Cars are not heatproof. Whether a vehicle is fresh off the lot or a high mileage old faithful, protection against the sun is essential. UV rays don’t just affect the paint; too much heat can also kill car batteries and affect the engine. If resale value, high performance, and longevity is a priority, sun damage must be prevented. Below are a few practical tips to protect your vehicle from the sun.
Keep your car clean.
Staying on top of car washes removes minerals, dirt, debris, and dead bugs from the surface of your vehicle. If left on your car, the sun can cause these particles to become stuck and fade the paint. Some bugs have a bacterial decomposition that releases acids that can damage the paint surface. A run through the car wash with wax can offer maximum protection.
Park in the shade.
If you’re in a rush, it’s easy to choose a parking spot in the direct sunlight. If possible, take additional time to find a shaded parking spot. The sun can leave temperatures inside your vehicle over 145 degrees. Shaded parking spots can keep your car over 20% degrees cooler.
Use a windshield protector.
Windshield protectors are an inexpensive way to protect the inside of your vehicle from intense UV rays. The windshield protector also protects the dashboard and steering wheel, as too much sun exposure can cause their material to break and peel.
Check the cooling system.
Vehicles can perform well in high temperatures, but the engine can become overheated. Make sure the coolant levels are filled at recommended levels and top the fluid level off if needed. Sun and intense heat can wreak havoc on the coolant system, especially if fluids are low.
Leave a window cracked open.
Leaving a window slightly open can help circulate the air inside and reduce the internal temperature. Keeping a window cracked open can also protect the windshield. High internal temperatures can warm the glass and cause pressure to build up inside the cabin. If a window isn’t left open, opening and closing a door can crack the windshield.
Check the tire pressure.
The sun makes the pavement hot, and if your tires are under-inflated, a blowout may occur. The inside driver door has a sticker with recommended tire pressure. During your next trip to the gas station, fill your tires to the appropriate level to prevent premature wear.