If you live in an especially hot climate, you know the effects that heat can have on your body’s health. Similarly, heat can be damaging to your vehicle and other machines. Luckily, there are things that you can do to protect your car from the summer heat cycle.
- Park in a covered location
- Make sure tire pressure levels are appropriate
- Have cooling system serviced
- Top off all fluids
- Have air conditioning looked over and serviced if necessary
- Have battery tested
- Utilize a sun shade when you can’t park in a covered location
- Wash and wax your car frequently
- Condition leather seats
- Consider seat covers
How Hot Will A Car Get?
Internal car temperatures (the inside of the cabin) can reach up to 145 degrees F with parts directly exposed to the sun reaching up to 195 degrees F. It goes without saying that your car isn’t built to withstand lasting exposure to these temperatures! Not only will the interior components start to break down over time which decreases the usable life of your car, it can actually make your car look older than it is.
The interior parts of your car like the carpeting made out of synthetic materials, the plastic dashboard and rubber door bumpers release gasses when they are heated above 100 degrees F. These gasses can do some damage both to you and your car. You do not want to be inhaling that junk. It’s not healthy for you. Outside of health factors, these gasses can also stain your windows over time aging your car prematurely.
How Does Extreme Heat Effect Cars
As dangerous as extreme heat is for the human body, it is also a major risk when it comes to a vehicle. Extremely hot temperatures: dry out tires making your car more susceptible to a blow out, will wear down and evaporate the fluid in your battery, cause your car to burn up it’s supplies of oil and coolant prematurely, as well as make your fuel economy much worse as the gasoline is more likely to evaporate.
Park Your Car In A Covered Location
The best way to protect your car from the above mentioned internal gas releases and to protect yourself from getting into a car who’s temperatures are well over 120 degrees F is to park in a covered location or put your car under a tree or some other form of shade. The sun itself will cook a car and the trapped air inside will just steadily increase in temperature sometimes reaching 160+ degrees.
If you can’t avoid parking your car in full sun there are other things you can do like utilizing a sun shade, which we’ll talk about further below. You should make sure you aren’t inhaling the gasses that your car is releasing. You can do this by cracking the windows when you park, or by forcing the air out by using the doors of the car like giant fans. You may feel silly, but it is worth it to keep yourself healthy.
Make Sure Tire Pressure Levels Are Appropriate
Tire pressure levels rise and fall with temperatures. When air is heated it expands. This is a simple law of chemistry. With most elements, as heat goes up so too does pressure. If you haven’t checked the pressure of your tires and the temperature has swung more than 10 degrees then it is likely time for you to either put more air in or let some air out of the tires on your car.
So what is the proper inflation psi? Tires should be kept at around a 35 – 32 PSI range and a car will lose about .2% in efficiency per 1 drop in psi. Your car’s recommended tire pressure can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
You should check your tire pressure frequently and check them when the tires are cold (haven’t been driven on) to ensure an accurate reading. Tire pressure will vary with the outside temperature with higher temps elevating pressure levels and lower temps producing lower tire levels. When you go through a seasonal shift, be sure to check your tire pressure level to protect your tires and the environment by producing even tire wear.
Have Cooling System Serviced
Your cooling system is responsible for keeping your car at safe operating temperatures. This is inside your engine block and not related to your vehicle’s air conditioning. The controlled engine explosions that move your car forward get up to around 495 degrees F. These can lead overall engine temperatures up into the 200-220 degree Fahrenheit range when you are driving continuously.
The cooling system of your car prevents the engine block from reaching dangerously hot temps. If your car gets too hot it can cause catastrophic damage to the internal components of your engine.
To do its job properly, the fluid that gets pumped through your engine and prevents catastrophic heat damage MUST have a very low freezing point and a very high boiling point. Water alone does not meet these requirements. Instead cars use an antifreeze solution called engine coolant.
When temperatures start rising in the dead of summer, it puts even more strain on your cooling system, making it even more important to have this looked at before the hot months hit. Have a mechanic look over the radiator and check the integrity of the coolant to make sure your car is in great shape for
Top Off All Fluids
The probability of your car overheating will go up significantly if your fluids aren’t where they should be. If you want to protect your car from rising temps then this is a great way to go. You can top off fluids yourself or ask your mechanic to do so for you during a multi point inspection.
Have Air Conditioning Looked Over And Serviced If Necessary
Nothing is worse than sitting in a hot car and sweating in your clothing on the way to a family gathering or a work obligation. If your car isn’t blowing cold air, or isn’t blowing as cold as you would like, you should definitely have the system looked over and either charged or repaired before the hot summer months. If you live here in Florida, you may even need it in February!
You may find that your car simply needs a recharge of it’s AC or you may also find that it needs a more serious repair
Have Your Battery Tested
As we mentioned above, your battery can have a rough time in extremely hot environments. The battery in a car is composed of both water and acid. As it gets hotter outside, you will find that the fluid evaporates at an elevated pace which leaves the lead plates exposed. If this isn’t resolved you will find that your car will have no starting power in the colder months.
Utilize a sun shade when you can’t park in a covered spot
A great way to keep your car from getting excessively hot is to utilize a car cover. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit your vehicle and you can buy one at just about any retailer. If you can’t find a covered spot, you can at least keep the sun from baking your car more .
Wash And Wax Your Car Frequently
Washing and waxing your car on a regular basis is a good way to protect your paint. When dust and dirt particles catch on your paint they can cause minor scratches. Use a car cover to keep your vehicle out of the direct sun
Condition Leather Seats
The sun can be especially damaging to your leather seats. If left uncared for, leather will crack and peel in hot sun and sweltering heat. It’s important to condition your leather seats frequently for that reason.
You can buy leather seat conditioners from most automotive retailers, and even large cover all stores like Walmart and or Target etc.
Consider Seat Covers
If you really want to protect your seats, not only should you condition them, but you should also cover them to protect them from the sun.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does A Car Cover Protect Against Heat?
Yes to a certain extent a car cover will help to protect your vehicle from extreme heat. The car cover will prevent direct sun from reaching your vehicle. This will help with fading carpeting and cracking and peeling leather seats. What it won’t help you with are the effects of driving when it is hot and things like low fluid levels and tire blowouts.
How Do I Protect A Car From Sun In Open Parking?
You can help to mitigate sun damage by parking in a covered location. When you don’t have the opportunity of a covered spot, you can use a sunshade in your windshield and windows or you can use a car cover. Other than these options there isn’t a ton else that you can do other than seek shade under a tree.
Need Help Fixing Your Repairs?
As you probably noticed, Protect My Car covers a ton of major repairs for your suspension and steering wheel and many other vehicle components.
In fact, suspension repairs are some of the most common repairs you’ll deal with on a regular basis, due in part to the declining quality of US roads.
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For less that the cost of a cup of coffee each day, you can get coverage for:
- A/C and Heating
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We hope this article has answered all of your questions regarding new car smell, and that you feel more prepared to take control of the scent of your vehicle both now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics.