If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in the woods and come out the other side covered in bug bites, then you’ll know the sting of regret. . . as well as other kinds of stings. While treatments abound for bites and stings, most of us agree that avoiding the bites altogether can prevent misery.
While bug bites are a nuisance, treating other preventable problems can sting even more. An overheated car engine is expensive to repair and can leave you stranded. While the preventative measures are a bit more complicated than spraying insect repellent, they are worth the investment. Here are a few tips to avoid the sting:
Find the Shade
While parking a mile out of the way to get under the lone tree might not be worth it, it could be worth just a few extra steps in the grocery story parking lot to find a bit of shade for your car. Not only will you be grateful when you get back in the car, but you will help your car maintain a safer temperature.
Put on Your Shades
Those old school windshield shades can go a long way in keeping your car a cooler temperature on those blistering summer days. This doesn’t just help your engine and car stay cool, it’s also good for your upholstery and dashboard.
Dealerships and body shops can apply tinting or window film to provide shade and privacy to your car. There are kits to do it yourself, but they can be very tricky to get right.
Start from the Bottom
Hot air rises so when you get back into your car, start by blowing the floor vents. That will start circulating that hot air out of the way and make room for the colder air as the AC gets going.
Let the Outside In
Unless there’s a recent skunk attack, let the fresh air come in by turning off that recirculation button. That setting will just spin that hot air around inside your car. Let the airflow from the outside stir things up and cool it off faster.
Heat it Up
This might sound crazy, but if your car temperature gauge looks like it is creeping too close to the overheating zone, try turning on your heater. It might make you a little miserable for a bit, but it will pull hot air from the engine and help it cool down faster. This lowers your chance of ending up stranded, so it is worth it in the end!
Check Your Coolant
Find your coolant reservoir and once the weather starts heating up, make a habit to check your coolant level every time you gas up. Just remember that you do NOT add coolant to a hot engine. You’ll need to wait for it to cool down.
Flush it Out
Keeping the coolant levels topped off is great, but if it is dirty, it won’t do much good, even if there’s enough of it. Most mechanics recommend a radiator flush every 40,000 miles, but check your user’s manual to see what will be best for your vehicle.
Just like us, batteries sometimes slow down as they age. As batteries weaken, the rest of the car engine has to pick up the slack. This can drive up the temperature and raise the risk of overheating. Keep tabs on your battery and have it checked if it seems your car is getting hotter than usual.
How do I Avoid Buying a Car With Engine Problems?
These tips and practices can help prevent overheating and keep a well functioning car cool in the heat, but if you are shopping for a used car in Utah there are things to keep an eye on in the search process to avoid problems down the road. Every part in your engine has a job and some of them are in charge of keeping the engine running at the right temperature. Here are a few parts to inspect as you hunt for the right match:
- Radiator Hose
- Radiator Fan
- Head Gasket
These key engine parts are the main players in keeping your engine at the right temperature.
If looking at a used car, ask if any of these parts have ever been replaced and always try to see the paperwork showing any work that’s been done.
One option for a used car is a rebuilt title car. This can be an affordable and comforting option–comforting because these cars have been inspected and rebuilt by mechanics who can answer questions about any car parts related to engine overheating. Many of these cars have been meticulously restored so that it’s almost like you’re getting a new car for a fraction of the price.
The time and expense associated with applying a little calamine lotion is nothing compared to the itchy aftermath of mosquito warfare. Similarly, the effort to maintain your car–or check on the maintenance of a car you’re interested in buying–is far superior to dealing with the headaches and heavy expense of an overheated engine.