With temperatures soaring well above 40 degrees across the country, it isn't really the best of conditions to step outside the comfort of your home or office during the day. But, most times the drive is inescapable and you end up burning up in the scorching heat. But, it's not just you who is taking a toll this summer. Cars too face a lot of wear and tear due to the excessive heat and if not taken care of on time, it only adds new problems to the car's maintenance. So, if you don't want to be left stranded with a over-heated box of metal in the middle of nowhere, since that's what cars tend to be after breakdowns, we suggest you follow these essential tips to help your car beat the heat this summer.
1. Protect the Paint: Your car's exterior is the most exposed part of the vehicle to the harsh rays of the sun and can have the most damaging affect as well. It's imperative that you avoid parking your vehicle completely exposed in the sun for long. It not only ends up damaging your paint, but also takes a toll on the tyres while increasing the cabin temperature as well. A closed garage is the best solution or parking under tree or any kind of shade. Should you have to park in the open, it would be best time to invest in a car cover to keep your car protected.
2. In order to protect your exteriors, also make sure to keep it polished with wax periodically. Waxing every six months will keep the harsh UV rays as well as dust and grime away from the car. If your car is new, it is best advised to get the Teflon coating done for longer protection.
3. Keep the Interior Clean: Your car's interior also take a toll in the summers. Prolonged parking in the sun will create a stench inside the cabin, more so, if you have leather upholstery. Make sure you get the interior cleaned thoroughly in the summers and that also includes floor mats, dashboard and AC vents. It also tends to get extremely dusty during summers in India, so it is best advised to keep your windows powered up during the season. Also, invest in a sun shade to avoid the cabin from exposure to the hear.
4. Service the AC: The HVAC unit on your car will be taking most load during the summers. With temperatures as high as 45-degrees in some parts of the country, sometimes running the AC on full blast seems worthless. However, this could also mean that your AC needs to be serviced to take on the additional load. Make sure to top up the refrigerant, if needed. The older the car, the more care it needs.
5. Check under the hood: It is best advised to thoroughly service your car ahead of the summers. This includes checking all the fluid levels and topping up where necessary including the transmission, differential and brake oil. Change the air filter during the service or get it completely cleaned. Time the service in such a way that the car gets new engine oil for the summer, while it is best advised to add new coolant for effective working of the engine. Also, make sure to clean your radiator and get all the dust, grime and insects out, so it can effectively channel cool air. Always remember, never open a hot radiator cap when checking the coolant level in the reservoir.
6. Check the tyres: Your tyres take a beating from the moment your rolled out of the dealership and the summers only adds to the wear and tear. Most people often tend to be overlook the condition of tyres. An under-inflated tyre tends to protrude and put unnecessary pressure on the sidewalls that can cause the tyre to eventually blow. On the other hand, an over-inflated tyre lead to lack of grip. Make sure to keep a tab on the life of the tyre. Use a ₹ 5 coin to check if the depth of the tyre tread is within advisable limits.
7. As a thumb rule, it is advisable to change your tyres after five years or 50,000 km. Tyres have lost most of its life by then and tend to lose grip due to balding. It is a safety concern and is best advised you invest in new tyres if the rubber is showing signs of balding. For those doing constant high speed highway runs, it would not be a bad idea to fill your tyres with nitrogen for better cooling.
8. Check the hoses and belts: With the age of the vehicle, the pipes and hoses tend to crack as well and this could mean loss of precious fuel, coolant and what not. So, when your car goes in for servicing, make sure to ask the technician to do a check up on the perishable parts of the car.
9. Check the battery: Batteries tend to lose more charge during the summers than they do in winters. Summer heat can also cause car batteries to over charge, which will adversely shorten the life span of the battery. The heat could also cause the internal battery fluid to evaporate. So, in order to keep your battery running smoothly, make sure to keep it clean. Remove any dust that has accumulated around the battery base and the terminals. Also, if you are not using the car for a couple of days, it is advisable to detach the cable for the said period. Check up for any cracked or lose wires as well, which may drain the battery.
10. Carry the essentials: Summers may be harsh, but you need to make sure that you make the most out of the sunny days. So, don't avoid those road trips, but do carry some essentials for a hassle free drive. Always have an emergency medical kit handy along with a multi-purpose tool kit. Carry the spare tyre checked and inflated as well as its auxiliary tools, should you face a flat. Your boot should also have at least a large bottle of water and half a bottle of coolant stacked for emergencies. Lastly, remember to clean your car regularly, there's nothing better than a squeaky clean vehicle parked outside.
Have more ways to protect your car this summer? Please share it with us too.