Summer is here, and with it comes some genuinely brutal weather. Even days that feel sunny and fair can be harsh to your car. Just like with the cold, the heat can be very unkind to your car's performance and stability.
But you can combat the weather itself by keeping an eye on some of the major issues for your car and responding quickly to problems as you identify them. Plus, preventative measures ensure you are doing the most you can for the life of your vehicle.
The Major Issues
Get a sunshade cover for your windscreen and use it when spending long periods away from the car. This will eliminate many of the issues in the cabin quickly and efficiently. The only real problem you'll have are the hot-fingers as you put it away, but once you do, it's as if you've had hours of shade.
Remember to have your cooling system regularly flushed. This part of your car may be easily neglected and overlooked, but you're helpless without it.
Learn to check the reservoir regularly. You can do it every other week in a low-use period, but if taking a long trip, we recommend having a peek at your coolant reservoir before and after. And while you're there, have a peek at your hoses coming from the tank, for cracks and signs of wear.
It makes sense to give your car 30 seconds to a minute of warm-up before you begin your journey, just as you did in the coldest part of winter. Maintain your winter protocol about letting the engine warm-up first all through the year. This allows oil to get to all the places it needs to be in the engine as it is still heating to an optimal level as you start.
Keep an eye on the temperature gauge now and then as you drive. Watch for spikes or unusually high places. If you see any activity beyond the usual 50/50 line, get service immediately.
Remember to check the air pressure in your tires regularly. Burning asphalt and road conditions born of other people's summer breakdowns can lighten the pressure in your tires. It's a good investment to buy an air pump for your tires if it happens often.
Tips and Hacks
When just starting and near your home, turn the AC off and crack the windows. Wait until you approach a highway, 45 mph or better, before employing the AC. This will save you a lot of gas and improve performance, as the AC has to work harder to pump the air into your car initially; once you are underway and moving fast, the AC doesn't cause a strain on the power.
Look for the shady spots. We know that shade won't always be available. Still, if you can be clever about getting your car some shade coverage, especially if leaving it for extended periods, you will have a much better experience when you get back in your vehicle. A well-shaded car means the engine has all the cool-down it needs to begin.
Failing to find enough shade or a sunscreen, turn down the steering wheel 180 degrees to prevent the sun from absorbing where your hands will rest in the 9 and 3 positions. Use an insulated cup over the gear shift, and dryer sheets in the AC vents.
Always beware of rainwater in the cabin. If you're caught in a sudden downpour, and water has been coming in through cracked windows, be sure to clean your mats out and vacuum under them. Mold has a chance to build in areas where moisture is then heated and unchecked, and your car in the summer can rise to temperatures as high as 150 degrees, like a greenhouse, growing something unpleasant beneath your feet. Some action in the days following being caught in a downpour can save you heartache later.
If you're driving and the temperature gauge spikes hot, you can temporarily pull the heat off your engine by using the heating system in your car… but head immediately to get your vehicle serviced!
Schedule an Appointment
Just as there are things you can do to protect your car from August in Texas, there are things that are better left to a qualified mechanic to do, like flushing your coolant. At Rusty's Garage, we want to be your source for keeping, maintaining, and protecting the life and use of your vehicle, with preventative maintenance whenever possible and upkeep when necessary… we want to prepare you for the curveballs life in Texas will throw your car.
At Rusty's Garage, our number one priority is you. With you staying in tune with the needs of your car and adopting tricks and hacks to prevent long term heat damage and stress to your and your passengers, we can be a team together, committed to keeping value and pleasure in the life of your car. Schedule your appointment today! We are located at 25143 Melda Road, Building B, in Spring, TX, 77380, and are open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.