With temperatures reaching the 80’s and 90’s lately, there’s no doubt you are reaching for the air condition button in your car. On a day that is 80°F, the temperature in a vehicle can reach over 120°F because sunlight gets trapped inside. Not only are these temperatures harmful to the body with prolonged exposure, but they can provide unnecessary wear and tear on a vehicle. Fortunately, with the proper precautions there are many ways to keep a car cool in the summer sun. Here are a few quick tips:
Leave blankets on the seats while the car is not in use. The blanket will be exposed, but the seat will be shielded from direct sunlight. Of course, the blankets will be hot when the driver and passengers return, but they can simply be tossed on the floor or into the trunk.
Use a sunshade on windows. Sometimes the shades look almost like aluminum foil and they stretch across the inside of a windshield. Don’t forget about your passenger windows, especially is you have children. The shade will keep your little one’s car seat nice and cool.
Leave the windows open. It is foolish to leave the car windows completely down. However, leaving them open a small crack – less than the width of a person’s arm – can help ventilate the inside of the vehicle.
Take care of your battery. Summer heat can negatively impact your car’s battery. Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. Make sure your battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration.
Check your coolant. Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system’s job to protect the engine from overheating. Older coolants used to require changing every two years or 24,000 miles, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles. See the owner’s manual or maintenance booklet to determine the service interval appropriate for a vehicle.
While keeping your car cool is for the benefit of comfort and condition, it also saves lives. Under NO circumstances should an animal or small child be put into or left in a vehicle on a hot day. Young children can develop heat stroke in a matter of minutes. If a small child or animal is spotted in a car on a hot day with no ventilation, please call 911 immediately.