sun. We know you’re already applying sunscreen every time you step into the car, right? So, now it’s time to think about how to protect your car from the summer heat.
Below are some tips and tricks to help you, and your car, stay cool this summer.
Find a Shady Spot
Staying Cool 101. Shade equals relief from the heat. Parking in the shade will protect your car from direct sunlight and keep down the interior temperature. If you have leather seats, this will also protect you from burning your arms and legs when getting into the car each time. Also, parking in the shade will keep your seat belt from heating up and burning you. The shady spots are usually found on the outskirts of parking lots, so you might have to do a little extra walking, but it will be worth it to come back to a cooler car.
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Invest in a Window Shade
Purchasing a window shade can help you drastically cool down your car interior. By investing in a sun visor you can also prolong the life of your windshield, dash, steering wheel, leather seats and center console. Without protection, the heat can cause your dashboard to crack or warp and your leather seats to fade and crack over time. You can find one of these at retail stores or online for as little as $9.
Embrace Cooling Gadgets
There hasn’t been too much innovation for cooling vehicles, but we’ve found a few that are worthy of consideration. The Sharper Image has a fancy car seat that has cooling vents and a built-in fan that fits most seats, and it’s pretty reasonably priced at just $59.99 — a small price to pay for comfort.
Best Buy has remote starter kits, so you can get the a/c going without stepping into your car. This remote starter is for Ford, Honda and Nissan models.
Crack Those Windows
By cracking your windows 1 to 2 inches, you can create enough space to vent the hot air out, preventing your car from turning into an oven. Everyone hates getting into a car that feels like a sauna, so every little trick helps. Be sure not to roll down your windows to the point where someone could reach in to unlock your car. There are fans that rest on your window that filter fresh air in and out of your vehicle to help keep it cool. You can find one here.
These tips and tricks can help you keep your car cool, but there are also mechanical issues and features of your car that can be affected by the heat as well. Below are some of the precautions you can take to care for your car this summer.
Check Your Tires
You should check your tires throughout the year, but in the summer it is even more important because of the heat. Driving on tires with low pressure not only affects your vehicles ability to brake and handle properly, it also puts you at a higher risk for a potential blowout. Take advantage of gas stations and service centers that offer free air.
Check Your Coolant
With the extreme temperatures, your vehicle uses more coolant than in other months. Take the time to check your coolant and make sure that it isn’t too low. If your coolant runs low or out your engine could overheat.
Lastly, be sure to keep a safety pack in your car. A summer safety pack can include: water, jumper cables, flash lights, and a first aid kit. Be safe out there this summer and use these tips to stay cool.