Our car is a very important part of our everyday lives.  They take us to work, school, shopping, and for some of us it is our office.  With that in mind we really need to take care of it so we can get to and from places.   Weather is today’s topic because it affects the car every day, whether you drive your car or not.  Much of the weather in the southeastern region of the U.S., where Classic Collision has 26 locations, revolves around extreme forms of water, wind and heat. When weather strikes, or turns the temperature up to 11, many auto repair shops get backed up for months with hundreds of cars that need repairs. Anything you can do to avoid it in the first place will save you a lot of hassle. 

Did you know…

Water

Exposing your car to excessive amounts of water, likely from driving on the road during or right after a heavy rainstorm, hurricane or flood can cost you dearly.  Even if you aren’t in an accident it can cause so much damage that if you need a repair an adjuster might determine that your car is “totaled” because the repair will cost more than the value of the car.  The adjuster will change the status of your title to a “salvage title” which means you will not be able to sell it for the Blue Book value in the future. Be aware! There are unscrupulous people who do purchase these cars, fix them up enough to get them running and then sell them to unsuspecting buyers.  You can easily check a title by using the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VIN check search tool at NICB.org. They’ll highlight if your vehicle has been reported as lost or stolen; if it’s been salvaged; or if it’s been declared a total loss by insurers after an accident. The service is free to use.

Cars today tend to have intakes fairly low down at the front of the car.  If you drive through free standing water on the road it will be sucked up into the engine, causing it to stall.  This has a domino effect in the engine with parts overloading and can even destroy the engine altogether. Driving through water can also cause hydroplaning, which means the tire sits on water instead of the road and causes loss of steering, braking and power control.  We will be featuring more about this in an upcoming post so be sure and check back to learn more.

Another water culprit is humidity.  Because humid air has more water and less oxygen, over time it requires your vehicle to work harder to produce power which can result in parts wearing out more quickly.

Wind

Winds of between 111 – 135 m.p.h. are enough to lift and move average sized cars (according to the engineers that helped devise the Enhanced Fujita Scale). Winds of even 30 to 45 mph can make driving significantly more dangerous and can even blow your car off course. High profile vehicles such as trucks, vans, SUVs and RV’s are particularly at increased risk in high winds. Strong winds can potentially cause debris to blow around and may cause an accident, or things can fall on/hit your car. We speak from experience here because, as an auto body shop, we repair a lot of damage from falling branches, trees, carports, and flying debris etc.

Smoking car engine.

Heat –

Classic Collision is located in a part of the country where temperatures can get very extreme.  An example is that in Atlanta, GA, summer daytime temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees fahrenheit. If your car overheats it may stop running and leave you stranded!  Did you know that driving slowly (like in heavy traffic) can cause cooling system problems?  It happens because there is less air circulating through the fan at the front of the car that helps to cool the radiator.  

Another area of concern is your tires.  If they are not properly inflated, extreme temperatures can damage the rubber of your tires. The more rubber on the hot pavement causes the side of the tire (where there is no tread) to wear out more quickly.  If you keep them properly inflated the tire will move on the tread only. Make it part of your maintenance routine to use a tire gauge and check your pressure. You’ll find the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your car on a sticker in the door jamb, or in your owner’s manual. Some models even place the stickers on the trunk lid, in the console or on the fuel door. Usually the recommended pressure is between 30 and 35 PSI.

Here are a few easy-to-do tips to minimize the damage to your car caused by extreme weather.

  1. Use a windshield sun protector. They are very affordable and are easy to store in the car. This is an awesome tool to protect the inside of the car by keeping the temperature lower.
  2. Use a vehicle cover.  If you do not have access to a garage or carport, investing in and using a vehicle cover is better than leaving it open to the elements.  
  3. Wax your car.  Just by keeping a nice coat of wax on your car will protect it from damaging ultraviolet rays. This is similar to a woman using conditioner on their hair after shampooing.  It protects the hair from environmental damage.  
  4. Park out of direct sunlight. This means finding shade, using parking ramps and of course your garage.  The garage is one of the largest ‘rooms’ of your home and so often it is filled with too much stuff to safely store one of the most expensive items a person owns.
  5. Take a ride on public transportation, UBER or LYFT and leave your car at home.
  6. When parked inside the garage, keep your windows open slightly for air circulation.
  7. Don’t add moisture to the inside of the car by leaving wet clothes or open drinks in the car.

We hope this helps you be better prepared to protect your car against upcoming weather challenges.  Classic Collision is dedicated to providing valuable car related information in our blog posts to help you even before you get into an accident and need an auto body shop. Check back often to read on a variety of topics.