Car Maintenance in the Summer

High Heat Danger

Many people are aware of the dangers while driving in snowy or icy conditions, but few know of the dangers of driving in high temperatures. While it may seem like it’s only a mild discomfort, high temperatures can actually do damage to your vehicle, and create dangerous scenarios while driving. The temperature inside your vehicle can reach up to 40 degrees hotter than outside temperatures. Essentially, leaving your car parked in the sun creates an “oven-like” condition, and it can lead to a huge headache later on. We’re going to break it down into three sections: External, Internal, and Physical Health.


Sun exposure can lead to cracking or fading, which begins to peel and leave the underlying surface exposed to the elements, creating more deterioration. How to prevent this:

Wash your car often. This removes dirt, debris, and destructive residue (e.g., bird droppings, dead bugs, fruit, etc.), which can scratch or discolor your paint job.

Wax your car. Waxing actually acts as a shield to protect the paint from harmful UV rays, as well as keeping dirt and filth from sticking easily.

-Shade is your friend. If possible, park in the shade, under a tree, in a garage, or use a car canopy. If you’re unable to do any of those things, hang towels from the inside of the windows to create shade.


Battery Damage. Batteries have fluids inside, which evaporate more quickly in the high heat, resulting in oxidation of battery components. Have your battery tested and cleaned regularly.

-Engine Fluids. Again, high heat causes quicker evaporation, which effects many different components of your car. Avoid running the risk of overheating, and/or the malfunctioning of a major component in your vehicle by regularly checking your Engine Oil, Transmission Oil, Power Steering Fluid, and Break Fluid.

-Electronics. Depending on the kind of car you have, your electronic dashboard can be very susceptible to high heat. 

-Tire Pressure. The air pressure in tires increase as temperatures rise. In some extreme cases, this can lead to a blowout. In most cases, it can cause over-inflation which may lead to premature wear and tear.

-Engine belt and hoses. Any item in your car that is made out of rubber can experience expansion and cracking due to high heat. Have these items checked regularly to prevent any dangerous or inconvenient situations.

Physical Health

The summer months can cause life-threatening temperatures in your car. On average, 37 children die in the United States each year after being trapped in overheated, parked cars. Some states in the US can see temperatures higher than 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside of a parked vehicle. Here are some tips and reminders on how to prevent those extreme temperatures:

-Be sure to check your coolant levels for your AC.

-Let the AC blast for a minute or two, before entering into an extremely hot car.

-If possible, open your windows and/or sunroof about one inch, to vent out hot air while parked.

-Use sunshades inside your car’s windshield. Use towels on your side windows to create shade.

-Bring cold water to drink, and stay hydrated.