Car Maintenance: How to Protect Your Car from the Sun

Malaysia is no stranger to heatwaves. The meteorological department predicted that we will experience  Southwest monsoon until mid-September, resulting in a hot and dry climate. During a heatwave, it is advised that we stay indoors and keep ourselves hydrated.

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Not only does this monsoon affect us, but the heat from the sun can also damage our cars. With temperatures reaching up to 34 degrees Celsius, the scorching weather can take a toll on your car’s exterior and interior, especially if your car is parked out in the open under direct sunlight.

car under the sun

How Can the Sun & Heat Affect Your Car Maintenance?

Making sure your car’s interior and exterior are well-maintained is the key to keeping its worth over time. You may think your car is already in its best condition because of regular servicing, but the heat from the sun can severely damage your car. Here are some examples of damage your car may face from the sun.

  • The paint starts to fade or dries up and begins to flake.
  • Cracks start to form in the dashboard, seats, and steering wheel.
  • The interior upholstery and carpets start fading their original color.
  • Belts, as well as hoses in and around the engine start to break and detach.
  • Fluid levels in the engine dry up.
  • Tires start losing air pressure.
  • Airbags, which are one of the major safety systems in a car, become faulty due to extreme heat.

Faded upholstery or cracked and damaged interior features can affect the resale value of your car later on when you decide to sell it. 

On the other hand, faulty airbags, or low-pressure tires due to the heat from the sun can put you and others in the car at risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Car From the Scorching Sun

Cars also need protection from the harmful UV rays that the sun emits. So, here are some practical ways you can protect your car during hot, humid days.

How to Protect the Exterior of Your Car

  • Park your car under the shade:  Look for a shaded parking lot as it will definitely help your car cool down and keep the paintwork from fading off or flaking.
  • Wash, wax, and polish your car: Washing your car frequently helps get rid of dirt, debris, and even dried dead bugs that might be stuck to the external surface due to the heat. Waxing and polishing are basically similar to giving your car sunscreen to protect it from harmful rays. It not only protects the paintwork but also gives your car added protection from the sun.
  • Check your tire pressure: If your car has been under the sun for a long time, the chances of your tires blowing out is high due to increased heat and temperature. So, before you drive out, get your tires checked if they are inflated or lack air pressure.
  • Cooling system: Car engines are known to perform well under high temperatures but there are chances of it getting overheated. If this happens, your engine and the metal components around it can get damaged, leading to a costly repair. Most cars have an in-built cooling system but this heatwave might override that.. So, do get your car checked occasionally and add in the coolant if needed.

Protect Your Car from the Sun

How to Protect the Interior of Your Car

  • Windshield protectors: Windshield protectors are one of the best ways to protect your dashboard and the steering wheel from cracking due to the sun. It will act as a protective barrier against the sun and the front interior of your car. The windshield protector can also lower down the temperature in the cabin if the car is parked under the sun.
  • Get your car windows tinted: Tinted windows are known to block thermal rays that sunlight passes heat into your car. Some tints can block up to 70 percent of heat from entering your car’s cabin but do check the Road Transport Department (JPJ)’s regulations for the legal percentage of tinting you are allowed to apply on your car.
  • Use seat covers: Not only do seat covers help keep your seat clean from unwanted stains but these covers also protect your seats from wear and tear while keeping your seat cool under the scorching hot sun.
  • Leave your windows down a little: If you have no choice but to leave your car under the sun, you should wind down your windows to circulate air within. This can help reduce the internal temperature of your car and prevent damages to, your upholstery as well as dashboard. 

Protect Yourself & Your Car From the Current Heatwave

Cars are not built to be sunproof and neither are you. So,  take care of yourself by keeping hydrated and protect your car from the sun. With this, this heat will not turn into a hefty repair bill for your car. Always remember, prevention is always better than cure!

Read Also: How to Maintain Your Car During MCO

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