The average summer temperature seems to be increasing everywhere, partly because of climate change and high pollution levels. This is also the time when most of us travel with our family and friends, and it is a time that many of us look forward to.
So, how can we balance heat with fun, and more importantly, how can we keep the car and its passengers cool?
Well, here are some tips to help your car and its passengers beat the heat this summer.
Do a Thorough Check
A good way to help your cat beat the heat is to ensure that it is in good working condition. It is best to schedule the annual car maintenance just before the summer months, especially if you plan to hit the roads during this time.
If you plan to do the check yourself, always start with the engine. One of the first places you should look at is the battery. Check to see if the battery is corroded or shows some visible signs of corrosion. As you know, battery is an important part of your car and this is also one part that gets heated up quickly. If the internal heat of your battery increases, it tends to corrode the areas surrounding it. This can lead to major repairs and problems for you. For these reasons, it is best you keep an eye on your battery.
Plan to get it tested by a qualified technician if your battery is older than three years. Consider changing your battery if you have been driving with it for a long time because it may not be able to withstand the rising temperatures of summer, and can cause corrosion of the other parts.
Your car uses many different fluids and even ahs different compartments for the same. These fluids ensure that the friction between parts is reduced, so the car parts last long and work well. In a way, this fluid lubricates the different parts and keeps them moving. Your engine oil does this job for you, but you have to obviously replace it often. Typically, you should replace it once or twice a year, depending on how much you drive.
Another fluid that has a bearing on the overall functioning of your car is the coolant. As the name suggests, this fluid cools down the engine and prevents it from getting overheated. Again, you have to ensure that this coolant is refilled before you decide to hit the roads this summer.
Along with fluid levels, check for the surrounding parts as the hose that delivers these fluids to the right car parts. This is as important as refilling your fluids because you want them to get delivered to the right parts, so the car can continue to give a smooth drive for you.
Other parts related to fluids that you should check are the radiator, water pump and hose clamps, as all of these keep the fluids circulating and reduce the excess heat buildup in your engines.
While you check for these fluids, get a technician and check for brake, wiper, transmission and power-steering fluids as well, so all the parts will function smoothly.
Overall, it is important to do a thorough maintenance before the summer months to prepare your car to bear the heat. You have to do this not only for the safety of your car, but also the passengers who will ride in it. A thorough checkup is mandatory if you plan to go on a long road trip. Spend this extra time and money for the safety of yourself and your family.
Wheels and Tires
When you drive with well-maintained tires, the possibility for blowouts is greatly reduced. This means, you won’t be stuck with a flat tire on a remote part of a highway! Seriously, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a flat or blown out tire on your otherwise well-planned vacation.
To avoid such a situation, check your wheels and tires before you leave.
One aspect you should check is the amount of air present in your tire. Generally speaking, tires that are underinflated tend to generate more heat, and this combined with the external heat of the road and environment, and causes the tires to get worn out quickly.
While checking for pressure in your tires, make sure to do it in the morning or when the tire has been sitting idle for a minimum period of three hours. The idea is the tires should be cooled down completely before checking for pressure, so the check will give you accurate results. Experts opine that tire pressure changes one pound every square inch when the external temperature changes by 10 degrees. You can imagine how much the tire pressure will increase when the temperature rises through the day.
Such a reading will give you a false picture of your tire health, and it is as good as not taking at all, because these readings will not prevent a blowout for you!
Now this brings up an important question too. How much tire pressure is ideal? The answer depends on your car. Check your manufacturer’s handbook to get the right tire pressure for your vehicle. In some cars, you can also find this information on the driver’s door jam.
In general, it is best to check your tire pressure once every month and probably more during the summer months because tires tend to lose about one pound per square inch every month. So, check often and mainly before you go on a long drive in summer.
You will be roasted alive in your car if you don’t turn on air conditioning while driving during the summer months.
To ensure that the air conditioning does not fail at a crucial time, check its working hand before you go on a trip. One place you should check is the car’s air-conditioning system as a whole. Mainly, you have to ensure there is no leakage in the system, and it is a good time to have a technician examine it because this is an important and yet, a fairly complex system.
Besides keeping your air conditioning in good condition, it is also better if you open the windows for a few minutes before you start to let out all the hot air, so your air conditioning’s effect can be felt right away. This is highly relevant if you have parked your car under the sun even for a few minutes.
Additional Tips and Suggestions
Besides checking the different parts of your car, here are some additional tips that will help your car to beat the heat this summer.
- Vinyl and leather seats tend to get heated really fast. So, even if you park your car under a shade, the seat will be really hot when you sit on it. One way to get around this problem is to drape your seats and possibly even your steering wheel with cloth. This cloth will take the heat and the seats will be much cooler than directly getting exposed to the sun’s heat.
- Regardless of how well your car is maintained or how cool the cabins are, it is advised that passengers and drivers take good care of themselves while driving in summer. This means plenty of water and light and fresh food such as salads, fruits and juices. We can’t stress this point enough because many accidents happen when the driver is dehydrated.
- Park your car in the shade as much as possible. Though this is common sense, there is no harm in reiterating it again. When you park your car in a shade, you are not only keeping the cabins cool, but you are also protecting your upholstery and car paint from damage. Needless to say, it is also less work for the air conditioning system.
- Consider buying some accessories such as sun shades that can be popped on the windows to reduce the impact of summer heat on your seats and the passengers. Another option to consider is window tinting, but keep in mind, that many states have laws that limit the amount of tinting you can do. So, if you decide to go with tinting option, run through the laws first.
To conclude, summer can be a difficult month for not only you, but also your car. At the same times, these are the best months of the year as you can travel anywhere and enjoy the abundance and beauty of nature without having to worry too much about weather elements, though you will have to watch out for the occasional thunderstorms.
These are also the best times of the year for long road trips with your family and friends. We hope the above-mentioned suggestions and tips will go a long way in helping you, your family members and the car to beat the heat, so everyone can have fun and truly enjoy this weather.