The long and hot summer season is almost behind us, you may be heaving a sigh of relief as temperatures start to come down and the more pleasant fall weather sets in. Your car, on the other hand, has just experienced a serious attack from the blistering heat, and may need some extra care. Here are some things to look out for:
- Rot on the tires
Now, this one does take some time, but if you’ve been driving for long periods in the heat, then this is something you should check. The heat can dry tires out, and cause the air pressure to increase, making them ride on less surface area. Monitor the tread wear, and ask an expert if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.
- Stress on critical systems
Nearly all of your most important systems — steering, braking, wiring, suspension — are directly impacted by sustained high temperatures. You may have been cool and comfortable sitting in the a/c on the inside, but other parts of the car aren’t so lucky. Check your engine for debris. Keeping it clear will help it run cooler. If you notice any issue, even small, then take it for a checkup immediately. Better safe than sorry.
- Damage to the interior
UV rays from the sun can do damage to the interior of your car, discoloring them or even causing plastic parts to crack. Even the most modern interior features like the touchscreen display can be negatively impacted by direct sunlight. Furthermore, you might not notice this damage as you get in and out of your car every day. When you compare it to a new model, however, you can see just how much damage UV can do. Prevent it by keeping the car in covered or shaded areas, but you can also use sun shields if you don’t have a garage or carport.
- Reduction in battery power
Both the water and the acid in your battery can evaporate in the summer heat. As it does, it exposes the lead plates inside. When the temperature starts to drop again, the battery won’t be able to provide the amperage to start your car. If you’ve had a hot summer, keep a closer eye on the battery.
- Coolant and oil
Two other crucial fluids in your car’s system are antifreeze and oil. Antifreeze doubles up as coolant in the summer, and without motor oil your engine isn’t lubricated and therefore won’t work properly. Both are impacted by extreme temperatures. Keep up with oil changes and make sure you use the right viscosity. Keep an extra eye on coolant levels and make sure that pesky sun hasn’t evaporated it all away!
Stay safe this autumn. Don’t fall prey to the lingering damage done by the summer sun.
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