The Most Essential Summer Car Care Tips You’ll Ever Need

The dreaded summer heat is almost here; it’s time to keep your car cool so you won’t get hot-headed during these scorching days.

Fortunately for us humans, a quick shower or a sudden trip to one of the closest beaches in the metro can dissipate the heat easily. Our vehicles, however, cannot do the same just to keep their temperatures optimal. And if your car is not cool to drive, guess who’s going to feel the heat later on?

If you’re driving a top-spec vehicle, chances are your car already has such amazing cooling features automatic as climate control and cooled seats. However, not everyone is loaded enough to buy a fancy car with fancy cooling features.

If you want your drive cool and comfortable this season—both in terms of performance and experience—we’ve prepared the ultimate summer car care tips for you.

Car maintenance during summer season

1. Maintain your battery at an optimal level

Extreme temperatures can cause your car battery to malfunction.

Since ridiculously hot temperatures cause the water to evaporate, exposure of dried cell plates to oxygen can cause a buildup of sulfate crystals—which will cause your battery to fail more quickly.

Whether you’re using maintenance-free or normal car batteries, here are the steps on how to refill your water battery level:

  1. Pop up your vehicle’s hood
  2. Disconnect the car battery and take it out
  3. Remove the cap that covers the water port
  4. Pour distilled water only until it reaches the optimum level
  5. Close the cap and wipe off any spilled water on the surface
  6. Return the battery to the compartment and connect it

While you’re at it, you may also want to clean your battery’s contacts using a vinegar-baking soda solution

(Read: Road Trip Guide: How To Prepare Your Car And Yourself For A Safe And Fun Long Drive)

2. Check the coolant level and condition

Your car coolant plays an important role in preventing your engine from overheating.

To make sure you’re ready for the summer, your coolant needs to pass two standards:

  1. There is enough liquid in the system as per your car manufacturer’s recommendations
  2. The content color hasn’t turned murky and brown yet

If you fail at both, it’s time to do a replacement. Failure to remove the old coolant from your radiator, it might cause corrosion to quickly build up in your cooling system, which causes engine overheating.

Finally, don’t forget to always keep a fresh supply of distilled water in your trunk.

(Read: DIY Car Care And Maintenance Tips That Will Save You A Lot Of Money)

3. Replace the engine oil

When is the proper time to change your car’s oil? While some experts recommend every 5,000 kilometers, others claim that you are due for a replacement every three months.

Owners of newer cars can follow the vehicle’s change oil light or whatever interval is prescribed on your user manual. For vehicles that are at least 15 years old and have been used extensively since purchase, however, you might want to do it more often than that.

Although more expensive, it is highly recommended to use synthetic oils on your car. Since they are artificially created, they have fewer impurities and can last longer than conventional ones.

When you switch to synthetic oils, your next replacement can happen after 20,000 kilometers at the most.

4. Examine rubber components like belts and hoses

Hot weather can cause the rubber parts of your car, such as hoses and belts, to contract. This doesn’t do them any good because the contraction strains the material and causes fraying or tearing. In addition, the scorching summer heat can accelerate the gradual wear and tear as well.

Check all belts and hoses for cracks and tears to avoid leakage. In addition, see if they’re also tightly attached to all end contacts and check for leaks. Replace the faulty ones immediately; avoid doing stopgap repairs such as covering the damaged parts.

(Read: 5 Pointless Car Accessories We Wish We’d Stop Seeing On The Road)

Car protection for the hot season

It’s not enough to just ensure that your vehicle is in its optimal performance even when under the stress of the heat. Beyond the hood, don’t forget to do these more frequently during summer and you’ll thank us later:

  • Wash your car more often. It is a well-known fact that the sun’s rays can cause damage to the paint. This is kicked by a few notches higher during the hot season. Keeping your car exterior moisturized more often will also prevent the buildup of scratch-causing dried particles.
  • Apply wax. Ultraviolet rays make your finish lose its luster so it’s just right to wax your car regularly. Once the summer season starts, give your ride a fresh coat of wax and just check if it needs more application during the rest of the season.
  • Inflate tires properly. The formula for a tire blowout is as simple as this: combine hot weather, sizzling roads, high speed, and underinflated tires and your rubber may explode like a supernova. Although most of the elements are beyond your control, maintaining the right air pressure in your tire is something you can do to lower the chances of a blowout.
  • Use a car cover. This may seem like the most obvious of them all but we have to put it here, anyway. We all know how cumbersome applying and removing it. If you don’t have one yet, don’t forget to get the non-abrasive ones so you won’t have to worry about scratching your paint.
  • Upgrade your window tint. Forget your typical hawkers selling window films. If you want the real deal, upgrade your tint from dyed to either metallic or ceramic windows. Although both are more expensive, the former provides superior heat rejection while the latter does that and doesn’t interfere with signals like mobile reception and wireless key entry.

(Read: Finding The Best Dash Cam In The Philippines: A Buyers Guide)

The hottest summer car accessories

Sometimes, one of the best ways to keep you and your car cool this season is a quick browse on e-commerce platforms. You might want to check these gadgets that can lower your chances of turning into a briquette when you enter your car:

  • Sun shade. Every driver should have at least one in his trunk by now.
  • Seat cooler. They will prevent your thighs from becoming crispy pata during the season.
  • USB-powered dashboard fans. Just mount them on your dash, plug them in, and experience the wind in your face without opening your windows.
  • Driving glasses. Heat isn’t the only thing you have to contend when the sun is out, you know.
  • Solar-powered window coolers. It sucks the hot air in your car by leaving it on you cracked window. Don’t worry since it comes with a sealing rubber to enclose other parts of your window.

Sources: Top Gear, Men’s Journal, Carmudi