Climate change and extreme weather reports are never out of the news for long. Recently, parts of Southeast Asia experienced record temperatures. The Atlantic hurricane season is on its way. And the UK is hotting up.
Last year, the UK experienced a new record high temperature. The Met Office verified that 40 degrees had been exceeded for the first time ever in England. Devastating floods and hail storms are commonplace now.
Extreme weather conditions cause damage to crops and homes, as well as vehicles. Even regular cold and hot weather may damage cars and motorbikes. And many motorists are unaware of just how their cars are impacted by the weather.
How does weather affect cars and damage them?
Extremes in weather conditions affect people negatively. High temperatures are dangerous, as is very cold weather. So, it shouldn’t really be a shock that heat and cold could damage cars.
The rising temperatures in the UK have led many to find ways to cool their vehicles. Window tinting and AC systems are popular ways to cool a car. Car shades are particularly effective at blocking heat and UV radiation when fitted to vehicle windows.
High temperatures cause car interiors to become deeply uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous. Heat affects car fluids, components, and bodywork. The cold can cause a number of issues with fluids freezing, and ice makes driving perilous at times.
A number of weather conditions and high or low temperatures will impact a car’s performance and in some cases cause permanent damage.
What damage does the sun and heat do to cars?
It is well known that the sun harms people’s skin. Heatstroke, sunburn, and sunstroke can all be highly dangerous too. Dehydration caused by the sun can be deadly. UV radiation penetrates the skin and wreaks havoc. In worst-case scenarios, this leads to cancer.
It shouldn’t be a total surprise that high temperatures negatively affect cars and their components.
The sun damages car interiors
Apart from heating up car interiors, the sun also causes damage. Even in the UK, the sun gets hot enough to damage parts of a car’s interior.
The most notable parts to suffer damage from the sun are the seats and the dashboard. Exposure to sunlight will cause seats to fade and crack. At the least, car seats in direct sunlight will be deeply uncomfortable to sit on.
If a car is parked in the sun regularly, expect to see the cover of the dashboard start to melt. This might lead to a costly replacement being needed.
Fuel and lubricants vanish
Petrol degrades over time, and even more so in hot weather. Car lubricants and fluids will need replenishing more in hot weather due to evaporation. Even oil evaporates quicker too in the summer.
The most visible and costly damage that the sun does is to paintwork. Direct sunlight will cause a car’s bodywork to fade over time. This will lower the value of the car, and require a respray if the owner wishes to restore it.
Hail damages bodywork and windscreens
Hailstones may be made of ice, but they are more common in the summer than in winter. One devastating hail storm in Arizona in the US led to hailstones as big as 7.6cm landing. Hail damage to windshields was reported after this particular storm.
Cooling systems overwork
The hotter the temperature, the harder the AC has to work. In extreme temperatures, a car’s cooling system will work overtime, and this might lead to failure.
What damage does cold weather do to cars?
Right now, most of the residents of the UK are looking forward to summer and hot days. Thoughts of winter are far away as they should be. But, time is no one’s friend, and one day the cold weather will return.
When winter arrives, it leads to new challenges and dangers for motorists. Foggy mornings make driving difficult, and heavy snow blocks driveways. But, the cold weather brings more than just inconvenience. Like hot weather, the cold also damages parts of cars.
Ice causes accidents
The most obvious danger in the winter may be ice. Black ice and sleet cause serious driving hazards. Clearly, any collision will lead to some damage and even write a vehicle off.
Ice breaks windscreens
Technically, it is usually the driver who breaks their windscreens during cold weather. Scraping ice off a windscreen on a cold winter’s morning is nobody’s idea of fun. This leads many car owners to boil a kettle and pour its contents over the ice. Putting hot water onto a frozen windscreen is asking for it to crack.
Ice forms in fuel lines
In extremely cold weather, ice may form in fuel lines. You may wonder, can gasoline freeze? The answer is – not easily. Therefore, keeping the petrol tank topped up will help to avoid ice in fuel lines.
Frozen cooling systems and water pumps
Not using coolant will lead to the water pump freezing. If this happens, then your car can overheat. In some cases, this causes permanent damage such as pistons melting and seizing up.
What damage do high winds do to cars?
High winds are capable of turning over trucks and pushing cars off the road. Anyone who has driven in high winds will know that it becomes dangerous, especially on motorways at higher speeds.
High winds blow debris
When winds pick up, grit, dirt, and other debris can be lifted and blown around. This leads to small scratches in the paintwork. And in more extreme examples, small stones could crack windscreens.
High winds blow down trees
Broken branches and felled trees present a serious hazard to motorists. Even parked vehicles are not safe from falling tree limbs caused by storms and high winds.
What damage does rain do to cars?
You might think that rain wasn’t particularly harmful to cars, but heavy rainfalls bring their own type of problems to car owners.
Rain causes water damage to paintwork
You may have to learn to remove water spots from your car’s exterior if you experience this type of weather damage. Acid rain and hard water cause spots and marks on car paintwork.
Water causes mold and mildew in car interiors
Faulty car door seals or accidentally letting rain in will lead to moisture building up in car flooring. This will quickly turn to mould which is not only damaging to cars but to your health too.
Rain causes cars to corrode
There are plenty of things you can do to avoid rust, but it’s still true that rain contributes to cars’ corrosion. When moisture and iron come into contact, a reaction occurs. This leads to rust. But, with ever more pollution and contaminants, acid rain is a serious problem for car bodywork.
Whether it is extreme cold, extreme heat, or extremely big hailstones, cars face damage. Ice presents a serious danger to motorists, but even a simple rainfall may lead to water-damaged car exteriors.
Cars face serious damage from weather conditions. And hot days are dangerous to passengers and drivers also. Window tints and car shades help to protect the interiors of vehicles. Car window shades also protect the people inside the vehicle from UV.