Florida is known for its hot summers. To many, that would seem like an understatement. Most of us know that during the summer, we should take extra steps to protect ourselves from the sun.
Just like you must don hats, glasses and sunscreen, other parts of your life need protection from the hot weather as well. Your car is one of those assets that need proper attention when the next heat wave strikes.
Yes, cars are very durable. However, no car is damage-proof. Exposure to extreme temperatures can indeed pose damage risks to your vehicle. While not as obvious as the risks posed by other weather, like floods or hail, heat damages can become extensive.
Therefore, when extreme heat threatens, it is best to take steps to protect your car from the rising temperatures. Doing so can help you avoid costly repair bills.
Car Insurance for Excessive Heat Damages
If your vehicle sustains damages due to extreme heat, you might try to turn to your car insurance for help affording the repairs. Car insurance often offers some degree of protection for heat-related damages. However, car insurance is not a catch-all solution. It may not cover you in all instances where excessive heat damages your vehicle.
For example, the heat might cause your windshield to crack. Or, it might cause your side mirrors to break or even warp and melt. In such instances, car insurance might help you get the coverage you need for repairs. In these instances, the damages may have been unavoidable and unpreventable.
However, let’s say you haven’t had your engine serviced by a mechanic in multiple months. Engines have to maintain safe operating temperatures in order to function correctly. They do so by making use of anti-freeze, coolant, water and oil. These fluids require periodic balancing and service. If you neglect this maintenance, this puts undue stress on the system. Coupled with the added stress of operating in high heat, a poorly maintained engine might fail, or even catch fire. These damages could quickly spread to other parts of the vehicle.
If excessive heat damages your engine, your insurance company will likely undertake an investigation to determine the blame for the damage. They might rule that you could have prevented the heat damage by properly maintaining the image. Such a ruling raises your risk levels of a driver. Your car insurance company may raise your rates, and potentially deny your claim because of your negligent actions. Learn other ways on how to reduce auto insurance costs.
Protecting Your Vehicle from Excessive Heat
Excessive heat, in many ways, can be thought of as a silent killer.
During a heat wave, you should pay very close attention to your vehicle for signs that it is struggling. Also, try to protect your vehicle as best you can to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Cautionary practices could help you prevent damages.
- Keep your vehicle in the shade as much as possible. Park in shaded areas. If you have a carport or garage, park your vehicle inside this area during the worst of the heat.
- Wash and wax your car regularly. Maintaining your exterior is a good idea in any weather. However, heat can damage your exterior, so pay close attention to it during these periods. If you have to park in direct sunlight, consider investing in a car cover, which can act as a vital shield for the vehicle.
- Look after your windshield and mirrors. Glass is extremely prone to breaking and cracking during excessive heat. Even if your windshield has just a small crack, this could expand to a large break during heat waves. Consider replacing your windshield as soon as a crack develops. Use only a reputable, licensed windshield repair service. Also, talk to your auto insurance provider about how your policy covers windshields. Your policy may only pay for windshield repairs if the glass requires full replacement.
- Do not leave combustible or items that may melt in your car during heat waves. If a soda bottle, or pressurized can of disinfectant were to burst in the heat, it could damage the interior.
- Clean, dust, and properly protect your fabric and interior fixtures. Applying proper sealants could help keep interiors from fading or sustaining other sun damages. Additionally, consider placing sun screens over your windshield and rearview windows. This will help maintain the heat level in the vehicle.
- Check your heat and air conditioning system. It this system has not been maintained, constant use during heat might cause the system to fail.
- If you drive for long periods of time, remember to take breaks to give the car a chance to cool off. Keep an eye on your engine and oil temperatures while you drive.
- Check you tire pressure regularly. Changes in temperature often affects the inflation levels of tires. If your tires aren’t properly inflated, your car won’t perform optimally. You even face the risk of flat tires or burst tires. Should such a failure happen on the road, you could very easily face the risk of a wreck.
Last but not least, always maintain your vehicle. Make sure you have it serviced by a mechanic at regular intervals. Change your oil, top off your fluids and rotate your tires at minimum. This will keep the car in optimal shape regardless of the weather.
Properly protecting your vehicle from excessive heat can reduce your risk of unavoidable damages. That way, you won’t ever have to haggle with your auto insurance company over the cause of heat damages.
We’ve got you covered. Come to Bouchard Insurance for a fast, affordable quote on a Tampa car insurance policy. Call us at 800.966.6481 for more information.