Summertime typically means family road trips, sunscreen and hats. However, while you’re taking personal precautions to beat the heat, make sure to do the same for your car.
“Today’s vehicles are engineered to withstand the hottest temperatures summer can throw at them,” Jack R. Nerad, host of the SportsMap Radio Network program ‘America on the Road’ said. “At the same time, drivers still need to be concerned about the stresses that hot weather can put on batteries, tires, cooling systems, and other critical components.” If you want to keep your ride safe during the summer, then follow these tips on how to protect your car in hot weather.
Drive when it’s cooler
It may seem like a no brainer, but avoiding the sun when driving can help mitigate heat-related issues. Hitting the road early in the morning or later in the evening can make driving much more pleasant during those brutal summer months.
Maintain your tire pressure
The combination of hot pavement and under inflated tires is a dangerous mix that can result in a blowout. Always remember to check your tire pressure frequently during warm weather as the heat can cause tires to lose approximately one pound of air pressure per month.
Check your battery
Heat causes evaporation, and loss of fluid can lead to your battery running low on juice. Tools like a multimeter or a power probe can determine a battery’s condition, but mechanics and auto parts stores can typically help you check your battery.
Keep it hydrated
Before hitting the road, make sure to top-off your car with gas and oil along with transmission, steering, coolant and brake fluids. These ensure your engine and other critical systems function correctly so you’re not stranded on the road during long, hot drives.
Park in the Shade
Give your ride and its paint job a break from the sun by parking in the shade. A leafy tree or indoor car park works best, but drivers in urban environments can use streets with tall buildings for shade.
Shield the interior
Protect your dashboard and seats by installing seat covers and using a windshield sun shade. These items help keep the inside of your car cool and prevent the sun from fading or damaging the interior. Tinting your windows can also help keep the sun at bay. Check your local and state laws to find out the maximum tint level the law allows.
A proactive approach to protecting your car from the heat is the best way to enjoy a summer on the road. Before you throw on your shades and hit the highway, use these suggestions for how to protect your car from the sun and the heat. Don’t forget to speak to a Mercury Insurance agent to review your auto coverage so you can put your worries aside and thoroughly enjoy the summer ride.