Keeping your car in excellent condition, both on the interior and the exterior, is a key element to maintaining its worth over time. The heat of the sun can potentially cause multiple damaging effects to your car. Understanding the negative impact the sun’s rays can have on one of your largest investments can help you protect it from harm.
The dangers of leaving animals or children in hot cars during the summer is widely discussed and reported in the media (as it should be), but the potential vehicle damage from sun exposure and high temperatures inside your car is rarely noted.
Temperatures inside an enclosed car in the summer months can reach very high numbers in a very short amount of time. According to information from General Motors and San Francisco State University, when outdoor temperatures are 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F), temperatures can reach 123 degrees F inside the car after just one hour.
Vehicle Damage Associated with Sun Exposure
While it is commonly known that sun can fade paint on a car, many people are less aware that interior damage is also a concern when the sun beats down on the vehicle and temperatures climb. The following defects can devalue your vehicle and create repair expenses.
- Cracking: Cracks in the dashboard and seats can occur and the steering wheel can also show damage in the form of cracks from the heat.
- Fading: The interior upholstery and carpets of the car can fade from the sun’s rays.
- Safety concerns: Airbags, a major safety system, can also be damaged in the extreme warmth, according to automotive expert Lauren Fix, the Car Coach®.
Other Vehicle Damage from Sun Exposure
In addition to interior damage caused by the heat, it is important to know what other potential vehicle damage from to sun exposure.
According to a report on WDTV, other vehicle components affected by sun exposure might include the following.
- broken belts and hoses. The heat caused by sun exposure can cause belts and hoses to break and detach. A broken belt or hose can halt your traveling plans and cost you repair dollars.
- low fluid levels. Watch fluid levels in the heat to be sure that your vehicle doesn’t overheat or break down.
- Inefficient antifreeze. Have your antifreeze levels checked and the strength tested to ensure that you’re using the proper type of antifreeze.
- and, lowered tire pressure: Temperature can also affect tire pressure, so be sure to check it periodically.
How can vehicle damage from the sun affect me?
Two main consequences are associated with vehicle damage from sun exposure and heat. The first is the possibility of property damage or injury from failing airbags or tires. Safety on the road should be everyone’s first concern, and low tire pressure or damaged airbags can contribute to an accident or increase its effects on you or your family.
The second concern is the effect such damages can have on the value of your car. If you visit websites such as Kelly Blue Book or True Car you can learn what impact faded upholstery or cracked or damaged seats can have on the resale value of your vehicle.
How can I protect my car from the sun and heat?
As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, have your car evaluated for readiness for the season. Ask your mechanic to test fluids, antifreeze and belts and hoses. Maintain proper air pressure in your tires at all times.
To protect the interior and exterior of your car, park in a garage or carport or use a sunshade in your windshield. Sunshades can keep the temperature within your car up to 50 degrees cooler, reports Fix, and can help minimize damaging ultraviolet rays from entering your vehicle’s interior.
If another driver’s improper vehicle maintenance is responsible for your accident, meanwhile, you may have a valid liability claim. Rob Levine and Associates can go over other options for recovering damages depending on the circumstances of the accident. Call 800-LAW-1222 to schedule a free consultation.