Your car spends most of its time outside, where it is completely exposed to the elements. Even if you keep it in the garage when not in use, it is still out in the open when you drive it and whenever you park at your destination. This exposure can cause problems, especially if you are passionate about keeping your vehicle in pristine condition.
Unlike the first commercially available vehicles, most modern cars are very well protected from the elements: rain, wind, and snow included. The thing that can still affect them the most, though, is the sun. UV rays and heat can cause damage to your vehicle’s finish and interior over time and even create problems under the hood. Knowing some of the best ways to protect your car from the sun and heat can help you keep it looking nice and running smoothly for many years.
How to Protect the Exterior
The exterior of your car is where it is the most vulnerable since it is exposed to the heat and sun the most. From long drives to extended periods of being parked, your car’s finish is constantly under attack from UV rays even. Combined with heat during the spring and summer months, this can cause cracking and fading in the paint and even damage the tires or other electrical components.
The best thing to protect your car’s finish from the sun is to wash it regularly. This gets rid of debris and minerals, which will react to the heat and leave marks on the paint. Dirt can also contribute to the paint fading over time, so washing and drying your car at least twice a month will help protect it. Make sure to use wax after washing to add an extra layer of protection from the sun and help preserve your finish.
Check Tire Pressure
You should check your tire pressure very often when the sun is out and the weather is hot. In fact, for every 10-degrees the temperature goes up, the air in your tires will expand by one PSI. This can lead to over-inflated tires, which are potentially dangerous if they are allowed to stay that way for too long. Check your tire pressure whenever the weather gets hot and let some air out if need be. This will help prevent cracking and bursting if the temperature gets too high. Keep in mind that cold weather can also impact your tire pressure by decreasing one PSI for every 10-degree drop in temperature.
How to Protect the Interior
Your interior can also be damaged by heat and UV rays if exposed to them for too long. Upholstery and plastics will fade and crack if they sit in the sun for extended periods. This is especially a problem if you have a leather interior or other premium materials in your vehicle’s cabin.
Park in the Shade
The best thing you can do for your vehicle’s interior when it is hot outside is parking it in the shade whenever possible. If you can’t park in the shade or a garage at home, consider purchasing a car cover or windshield shade. Not only will this prevent the sun from getting into the interior, but it will also help keep the temperature down in the cabin. Any way you can limit the number of UV rays getting into the car will help protect the interior from cracking or fading.
If you have leather seats, it is very important that you use a leather conditioner and apply it often. Leather seats can become dry if they are exposed to high heat for too long. When this happens, you could end up with rips or cracks. Applying a conditioner at least twice a month will help keep the seats supple and keep them comfortable for much longer. Check your owner’s manual to see what kind of conditioner you should be using and if there are any other recommended treatments for your upholstery.
How to Protect the Engine
Hot weather can not only affect the way your car looks, but it can also affect how it runs. Your engine has systems in place to help keep it cool, but when the temperatures are extreme, it may cause deterioration and damage that can be very costly. Knowing how to protect your engine can keep it running smoothly, even when the temperatures are incredibly high.
Maintain the Cooling System
The best thing to protect your engine in hot weather is maintaining its cooling system. Keeping your coolant at the correct level and ensuring that your radiator is clean will help the cooling system flow freely and protect your engine. Check all the hoses and lines for the system as these can dry and crack when the weather gets hot, resulting in leaks. Replace any hoses that are starting to deteriorate as soon as you can so you can be sure your engine’s temperature is regulated.
Check the Air Filter
The air filter in your car is incredibly important. It keeps debris and road dust from getting in the engine and causing clogs or other serious issues. When the weather is hot, your air filter can get dry and brittle, which will make it less effective. Check and replace your air filter often and make sure it is a bright white color instead of faded or brown.
Protect Your Car Year-Round With an Extended Warranty
Protecting your car in hot weather is essential and will ensure that it will be reliable and safe when the temperatures are rising. An extended warranty can help you keep your car in good condition all year long and give you the confidence you need when you are out on the road. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to find out which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.