How to Protect Your Car | In Singapore's Heat
Full Car Protection from the Hot Singapore Sun
Reading time: 4 mins
Besides the monsoon season, Singapore also experiences hot weather for most part of the year. And as a car owner, you should know that the heat from the sun can be damaging to your car.
With temperatures rising up to an average of 34 degree Celsius, the scorching weather can take a toll on your car’s exterior and interior, especially if your car is parked out in the open and under direct sunlight. Even your car’s engine and battery can deteriorate in the heat of the sun.
Fortunately, there are practical measures you can take to keep your car in peak condition. We’ve given you 5 hacks to keep your car cool while parked before, but here’s how you can further protect the interior, exterior, and the engine of your car from the Singapore heat.
How Does the Sun & Heat Affect Your Car?
Keeping your car’s interior and exterior well-maintained is crucial if you decide to sell your car later on. Faded and peeled car seats or cracked and damaged dashboards can severely affect its resale value.
Besides that, faulty airbags, or low-pressure tyres caused by the heat from the sun can put you and your passengers at risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.
Here are the damages your car may face due to the sun:
- The paint starts to fade or chip
- Cracks start to form on the dashboard, seats, and steering wheel
- The interior upholstery and carpets decolour and become dull
- The car belt around the engine starts to break and detach
- Engine fluid levels dry up
- Tyres lose air pressure
- Airbags become faulty
How to Protect the Exterior of Your Car?
Park under the shade
An obvious one is that you should try to park under a shaded parking lot, either with trees or a man-made shelter, during the day. Doing this can help keep your car cool and avoid it heating up under the sun in the first place. This will also help prevent the paintwork from fading off or flaking.
But we understand that this is not always possible, especially at some of Singapore’s open car park areas. Don’t worry! There are some other steps you can take to keep your car cool even when directly under the hot sun.
Wash, wax, and polish your car
It’s important that you wash your car frequently to get rid of dust and debris on its exterior. Even mild dirt and dust can cause damage to car paint surfaces as these contaminants accelerate the process of UV light penetration.
Did you know? Bird poop has high levels of uric acid, which can also cause severe paint damage within a few hours if combined with UV rays.
After washing, don’t forget to wax and polish your car. Basically, it’s similar to putting a coat of sunscreen on your vehicle. It not only protects the exterior paintwork but also gives your whole car added protection from the sun. However, bear in mind that car wax and paint sealants can wear off pretty quickly. So, this is a routine you should try to repeat as often as possible. If you’re looking for something that will last longer, the best and most affordable option is a ceramic coating.
Check your tyre pressure
It’s simple science. Heat expands. In other words, the air pressure in your car’s tyres can increase as the temperature goes up. This can cause your tyres to pop. But, even if it doesn’t, over-inflation can cause premature tyre wear and tear and it can interfere with braking.
So, before driving out, you can check your tyres manually by pushing down onto it. If it feels soft, then the pressure is low. But, if your car tyre feels rock hard, and you are unable to push down on it at all, then it could be overinflated. Alternatively, you could use the air gauge at your nearest petrol station to ensure your car tyres are inflated to the recommended level. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended limit, which is usually stated on the inside of the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual.
Your car engine can get heated-up pretty fast. This can cause damage not only to the engine itself, but to the metal parts around it, leading to costly repairs.
Of course, most modern cars have an in-built cooling system that keeps the car running at an optimal temperature. However, prolonged exposure to heat can take a toll on your car’s cooling system. So, check your coolant levels and always keep an eye on your car’s temperature gauge. You should also flush the cooling system occasionally, according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can do this with a simple garden hose or enlist the help of your trusted mechanic.
How to Protect the Interior of Your Car?
This is one of the best ways to protect the front interior of your car from the heat. A windshield cover acts as a barrier against the sun, shielding your dashboard and steering wheel from being exposed to direct sunlight, as this could cause them to lose their shine or crack.
A good quality windshield cover can also lower down the temperature in the cabin, when the car is parked under the sun.
Tint your windows
Applying tinted film on your car’s windows can help block thermal rays that carry the heat into your car. Some tints can be very dark and block out more light, but ensure you follow the regulations of Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) for the percentage of tinting that is legally allowed.
According to their current guidelines, the tinted film must be non-reflective. And at least 70% of light must be able to pass through the front windscreen and the two front side windows. For the rear windscreen and the two rear side windows, at least 25% of light must be able to pass through.
Use car seat covers
You may not necessarily use seat covers if you’ve got fancy upholstery or authentic leather car seats. However, car seat covers are a good way to protect your seats from stains, and shield it from the scorching hot Singapore sun. This can prevent the wear and tear of your original car seats, especially if it’s leather.
The sun can be very damaging to leather. So, if you have leather car seats, keep them clean and apply a leather conditioner to protect them from the sun’s UV rays.
Protect Yourself and Your Car from The Heat
Your automobile is not designed to be sun-proof and neither are you. Just like you, it needs the added protection against the sun, as intense heat and exposure to direct sunlight can take a toll on its durability.
So, apply the sunscreen, keep hydrated and try these tips to protect your car from the hot Singapore sun. The last thing you’d want is for the heat to cause a hefty repair bill for your car. Also, ensure you have good car insurance that has the option of 24-hour breakdown assistance, in case your car does get damaged in the heat. Always remember, prevention is better than cure!