How to Protect Your Vehicle from the Summer Heat

an old car in the desert rusts away in the heatUnless you’re new to Nebraska, you’re probably familiar with the excruciatingly hot summers. While you’re busy worrying about sunburns, expensive air conditioning bills and how the kids will stay busy over summer break, don’t forget to protect your vehicle from problems caused by the summer heat.

Fortunately, periodical car check-ups do not take much time and can prevent time-consuming inconveniences. Here’s what you should monitor during the summer months to keep your car in prime condition.

Keep your engine cool

If you have the time, consider taking your car in for an inspection and engine check. Nebraska’s weather is unpredictable, one week it’s freezing and the next it’s practically boiling, and the quick transition from winter to summer doesn’t help either.

For instance, winter road salt can lodge into the engine and build up in the coolant systems, leading to restricted or even clogged coolant flow. It’s also a good idea to check all coolant levels periodically throughout the summer. The increased summer heat accelerates the evaporation process and depletes coolant levels faster than usual, causing your car to overheat.

Constantly inspect any rubber parts under the hood

This is crucial to preventative car care since the high heat levels can cause cracking and other damage to the belt and rubber hoses. Replacing belts and hoses is a job for the mechanic, but even the least car-savvy person can monitor these parts. If you find any problems or concern, it’s a good idea to just replace the parts to avoid full blow-outs and a day wasted on fixing a preventable problem. Shadow Lake mechanics can replace these parts in a jiffy.

Prepare your batter battery for high temperatures

Summer temperatures can have more detrimental impacts on car batteries than winter weather. Heat and vibration are a battery’s nemesis, leading to breakdown and failure. Like coolants, increased heat causes battery fluid to evaporate faster and corrosion build up on terminals and connectors.

You obviously cannot control heat. If you can, I would advise contacting Marvel Studios. But what you can do is ensure your battery is securely mounted to help minimize vibration that can loosen your connectors. A clean battery is a healthy battery, use wire brushes to clean off any corrosion. Make sure to get your battery tested by a professional or buy a replacement back up if your battery is three years old.

Wash. Rinse. Wax. Repeat.

A vehicle’s top coat protects the paint from fading or peeling in the sun. It’s essential to keep this top layer clean, as dirt and dust damage it and leave your vehicle’s exterior more susceptible to rust. Wax is an excellent way to prevent all of this as it creates an additional layer to protect your car from the elements. Plus, you can do this in your driveway and get a tan at the same time! Frequent car washes are a cheap, effective way to protect a vehicle’s exterior through all seasons.

Protect your interior

It’s common knowledge that summer heat damages interiors and no material is safe. There are multiple preventive solutions you can use to avoid heat-related interior damage to your vehicle.

  1. Invest in a steering wheel, seat and dash covers. Note, it’s important to properly clean the interior before placing these covers. Like paint, the combination of dust and heat can cause the interior to corrode and crack even under protective covers.
  2. Clean the entire interior to rid the car of any spills, stains or odors acquired in recent months. The heat will turn last month’s coffee spill into an unbearable order. No one wants to sit in a hot and smelly car on the drive home from work.
  3. There are plenty of conditioners available to protect leather seats from the sun’s rays. It’s a good idea to condition leather seats before placing seat covers to avoid further heat-damage.

Prepare for summer breakdowns

No matter what preventative measures you take, sometimes life just happens. In this case, it’s a great idea to keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your car. Make sure to include a flashlight, water, road flares, basic hand tools, first-aid and plenty of water.

Shadow Lake offers routine inspection and maintenance. Give us a call or visit our location to schedule an appointment with our vehicle experts.