How to Protect Your Car in the Summer Heat

Parking in the SunIt’s the first day of summer, and the weather is already heating up fast! And while most Michiganders know tips for protecting their cars from the snow, many forget that extreme heat can take a toll on your car as well. Delicate interior components are particularly susceptible to cracking or warping if overexposed. While some people have the luxury of covered parking, the majority of us are forced to park under the sun’s sweltering rays. Follow these tips for keeping your car in the best shape possible during the summer heat.

  • Find shade: If possible, park in a shady spot. Whether it’s a garage, under a tree, or even just a shadow cast down from a building, any little bit helps. If you must park in direct sunlight for a long period of time, consider using a windshield shade to block UV rays from damaging your dashboard or a car cover for more complete protection, including blocking the oxidation of your paint job.
  • Leather and vinyl care: Your seats and other internal components can crack or dry out under the hot sun. Luckily, there’s an array of commercial products available to block these nasty effects. Leather conditioners, protectant wipes and even wax/polish for your car’s exterior can all prevent heat damage.
Car Dashboard
  • Tint the windows: Tinting your car’s windows helps reduce the interior temperature of the vehicle and prevents damage caused by UV rays. Michigan does have laws restricting tinted windows; if you’re unsure whether you’re in compliance, be sure to check out the Michigan State Police guidelines to be certain your windows follow state law. If tinting isn’t an option, it can be helpful to at least leave your windows cracked open a bit to vent out some of the heat while you’re away.
  • Check the coolant: Regularly check the radiator for proper pressure and coolant levels and adjust as necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect the hoses for cracks or bulges, which may need to be repaired.
  • Battery life: Extreme heat can cause fluid evaporation and reduce the life of your battery. Test its charge regularly, keep the top of the battery clean and, if you have the type of battery that needs liquid, top it off with distilled water when necessary.
  • Keep it cool: The air conditioning system is forced to work on overdrive during summer. It’s a good idea to have it inspected to make sure everything is working as it should. Additionally, check the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty.
  • Plan your errands: To keep your car out of the hot sun as much as possible, plan your errands during the morning or evening, when it’s cooler outside.
  • A warning: Remember, the sun’s rays pass through car windows and rapidly heat the interior. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a parked car! Doing so can result in heat stroke, dehydration or even death.

Have you found an effective method to keep your car cooler in the harsh summer sun? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below! And for more helpful articles, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

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