Summers are here in Pakistan with all their might….and they are as brutal as ever if not more. In this blog, we will be talking about how you can protect your car from getting damaged as well as some of things you can do to lessen the impact of extreme heat.
Find a cover
This is arguably one of the most important things you can do to protect your car from heat. Make sure your car is parked under a shade. Direct harsh sunlight damages almost everything on your car. It is bad for paint, and the interior of your car. The extreme heat can easily damage the dashboard causing it to crack or cause colour fading. Similarly, the paint itself will fade and wear out exponentially quicker.
The ultraviolet (UV) radiation of sunlight can have a drastic effect on rubber parts of your car; from tyres to rubber mouldings. The rubber starts to crack and becomes brittle. If you cannot find a shade, maybe think of investing in a good car cover.
The liquid running in your car’s radiator is called coolant. Coolant mostly gets ignored and this can cause havoc in extreme cases. No one likes to get stranded in some remote area where there is no cellphone coverage and no way to mend that leaking radiator or a hose burst. And this is especially important for people with old cars. If your car is 10-15 years old, you should be wary of this.
First of all, make sure you actually have actual coolant in your car, and not just plain water. Water causes rust, which will choke the radiator and in return restrict the coolant’s flow. Restricted flow of coolant means the system won’t be able to control the temperature of the engine at a desirable rate. And in extreme cases it becomes enough for the car to overheat.
You need a good antifreeze in your car. Don’t let the name fool you. It is also known as anti-boil. It basically extends the boiling level of plain water as well as it does not let it freeze even below the freezing point. So use some good quality premixed or concentrated coolant. In case you see car showing weird temperature behaviour, check the radiator and get it cleaned.
You can read more about car coolants below.
Also, have the cooling system including the rubber hoses of the car inspected routinely so it doesn’t spring a leak when the pressures get high.
As mentioned before, sunlight rapidly deteriorates the rubber parts of your car. And tyres are the biggest rubber part on your car. The UV in sunlight damages the tyres. The oils/chemicals in the rubber compound start to evaporate, making the rubber brittle and hard. This in return weakens the rubber and overall integrity of the structure of the tyre gets seriously compromised. And when you take this tyre on high speed runs on motorways, or even something like a GT road, the tyre under the pressure of road resistance and extreme surface heat starts to come undone. And that is why you see torn up tyre carcusses on the highways.
The structural disintegration can cause a blowout which can be extremely dangerous. You can lose the control of your vehicle putting not only yourself, your passengers, as well as other motorists on the road in danger. If you notice cracks on your car’s tyre, or they are old, it’s time to reach down in you wallet and get some new shoes for your car.
Make sure you do not over inflate the tyre. On the road, under load, the heat causes the air in the tyre to expand. This makes the tyre weaker by putting undue pressure on it. Similarly, under inflated tyres can also suffer the similar fate if you are not careful. You can read more about your car’s tyre care below.
This is a little tricky for multiple reasons but it is something that can help you from a headache from a blown engine. The rule of the thumb for engine oils and atmospheric heat is that thicker the oil, the more protection it will provide to your engine’s moving parts. But thinner oil is usually suitable for a car’s fuel economy.
Using thin oils in older cars can cause the oil pump to lose the pressure when oil gets extra thin in extreme heat. This causes oil starvation, basically lack of lubricant, and will seriously damage the vital parts of your engine. The best way to deal with it is to follow the user manual of your vehicle, or consult a trained and qualified technician.
- Keep the windows of your vehicle slightly rolled down so that the cabin doesn’t accumulate heat (cross-ventilation) due to the greenhouse effect
- Wash and wax your car. A good wax will keep the paint from drying, cracking and fading
- Check acid level in car’s battery, if applicable
- Get the braking system checked routinely and change the brake oil if necessary
- Keep extra coolant bottle in your car especially when you are travelling long distances
- Use sun shades to cover the glass windows and protect the interior/dashboard
- If you do a lot of long distance travelling, check/replace the gear fluid as well
- Make sure you get the AC unit serviced before the summer starts
- Do not put undue stress on your car.
- Avoid overspeeding
- Avoid extreme braking
- Avoid overloading
- And always check all the fluids and tyre pressure before going on long trips