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Don't Sweat the Effects of Summer Conditions on Your Car, Just Protect It

Written By, Chloe L.

No matter where you live in the United States (well, except maybe Alaska) summer temperatures can get very hot and that heat can have some negative effects on your car. Other summer-related outdoors conditions like salt air from going to the beach a lot and direct sunlight, can also damage parts of your car. Here are some ways your car can suffer this summer and how you can prevent or avoid problems.

Enjoy the heat, just perform checks along the way

Heat can damage some of the most important parts of your car, two big ones include: tires and batteries.

Heat on tires: Tires are debatably the most important part of a vehicle. Both sitting all day in the sun and driving on the hot asphalt roads quickly affects tire pressure, so check your tires a little more frequently. Be sure to keep your tires in mind if you go on summer road trips and check your tire pressure along the way.

Heat on car batteries: Car battery problems and replacements are most common during the summer months. Heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate, which then causes internal damage. Additionally, salt and dirt can cause extra corrosion on your car battery terminals, which then inhibits the energy flow and can drain battery power.

How to help prevent your battery from getting damaged by the heat? Go for regular maintenance checkups and make sure to keep your battery’s terminals clean and free of corrosion.

Salt and Sun

Both the sun and salt are natural elements that are very, very powerful. If neglected overtime, both of these elements can slowly damage the interior or exterior of your car. While the sun affects both the interior and exterior of a car, salt mostly affects the exterior.


High temperatures can cause surfaces to crack, or become warped over time. Direct sunlight can cause surface discolorations and make a car very, very hot — temperatures have been recorded well over 150 degrees. To avoid sun damage on your car’s interior try these things.

  • Get a protective tint on your windows or use windshield sun protector while you are parked. Both of these methods keep the car’s interior cooler and out of direct sunlight.
  • Park in the shade when you can.
  • Seat covers protect the seats from direct sunlight which can cause them to crack and keep seats cooler so they don’t burn you when you sit on them.
  • Use a conditioner on leather surfaces to help keep the material from drying out.


Salt air and sun can cause your car’s paint job to corrode and become dingy overtime. To protect the exterior surfaces, keep the car protected in a garage or cover when possible, and frequently wash it and keep a good coat of protective wax on it. Salt air also can cause rust and corrosion on brakes and other, unpainted or uncoated metal parts. So if you live near the beach, take it for an extra check up during the summer. You can also help by rinsing these parts with fresh water often.

Solid to Liquid

Also, temperatures can get really hot really fast, so don’t forget not to leave heat-sensitive items in your car during the day because they will melt or get damaged. Things that are common to forget you have in your car or you might buy while out on errands and accidentally leave in the car -- gum, candy (eek, chocolate), makeup, cameras, film, candles, and crayons or surfing wax -- that stuff gets everywhere and it is hard to get out.

And remember, never ever leave a baby, young child or animal in a car unattended. Windows down or not, it gets too hot for them.

Photo source and copyright: and Maridav