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Sun Damage: What It’s Doing to Your Vehicle

Large car parking lot in the sun

April 2, 2019 Topic: Tech Talks

For those of us living in the Texas summer heat, we know the powerful effects of the sun first hand. However, we may not appreciate just how damaging these effects can be, until we see the havoc it can wreak on our vehicles. From faded and chipped paint to broken belts and hoses, the sun can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your car. But it can all be avoided by adhering to a few maintenance tips.

Paint Damage

The most apparent sign of sun damage on a car is in the vehicle’s paint. The sun’s UV rays break down the protective coating, causing it to chip off and fade. As the paint sloughs off, the car can become prone to rusting, which leads to irreversible corruption of the material. The sun can also enter the interior, fading the upholstery and cracking the dashboard and steering wheel. Repainting and replacing these interior items can be very costly and time-consuming, and is completely avoidable with proper car protection. Getting your windows tinted, using vehicle covers when your car is parked, and placing vehicle sun visors in the windshield and windows effectively blocks out the sun’s rays and helps you avoid the deterioration they cause.

Rubber Damage

The heat from the sun can also begin to break down the rubber fixtures on the exterior of your car, seen mostly in the cracking and crumbling of your windshield and back window wipers. Losing the tight seal that the rubber wipers provide puts you at risk when it rains, as the wipers become ineffective, resulting in little to no visibility. Another exterior feature that the sun wears out is the rubber of the tires. Gradually, you may notice the air pressure in your tires beginning to drop, as the sun causes cracking and weakening in the tire walls. This is another obvious danger, as driving on weakened tires can cause blowouts and flats that put you, your passengers, and other motorists at risk. A solution for this is parking under sun-protected awnings and trees, and keeping a constant eye on these rubber features, and making sure that they are always in the right condition for driving.

Under the Hood

The sun’s influence can also creep under the hood of your car. Many drivers may begin experiencing fluid leaks and other problems occurring in their car’s engine caused by the cracking and failing of the rubber tubing, hosing, and belts. These are very serious problems, as the fluids from the internal hosing can leak out, causing overheating and stalling. When the belts begin to experience signs of sun and heat damage, it may dry out and break. Without a belt, your car cannot start.

All of these symptoms of heat damage are entirely preventable with regular maintenance from your trusted mechanic. Remember to keep an eye on your car’s inner and outer workings, because the last place you want to notice these effects is when they arise on a trip or long outing when they can develop into an emergency situation. For more car-related tips, tricks, and advice, contact the experts at Brakes To Go, and travel with confidence.