How Do I Prepare My Car For Summer?
If you live in the valley of the sun, you will want to prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the summer season. Not only do we experience intense heat and sun, but our season lasts significantly longer than other parts of the country. If you are new to the valley or have been here a while, following these tips will keep you more comfortable and safe.
Park in the Shade:
Parking in the shade does not necessarily mean parking under a tree, especially if it’s monsoon season or you’re concerned about bird droppings! Instead, consider the time of day and park where the sun will be shining on your rear or passenger window instead of the windshield. For example, if it’s 3 pm, the sun is setting in the west; therefore, you will want to avoid parking your vehicle facing west.
Window Tinting and Sun Shades:
Dashboards do not like heat. Protect your dashboard from fading and cracking by using a simple sun shade. Window tint will not only keep your vehicle cooler but will help protect you from dangerous rays while driving.
Get the Most from your Vehicles’ Air Conditioning:
During a desert summer, most people prefer their air conditioning blowing cold! Luckily there are a few things you can do.
- Push out the hot air by utilizing the outside air mode on your vehicle’s controls. Next, roll all your windows down and turn this mode on for two minutes. After the two minutes, roll up your windows and set your A/C to your preferred settings.
- Have your air conditioning system checked to make sure it is working properly. The technician will inspect the system and make certain the refrigerant is at an acceptable level. This will ensure you are getting the coldest air possible while running your vehicle’s air conditioning.
Ventilation will make it easier for air to move throughout your vehicle while it is parked. Cracking the windows a bit and adjusting the air vents to the open position should help. Of course, if it’s monsoon season or rain is expected, you will want to skip this suggestion.
Service your Vehicle:
In the hot desert climate, vehicles need special care. Frequent oil changes and belt checks are important. Check your battery and make sure fluids are full. Your vehicle’s coolant should be flushed and filled every year before the summer season begins.
Check your tires periodically. Due to the hot road temperature, tires in Arizona simply do not last as long because the rubber compounds in tires wear out quicker.
Keep these Items in your Car:
Besides a spare tire and first aid kit, consider these additional items-especially if you are new to the desert climate.
- Extra water for you and/or the car
- Cloth steering wheel cover and/or small towel for your soon to be very hot leather seat!
- Snacks that won’t melt. A bag of crackers, granola bar, etc
- A cooler with an ice pack or an insulated shopping bag is helpful when driving home after grocery shopping. Meat, fish, eggs, dairy and ice cream can easily drop in temperature during the ride home.
- An emergency kit including a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, blanket, and some basic tools like wrenches, a ratchet and sockets, screwdriver and pliers
Food Safety in Your Car:
- Stopping for food should be the last stop on your list of chores. The sooner you can get home with your groceries, the better! If possible, put your groceries in the backseat rather than the hot trunk.
- Snacks for Kids (or adults) stored in the car should be non-perishable. Dried fruit, nuts, etc do well in the heat.
- If you are taking along drinks and not consuming them right away choose non -carbonated drinks or juice boxes. Carbonated beverages could explode in the car.
- Bring enough to eat but avoid having left overs
- Choose foods that are cooked, such as fried chicken and eat within a couple of hours.
- Food should be stored in a cooler until ready to eat.
- Dairy products are best to avoid for patio parties or picnics. Mayonnaise is also quite risky to eat if it is not kept very cool.
- Avoid eating any food left outside for more than an hour, it is best to let it go.
This goes without saying, do not leave any pets or children in the car even for a few seconds. We all know that interior vehicle temperatures can get hot anywhere in the country, but in Phoenix, it is even more extreme. During our hottest months, the interior temperatures of parked cars can skyrocket to 140 degrees or higher in minutes.
Airpark Collision Center opened in 2006 with a focus on quality auto body repairs and excellent customer service. Our monthly blogs are meant to share vehicle and passenger safety information with our Scottsdale community. Please contact us or click here if you are in need of a collision damage estimate.