It’s finally spring, and here at Backyard Buddy, we know that means it’s time to get your car out of the garage and go for a cruise. That doesn’t mean you can be totally carefree, however. Even if you would never let your classic vehicle see a salty road in the winter, there are still things to worry about in the spring and summer.
The first thing that everyone worries about is the hot sun beating down on their paint, and for good reason. Your paint takes the brunt of the summer’s abuse, from the sun beating down on it and potentially causing it to fade, to gritty dust acting like sandpaper wherever someone or something rubs up against it (if the neighbor’s kids are writing “wash me” on your window, you should probably take their advice). Luckily, a good coating of wax can help lock in your car’s color, protect it from damaging UV rays, and give the dust something other than your clearcoat or paint to grind off. In most places (unless you live in Arizona or Alaska), waxing once in the spring and once in the fall will give your car year-round protection. For those of you with a delicate custom or vintage original paintjob, investing in a covered parking space or even a car cover is probably worth it.
Another common worry is the greenhouse hotbox that is a nice classic vinyl or leather interior parked in the hot sun. Not only can this lead to a toasted butt and legs seemingly burnt to the seat, but it can cause fading and dry out of your interior. As above, the most obvious way to avoid damaging your interior is to park in the shade and leave your windows cracked, but there are some other tricks too. One of those giant folding windshield panels can go a long way to keeping your interior cool and out of the damaging light of the sun. Even though they may not look great, seat covers or even some blankets thrown over the upholstery can stop almost all sun damage. You should be doing this anyway, but summer heat makes it all the more critical to use a high quality leather conditioner on your leather upholstery. You can also help stop plastic and vinyl from fading with a protecting conditioner like Armor All and its many competitors. Another tip- a hot car can combine with dust and organic compounds in your upholstery to form a nasty film that is very hard to remove, so keep your interior a little cleaner than you otherwise might.
Our friends over at WeatherTech, makers of some of the finest floor mats you can buy (and made in the USA to boot) have a full line of car care supplies to prepare your paint and interior for summer, from leather conditioner to custom-made car covers.
Even though it’s in the shade, don’t forget to pay attention to under your hood. Your cooling system is also an obvious worry on hot summer days, and while we’re sure you’ve already done this, or at least thought about it, maybe take a break to look at your radiator and make sure it’s got the correct coolant and level. While you’re at it, check all your fluids, because your engine has a much harder time cooling off on a summer day, which can turn low levels of engine oil or transmission fluid into a disaster.
Everyone worries about their battery in the winter, and while a cold morning can be murder on your battery’s ability to crank your engine, the hot days of summer are a battery’s true enemy. Especially in older style batteries, heat can cause the battery’s fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure while it recharges off your alternator. This summer, if your battery is feeling a bit weak when you start, be sure to top it off (if you’ve got a true classic battery) or replace it before it leaves you stranded.
If you’re like most of us at Backyard Buddy, summer also means that your garage has gone from a (somewhat) tidy place to park and work to a jumbled mess of cars, lawn mowers, garden supplies, bikes, hoses, toys, and Lord knows what else. Just a reminder that we’ve got lifts that can help keep your car in your garage and out of the sun, with a rock-solid design that makes it safe to store bikes, mowers, and all of the summer’s jumble under your vehicle.
Give us a call at (800) 837-9353 from 8:00 to 4:30 EST any weekday to learn more about how we can help you keep your car off the ground.