As the highly anticipated summer months approach, the last thing on your mind is the protection of your car. However, it should be on your radar– extreme heat can negatively affect your vehicle’s performance and overall appearance if the proper precautions are not taken. Just as the winter can be a tough season for our cars, the summer is another important time of year when we should be on top of maintenance and repairs.
A few of the components that need special attention in the heat include:
Although many people believe that winter is the most prevalent time for dead car batteries, the heat of summer can also shorten the life of your battery. In warmer weather, the battery’s fluids tend to evaporate, which can lead to internal damage and eventual failure. Check to make sure that your battery isn’t overcharging and allow your vehicle time to cool down before you hit the road to avoid overheating.
The counterpart of antifreeze, coolant works to prevent your vehicle’s engine from overheating. In warm temperatures, the likelihood of an excessively hot engine increases; especially if your air conditioning isn’t working! A malfunctioning radiator could cause your car’s coolant to leak. An even more serious issue, low coolant levels could cause your engine to stop working completely. Consistently check the gauge to avoid this disaster!
Ultraviolet rays are not only damaging to you – they can have a disastrous effect on your car’s interior! If your car sits in the parking lot all day while you are at work and there aren’t many shaded areas, the hot sun can cause your dashboard to fade. The same can happen to your upholstery until it cracks. Investing in a sun shade for your windshield can prevent this!
A hot engine needs more lubrication than normal. If your oil cannot flow smoothly, it can eventually become too thick to circulate. Since many of us get the most use out of our cars in the summertime for vacations, it is recommended that you stay up-to-date with your scheduled oil changes – you may need to have it checked more often than the usual every 3,000 miles, but it will be well worth it to avoid a breakdown during your road trip.
Just as the sun’s rays can ruin your car’s interior, it can also damage the exterior. Repeat sun exposure causes thinner coats of paint to fade and crack more easily. If you have an older vehicle that has not been painted with the newer products which have increased corrosion protection, it will be more vulnerable to sun damage. Your vehicle’s plastic trim is also in danger of diminishing, so parking in a garage or using a fabric cover is a worthwhile idea.
In addition to warm air, the hot pavement makes summer an even more dangerous season for your tires. The high heat increases the stress that your vehicle’s tires endure on the road, as tread wears and they lose inflation. When your tires are unable to fully grip the road or support the weight inside your vehicle, it is a recipe for a potential blowout. Have your tires inspected for bald spots, poor tread and proper inflation before taking a long road trip.
At DaSilva’s Auto Body, we can inspect and service your vehicle to make sure it is safe for travel this upcoming summer. To learn more about what our technicians can offer you or to schedule an appointment, contact DaSilva’s Auto Body in Naugatuck today.