Drivers often think that winter is the hardest time for their cars and will take extra precautions to park them inside and protect them from the harsh elements, but they forget that summer takes its toll too.
The sunshine and heat during the day, and the significant drop in temperature which can occur at night can both have a huge impact on the wellbeing of your vehicle. Listed below are a few things which you can do to prevent the sunlight and the heat from really causing damage to your car.
Park your car inside
If you have a garage, or a covered space where you can park your car, don’t stop doing this just because it is summer. Parking the car inside or under a roof will protect it from the extremes in temperature and the harsh sunlight. It could also save you money on your car insurance if you mention it to your insurance providers.
Inflate your tyres properly
During the summer months the roads can get extremely hot. If you haven’t properly inflated your tyres then they will be more susceptible to punctures when in contact with very hot road surfaces. The changes in temperature between day and night can also have an impact on the air level in your tyres. In the summer it is important to pay close attention to the pressure in your tyres and to take extra special care to make sure that you inflate the tyres to the pressure specified in your owner’s manual.
Park in the shade
Where possible, park in areas where your car will not be exposed to direct sunlight. If there is a large tree nearby, a covered area in a car park, an off-road garage or a shady side of the street where you can park then this will make a big difference in the long run. It is also a cheap and easy way of protecting your car from the sun and does not require any investment of time or money.
Keep an eye on the belts
Any part of the car which has a high rubber content is at risk of being damaged by the changes in temperature over the summer months. Rubber expands in the heat and contracts when it is cold and this constant build up and release of tension can cause cracks in the engine belts which can lead to breaks. There is not a lot you can do to prevent this from happening, but make sure that you take your car into a workshop if you hear any unusual squeaking coming from the engine, as this could be an indicator of a damaged belt.
Check your fluid levels
All of the fluids in your car can start to evaporate during the summer heat. Take extra care to maintain the levels of all of the fluids in your engine: Windscreen wash; engine coolant; brake fluid and engine oil.
Cover the interior
If you cannot park under a tree, in a covered car park or in a garage whilst the sun is strong, the interior of your car could suffer from the exposure to sunlight and heat. Using windscreen sun shades to shield the car from some of the light and heat can be extremely effective. These are usually foldable, light and easy to store so they won’t take up much room in the car but could protect the dashboard, upholstery and steering wheel from heat damage.
If you do have to leave your car parked outside in the direct sunlight most of the time then you may find it worth investing in tinted windows. Tinted windows and windscreens can help to protect the inside of the car from the sun’s rays without affecting your visibility.
If you take your car through a car wash, getting a layer of wax sprayed on can help to protect the paintwork from exposure to the sun. This is a relatively cost-effective way of making sure that your paintwork doesn’t fade as much due to exposure to direct sunlight. Whilst we usually take the necessary precautions to guard against the effects of winter on our car, often we forget about any issues that may arise during the hot summer months. Hopefully the points above will help you protect your car this summer.
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