Hot Weather Car Care Tips
Extreme Weather is Hard on Your Car
Many people think that winter is the enemy of cars because of its freezing temperatures, as well as the ice and snow it brings. This is a common misconception, though. Summer can in fact be more hazardous. There’s damage resulting from the scorching heat, and there’s the possibility for hail damage too. While there’s not much that can be done to avoid hail damage when a big hailstorm hits, there are basic practices you should follow to minimize damage from the sun’s heat.
Big Sky Collision Center explains 5 of the most adverse effects of hot weather and what you can do to avoid them.
Hot weather can drain your battery
Because your car battery consists of water and acid, high temperatures (more than freezing temperatures) can cause significant damage to it. As temperatures rise, water in your battery tends to evaporate, exposing its lead plates, corroding its connections and terminals, and draining its power. When the temperature goes back down, you might not have sufficient or any power left to start your car. But wait, you say your battery is sealed? Higher temps cause the liquid inside to swell and can crack or otherwise damage a battery.
To minimize the risk of dealing with this inconvenience, it is advisable to have your battery tested regularly (more so if it is already over three years old) and replaced as soon as needed. Regular cleaning to prevent corrosion buildup on your battery terminals is likewise important. In hot or humid weather, it is essential to keep your car parked in a covered area or under the shade to keep its internal temperature low.
Hot weather can damage your car’s interior
As time passes, your upholstery, plastic portions of your dashboard, and other car interior parts may start to crack and fade due to UV exposure. The best way to prevent this from happening is by parking in the shade. Whenever this isn’t possible, use a sun shield or sun visor to protect your car from the intense heat of the sun, and try parking with the rear of your car facing towards the sun so your dashboard will not be exposed as much. Also, instead of just usual cleaning, applying a high quality protectant will go a long way in helping keep your interiors stay well maintained. If you can afford to, consider having your windows tinted.
Hot weather can cause your tires to dry rot
Although it doesn’t happen immediately, extreme heat can damage the rubber of your tires and cause them to dry out, bulge, crack, and rot. Excessive heat can also elevate the air pressure in your tires, decreasing its grip on the road, exposing you to the risk of having a blowout, and causing uneven wear and tear with the center wearing out faster than the edges. Most importantly, over-inflated tires negatively affect the handling of your car, from its fuel efficiency to its braking capability, which might mean a greater likelihood for accidents to happen.
To care for your tires, regularly checking tire pressure should be a given. You should also make it a point to monitor tread condition to ensure uneven wear.
Hot weather can aggravate the effects of insufficient fluids
Like a human being who needs extra hydration during hot weather, your vehicle also needs plenty of fluids to continue running smoothly. Each kind of fluid in your car has its own specific function. When one or more of your fluids drops to the minimum required level, a component might overheat, and your car will cease to function properly, or may stop functioning altogether. Accordingly, you should make it a point to check all your fluids and refill as needed.
Hot weather can stress out the driver
Heat affects both the vehicle and the driver. While it is important to keep the vehicle in good running condition, it is equally important to maintain a comfortable environment for the driver. A well-maintained air conditioning system is vital, so is proper ventilation. Consequently, alternately using your AC and rolling down your windows is sometimes a good idea to keep your cooling system from getting overworked.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Hot Vehicles in Billings
Were you in a crash because your vehicle wasn’t ready for the heat? We see it all the time! Fortunately we are your choice in Billings for Auto Body repair. We have a state-of-the-art facility that will allow you to get back on the road faster, in a safer vehicle, that has been repaired to manufacturer standards.
Now make sure you prep your car for driving in the hot weather!