Sun protection is not only beneficial for humans but cars, too. The sun and heat can quickly damage your vehicle if you don’t protect it, particularly when exposed to direct sunlight. Many car owners are not aware that the interior of their car can exceed 62 degrees Celsius. When under direct sunlight, temperatures can easily reach 90 degrees Celsius or more.
The dashboard and seats should be guarded against the dangerous heat. And let’s not forget about your car’s finish, which is very much at risk. Living in a warm climate, especially as the summer season approaches, means you have bigger responsibilities to ensure your vehicle and the passengers do not suffer due to uncomfortable heat.
Here are tips on how you can protect your car this summer:
Get Your Car Detailed
Car detailing is more than just washing your vehicle. It involves top to bottom cleaning with the right tools and products. You can take your vehicle to a professional auto detailer if you want specialised cleaning and reconditioning your car’s interior. Of course, you can also DIY this task, which typically covers the following:
- Thoroughly vacuuming the car interior
- Shampooing to remove dirt and stubborn stains
- Cleaning and polishing interior glass
- Steam cleaning and brushing mats and carpets
For leatherwork, you have to condition and scrub the upholstery to get rid of deeply ingrained dirt. You can check this blog post to know how you can take care of your upholstery, no matter its material.
Car detailing ensures that your car looks and functions as good as new. You can usually see the difference between a new and used car because of the clear topcoat. Over time, this fades away due to sunlight exposure, making the car look old and worn. But apart from the looks, detailing your car every once in a while can extend its lifespan. It also helps maintain its paint condition and keeps the engine cooler. Additionally, it also helps retain a good resale value.
Use Proper Materials When Cleaning Car Interior
You will need several cleaning items to keep your car tidy and fresh. Here is your car cleaning essentials list:
- Gloves and eye protection when working with cleaning wipes, conditioning sprays, and chemical products
- Microfibre dust cloth, microfibre towel, or a cleaning wipe
- Glass cleaner spray
- Vacuum cleaner for the seats, carpets, and air vents
- A slim-tip attachment for the vacuum to reach into tight spaces
- A small brush attachment to help remove hair, fur, and other carpet debris
Never use bleach and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning your car. While these two chemicals are beneficial in disinfecting surfaces, they are not ideal for your vehicle. They can damage plastics and vinyl, so avoid them at all times, including other ammonia-based cleaning products. Use water and soap instead.
We also suggest that you never park your car in a busy area or under the sun. It’s not only uncomfortable but also makes the process ineffective as some products react to sunlight and heat.
Keep Your Car Smelling Fresh
Deodorising is a step that you should not skip. While it does not entirely affect your vehicle’s protection during summer, it ensures that everyone in the car is comfortable. After all, who wants to stay in a stinky car? Make sure that the smell of the air freshener that you have chosen is not overpowering.
Use a Windshield Sun Protector
Windshield covers are designed to keep your car cool. They also prevent sun damage so that your car interior looks new. Some people find sun protectors difficult to install, but they are not that complicated. And even if they are, we can assure you that these windshield visors are worth the effort. They protect the front portion of your car’s interior from high heat and sunlight.
Without windshield covers, your dashboard and steering wheel can suffer. You will see signals like cracks and dryness because they may have lost their shine due to heat. Windshield sun protectors are effective and economical ways to protect your car as the summer season draws near.
Protect Your Car Seats
Installing seat covers is essential, mainly if your seats are made of fabric and leather. You may have noticed how your car seats easily heat up in the summer. Reduce the discomfort and keep them from getting worn fast with a car seat cover.
Another way to protect the seats is to use the appropriate product. Leather, for example, is a bit more demanding than others. The sun and heat can immediately damage the leather seats, which can lead to tears and cracks. The solution is quite simple. You only have to apply a leather conditioner as often as directed.
Use Sunshades for Your Windows
Aside from windshield protectors, your windows also require a good cover. Window sox shades are generally pocket friendly, which means you can just place them on the windows and remove them when unneeded. They reduce glare and also ensure that the people inside the car are not feeling the high heat.
The best thing about window sunshades is that they can be used even when you’re on the road. They do not obstruct your view unless you also install sunshades for the rear of your car. We don’t recommend doing so since you often need to look into your car mirror as you drive.
Take Special Care of Your Dashboard
One of the most critical components of the vehicle’s interior is the dashboard. Over time, it will collect dust and debris, which can cause tiny scratches if left on the surface. You also know that heat can cause it to become dry and crack. One solution is to clean the dashboard regularly. You can use a microfibre cloth to remove the grime without harming the surface.
It’s also useful to polish the dash using a suitable product designed for it. This product will help maintain the dashboard’s gloss, which can get a bit dull due to sun exposure. Finally, don’t overlook dressing up your dashboard with a good quality dashboard cover. It will provide the extra protection it badly needs against the dangerous sun rays and heat.
Check the Cooling System
Cars now perform pretty well, even at high temperatures. However, overheating can lead to serious problems with the interior, engine, and metal parts. If unchecked for so long, it can cause internal issues, which means a hefty repair.
Your car has an inbuilt cooling system, allowing the vehicle to run at an optimal temperature. However, as summer approaches, the high temperatures could take a toll on the cooling systems. It usually occurs when the coolant level is low. In some cases, you may not know that the fan belt is already busted. Make sure that you have everything checked before summer begins to get coolant added or to have the fan belt repaired if necessary.
Your car’s aircon may also be malfunctioning. One symptom to watch out for is if it’s not cool in the car despite having the aircon running for a long while. Go to an authorised centre for your car’s air conditioning system for a diagnosis and repair.
Park in the Shade
Here’s our last tip. Parking in a shaded area is an excellent form of protection to ensure that your dashboard does not dry and crack. If it’s safe, you may even open the windows a little to lower the temperature inside the car. Doing so also helps equalise the air pressure.
It makes a lot of sense to find a parking spot that does not expose your car to direct sunlight. But it’s usually easier said than done. We know it’s not always ideal when you’re in a hurry, or you’re just lazy. In reality, though, it does not take more than five minutes to find a well-shaded spot. For the sake of your car, just do it to reduce the temperature by up to 15 degrees Celsius.
Remember that your car is not heat-proof. It doesn’t matter whether your vehicle is used or new because all vehicles deserve some love and care, especially against the sun and heat.
Shop for car seat covers, dashboard protectors, and more here at Shevron to keep your car cool and ready for summer.