We've all experienced it, your car sits in an open parking lot on a sunny day, you get in, and it's scorching hot inside. Not only is this uncomfortable but it also isn't good for your car!
Both the interior and the exterior of your vehicle can be negatively affected by direct sun and heat. Excess heat can affect everything from your leather seats to your dashboard, and even your tires and paint.
There are some things you can do to protect your car, just like you protect yourself in the summertime. We've compiled 10 Ways to Protect Your Car From Sun Damage.
Clean dust and dirt off your car’s interior
When the sun beats down on the dust and dirt that sits on your car's dash, trim, and seats, it can become "caked" into the material. This grime is incredibly hard to get rid of and can create stains.
You can combat this potentially grimy situation by vacuuming, dusting, and using a microfiber cloth and cleaner that is designed to be used in a car.
Use sun panels
Putting sun panels under your windshield, as well as your rear dash, when you leave the car can help keep the temperature down inside and also helps to protect your dash, seats, and interior surface.
These panels make your car a more comfortable temperature and help maintain the overall condition of your car over time.
Use seat covers
Using seat covers in your car during sun exposure not only protects the integrity of your seats, specifically leather, but also makes it much more comfortable for you and your passengers.
Sun can wreak havoc on leather seats over time. Not only can the sun cause the color of the leather to fade, but it can also cause them to dry out, stiffen, and even crack.
Besides preserving the condition of your seats, seat covers can also make your car more comfortable on hot days. If you've ever gotten in a hot car with leather seats, then you know just how unbearably hot they can be to sit on.
Check fluid levels regularly
During the summer months, you might notice your car is using up fluids a little more quickly than usual. You should keep an eye on your car's coolant, transmission fluid, motor oil, etc. on a regular basis.
Having low fluid levels can cause a lot of damage to your car, including:
- Transmission slipping
- Overheated transmission
- Delayed gear engagement
- Stalled vehicle
Make sure you're topping your fluids off as necessary, according to your owner's manual. If you don't feel comfortable doing this on your own, schedule an appointment to service your car.
Check your air filters
With all the dust and debris that’s in the air during summer, it's worthwhile to check your air filters and make sure they're not clogged up. If they are caked or covered in dirt, be sure to clean or replace them so that your car's engine can function in the heat.
Park in the shade
When you can, park your car in the shade. Parking your car out of direct sunlight will help to keep the interior cool and preserve your interior.
Covered parking can sometimes be hard to find. However, if you have to decide between walking the extra block or taking the close spot in the sun, choose the walk and protect your car from the sun's harmful rays.
Wash often and hand dry
Dust, dirt, and pollen can stick to your car's surface when exposed to heavy sunlight if not removed. The sun can also fade and crack the paint on your car.
Be sure to wash your car frequently using a soft cloth, car friendly soap, and making sure to dry your car off as well as possible when you've finished.
Try to wash your car in the shade, inside self-washing station, or morning or late evening when it isn't overly hot to preserve the paint.
Wax your car
Once or twice a year, your car should be waxed. Waxing your car helps lock in the oils by creating a barrier between the coat of paint and the sun. A quality wax can also protect your car from dirt or scratches.
Invest in a car cover
Car covers that are resistant to the sun's harmful rays, as well as water resistant, can help to protect your car further from the sun if you have to park outdoors. They can also defend your car from small scratches that would occur otherwise.
However, you'll want to make sure your car is cleaned regularly when you're using a car cover, if it isn’t, the dirt and grime on your car can be smeared by the cover causing small scratches on the paint.
Check tire pressure
During the summer months, you should check your tire pressure at least monthly. Having under inflated tires in high temperatures can cause a blow out more easily than in cooler temperatures.
Also, heat causes your car's tires to expand, so make sure you're taking their reading in the morning when it's cooler out and inflating them only to the recommended PSI and not the max. (Recommended PSI can be found in your door jam or in your owner's manual.)
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