If the sun's rays take a toll on your auto in the summer, this guide will help form a protective shield against the harshest hot weather.
Step 1: Use a car cover Use a car cover or reflective sunshade to protect your car's interior from excessive heat and sun damage. Use a quality vinyl or leather protectant for your dashboard and seats.
TIP: Tint your windows to block out more of the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays that cause damage and blistering heat.
Step 2: Check your battery Check your car's battery for excessive fluid evaporation, which can deplete the charge and reduce the battery's life. Top off your battery with distilled water when needed, but understand that not all batteries need water.
Step 3: Top off coolant Top off your car's coolant tank when needed. Just be careful when opening the radiator cap -- wait at least an hour after driving for the car to cool down.
Step 4: Monitor tire pressure Monitor your car's tire pressure with a tire gauge. High temperatures will cause the pressure in the tire to rise, so check them when they are cool and follow the owner's manual to determine the correct pressure.
Step 5: Wash and wax the car Wash and wax the car to remove heat absorbing dirt and oxidation. A clean, shiny car will reflect more of the sun's rays and will cut down on the radiant heat.
TIP: Travel during off hours -- before temperatures reach their peak -- to avoid even more radiant heat beating down on your ride.
Step 6: Get regular service Get your car regularly serviced before small problems become larger ones from the wear and tear of hot weather. Ride cool in the hottest weather with proper care and maintenance.
FACT: On a sunny day, temperatures inside a car can become over 40 Fahrenheit degrees hotter than the temperature outside the car in as little as an hour.