You’re the type of owner who takes excellent care of their car. You probably store your vehicle in the garage all winter to protect it from the ravages of Ottawa’s snow, ice, and road salt.
But did you know that summer can also be hard on your car? Intense heat, direct sunlight, and driving on hot pavement all can take a toll.
Fortunately, there are practical preventive steps you can take to keep your automobile in peak condition. Here’s how to protect your car from sun and heat this summer.
Start with a mechanical tune-up at a trustworthy body shop. Don’t take the risk of doing this yourself. Only an experienced professional has the know-how to inspect your car in detail and repair any issues that were starting before you put your car away for the winter. Also, new problems might have developed due to letting your vehicle sit for several months — for example, degraded fuel and other fluids or cracked rubber auto parts.
The expert mechanics at our Bemac shops will check your car carefully and take care of all needed maintenance and mechanical repair.
You might think of car detailing only as a way of refreshing your vehicle’s appearance… and for sure, it goes a long way to restore that “fresh from the dealer” look.
But did you know that professional detailing will also protect your car from the damaging effects of summer weather? Yes, meticulous clay bar detailing, polishing, and sealant application help shield your automobile paint job from the elements.
Protect Your Car These 10 Ways
1. Check Your Tires
Your tires should be checked regularly in summer for two reasons:
to look for weak spots, punctures, bulges, or uneven wear that might make tire replacement necessary.
to make sure that your tire pressure is at the correct level.
A rising temperature can create problems for your car’s tires. Air in your tires will expand in the heat, and exposure to high temperatures could damage the rubber. Couple that with hot asphalt and your tires are bound to see some wear and tear.
It is important to check your tire pressure to make sure it is at a good level, and look for any weak spots, uneven wearing down or punctures. This will help you avoid running into a problem down the road.
2. Inspect The Battery
Your battery fluid tends to evaporate faster when it’s hot outside, leading to corrosion on battery terminals and clamps. Battery corrosion should be cleaned up regularly so it doesn’t interfere with the clamps’ fitting.
3. Make Sure Belts Are Secure
The drive belts and hoses fail more readily in hot weather. Check regularly for soft, worn spots or signs of cracking.
4. Is Your A/C Working Properly?
Before you head out on the road, do a test run of your air conditioning (necessary both for comfort and to keep you alert — and safe — while driving). Make sure it can reach maximum capacity and that each vent offers good airflow. If it does not perform properly, you might be low on refrigerant.
5. Check On Your Fluids
Avoid overheating your engine — don’t allow any fluids to drop below the recommended level. Check the oil, plus your brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid regularly to see whether they need to be refilled.
6. Keep Your Engine Cool
Another uber-important fluid is your engine coolant. Check the overflow reservoir regularly to verify that there is sufficient coolant. If not, you’ll have to top it up with a mixture of 50% coolant plus 50% water. Flush the cooling system occasionally, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
7. Give Your Car A Good Wash & Wax
Dust, grit, dead insects, and bird poop are all hazardous to your car exterior’s health. Maintain your paint job in great shape — wash and wax your car often throughout the summery season.
8. Protect Your Car Paint
When your car is performing at its best, it should look its best. Summer is a great opportunity to touch up all those nicks and scratches that your car has collected over your travels. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a tired-looking car that just survived a long winter.
Once you do get your car looking spic and span, there are several ways you can protect your paint job from the elements. This can include a protective wax treatment that will further protect your car in summer driving conditions.
More tips for car paint protection:
Keep keys — and other cars — away from your vehicle wherever possible.
Fill any scratches ASAP. It’s a lot simpler and cheaper than having to fix a rusty car in the long run.
Use a car cover to protect the paint from the bleaching effect of UVA and UVB sun rays.
9. Install Protective Devices
Think of these as PPE for your car. The following inexpensive, easy-to-use devices will keep the interior cooler and more comfortable. At the same time, they’ll protect your steering wheel, dashboard, and upholstery against the sun. Some protective devices that help are:
10. Park Under Shade
This last tip is simple but amazingly effective. Instead, park under a tree, in the shadow of a building, or indoors in a parking garage. Anywhere that’s out of direct sunlight. You might have to spend a few extra minutes looking for a spot or shell out a few dollars for a parking fee, but isn’t your precious car worth it?
Remember To Update Your “Seasonal Vehicle” Insurance
If you paused your Ontario road, liability and accident benefits insurance while your “seasonal vehicle” was temporarily off the road, remember to resume it now. Inform your insurance company 2-3 weeks before you begin driving again so they’ll have time to update your information with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. You will need to renew your license plate sticker, too.
Bemac Will Help You Protect Your Car
Here’s the very best way to protect your car: send it to Bemac to ensure there won’t be any issues during the summer. Trust our expertise to get your car in shape for summer and keep it protected all season long. Our skilled mechanics take care of car tune-ups, detailing, and repair in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.