Nothing is worse than getting scorched by a hot leather seat after a car has been left in the sun all day. This painful fate is something that you can deftly avoid, just as long as you take the time to prepare your vehicle for the summer properly. By remembering a few key maintenance pieces and investing in some additional accessories, your car will be in tip-top shape for summer fun – whether for local cruising or a cross-country trip!
There are a few simple steps that any car owner can take to protect their car from the ravages of summer weather. Things like keeping your tires inflated, servicing you’re A/C regularly, and tinting your windows can make a big difference. As you will see, these solutions need not cost much and can save owners in the long run.
Keep Your A/C Serviced
A hot and humid day is the worst time for your car’s air conditioning to conk out, but this may likely happen if you overlook its regular maintenance. One way to prevent this catastrophe is to preemptively get the A/C system tuned up by a mechanic – at least on a biennial basis.
A professional will be able to replace spent coolant and ensure everything is connected correctly and functioning. Depending on where you live, this service could cost less than $100. There are different additives like a system cleaner or a shock treatment that maximize your A/C output, but if you are unfamiliar with cars, you may do more harm than good.
Especially in warmer climates, the summer weather can put undue stress on your car’s mechanicals, so make sure all your other fluids are looking good while getting your car’s A/C serviced.
To finally answer the age-old question, you’re better off with the windows down if you’re driving at anything less than interstate speeds.
Keep Tires Inflated
If you aren’t familiar with your car’s recommended tire inflation PSI, newer cars may have a sticker inside the driver’s side door that gives the number. Other vehicles may have psi recommendations on the tire itself. Checking the manual is also an option for a quick internet search. Not only are properly inflated tires more fuel-efficient, but they are less likely to squeak from being over or under-inflated.
Explore Paint Protection
Besides parking in the shade and using a sun cover, the best way to protect your car’s exterior paint job from sun damage is to use a paint protection film. These films can be inexpensively applied by a professional in no time and can significantly impact your car’s paint life. When compared to the cost of a new paint job – the value becomes apparent.
If you live in a warmer climate, look for a local expert who can best assess your needs. After all, those looking for paint protection film in Charlotte, NC, will have many different requirements from those in other areas – such as protection from sap, sand, and bugs. It is especially true when compared to a provider that doesn’t deal with similar local conditions.
Ditch Junk in the Trunk
If you want to afford to gas up for more trips to the beach this summer, make sure you keep your vehicle clean – as the average driver lugs around pounds of junk in their automobile. This excess weight can seriously tax your fuel economy. AAA says 100 pounds of extra weight robs 1% of your car’s fuel efficiency, so clean out your car’s storage areas and only keep the essentials. Some essentials include a first aid kit, road flares, a jack, essential tools, and a spare tire.
If you are a pickup truck owner thirsty for aerodynamic knowledge, know that your truck is truly more aerodynamic when the truck bed door is closed. Removed or down tailgate doors are far less fuel-efficient. It means it isn’t just a bad look but a waste of money. Don’t just take our word; scientists have charted the airflow over a typical pickup and find it is smoother over a bed with a closed tailgate.
Consider Window Tinting
Some car owners prefer window tinting for the privacy or style it can provide. For others, window tinting is all about protecting the sun’s harmful U/V rays. Window tinting is also often used around the home in warmer climates to help cut down on radiant heating – the same principle applies to your car’s windows. Just comply with all local regulations that may govern automobile window tinting in your locality.
Plan Ahead to Have Your Car Beat the Heat This Summer!
In conclusion, just a little bit of forethought and investment can make a big difference in the enjoyment you can get out of your car this summer. Even a small investment - such as paying for paint protection – can pay dividends down the road thanks to savings from increased efficiency.