The climate in Florida can be an unknown quantity for its residents. Scorching sun flanked by storm clouds that never quite stay above you until the least expected moment.
These past weeks have seen the region experience perhaps coldest climate in a century, and even though there's the occasional tropical storm and hurricane here and there, usually Florida residents live in a warm weather for most of the time.
Sometimes extremely warm.
And while taking a little sun can be a good thing that some people coming from colder places would actually appreciate, Florida residents know better than to stand below a scorching sun this next summer. And just as they try to keep themselves cool, so should they do so with their cars, lest they run the risk of exposing their vehicle to overheating or worse.
Long trips under hot roads, humidity and the concentration of heat under the hood can be a deadly combination of forces that could cause damage in your car without much notice until it's too late to do something about it.
Since there's plenty of time until summer comes to the Sunshine State and starts chipping away at your car's health one sunray at a time, it would be wise to go over a few of the things you can do before and during summertime to protect your car from the challenges that extreme heat might bring about.
Paint Is Protective... and Needs to Be Protected
Do you like your car's nice exterior coloring and finish? Do you think having an extra clear coat will save it from the constant blasting of UV rays? Will that marine blue chassis stay beautiful after a summer on the sunny road? It won't unless you do something about it.
It would be advisable to reinforce your cars coating and sealing that's specialized in UV protection so it can hold for a few years more than regular paint would. However, something more permanent like a vinyl car wrap would be a proper alternative to it. It comes in thin films that are easy to place and remove without damaging the paint.
Also, the sensible thing to do during the summer months would be to have a car cover handy for whenever you're parking it in places with no shade. Not only does it protect the paint job from UV rays, but also saves you from entering a scorching hot car after being under the sun.
Stock Up on Coolant
When you have a fluid and you add increasing heat, chances are it will evaporate with increasing speed. If you're enduring a Floridian summer and don't take consider that your car's fluids will evaporate over faster during this period, you might be in for a nasty surprise when the car starts dying on you.
Remember that coolant fluid is chemically altered to remain in liquid form under extreme temperatures, but these components may break down under constant heat conditions and last a shorter time than intended.
Coolant fluid levels can get low enough to damage your engines, and if you add to that the possibility for heat to cause cracks in the hoses and cause leaks, you find yourself with an engine that might start overheating before you realize what's going on. Because of all this, you should keep a close watch on your coolant levels during the summer months, lest the fluids start failing before you know it.
Keeping yourself cool when you want to is an important part of enjoying the summer, and air conditioning units tend to work a bit extra so you can be comfortable during the hotter months. Before and during summer, all vents and hoses on air conditioning units should undergo some much-needed maintenance to keep functioning properly and not overstraining while under-performing because of some accumulated residue that's been there for months.
Some seasonal maintenance will extend the life of your A/C system and save you dreaded expensive repairs you might have to pay down the line if you neglect it.
Be sure to use it to the best of its capacities but also take a small mental tally of how much it has gone through, so as to not be overconfident on how much can the unit take. If you treat your system well and keep it clean, it will, in turn, keep you cool and happy.
Tire Pressure and Integrity
Maintaining an optimal pressure level in your tires becomes an art form during the summer months. Luckily, it's an art that comes with ease when you have an air pressure gauge and do regular checks. You must keep in mind the recommended pressure levels for the car you drive and the tires it carries.
Temperature is sure to affect the pressure of your tires, especially when driving through long distances through the burning asphalt. Tire pressure influences the performance of the vehicle in more ways than one, considering that a car that moves properly will not only be more comfortable for you but will also consume less fuel per mile. Remember to check your tires at least once a month and watch out for signs of wear and you should have a smooth summer on some smooth wheels.
The influence of heat can be one of the worst on your car's battery. Sadly, there is little to be done to avoid the summer heat to affect your battery. Aside from parking your car under a shade and covering it every time there's no shady spot available, your battery will be exposed to natural heat and thus expend some of its life more quickly under high temperatures.
So, even though you should always take care that it is properly mounted to avoid excessive vibrations that could cause its plates to become loose and discharge unnecessarily, the most sensible thing to do during the summer months is to keep some jumper cables handy and, if possible, a battery charger in case the battery dies in the middle of a sunny summer day.
If you keep in mind for these tips and remember the ways in which your car might be vulnerable before the imposing heat that comes to The Sunshine State, you should be able to avoid any problems a spend a wonderful time enjoying this summer.
And if what you need is help with your car's tags and registration, be sure to contact Auto Tags of Florida at (954)848-4808, and we'll guide you through the necessary steps for you to keep driving safely this summer.