As summer quickly approaches, many people forget how hot an Arizona car can actually get. With temperatures nearing 120, there are certain aspects about car maintenance and driving that folks should be reminded of.
Knowing how hot it can get, it’s mystery why cars can reach around 200 degrees (F). That’s hot enough to bake cookies in…the vehicle that you sit in and drive reaches oven temperatures! Alright, so what do we do about it? Honestly there is little you can do about your car heating up. There are shades and screens you can buy to put in your windshield, but other than parking your car in shade, there isn’t much you can do. However, there are things you can be aware of when driving, parking, and caring for your vehicle. The most obvious and most important thing to remember is to never leave a pet or person alone in the car. At those temperatures, people and animals can easily suffer from fatal heat exhaustion and dehydration. I don’t just mean children either; you shouldn’t leave anyone in the car in the summer unless they have the car keys and are capable of leaving it to cool off.
Staying with the inside of the car, you should always bring a hand towel or glove with you so you can actually touch things. As most of you probably know, the steering wheel, seat belt, and everything else in the car turn into scorching hot coals that will result in 8th degree burns if you touch them. Nothing is more painful in the summer than touching the metal clip of the seat belt. Nothing. Unfortunately, this provides a terrible situation for those who can’t afford to wait for the air conditioner to cool things off. This is where the towel or glove comes into play. Use either to buckle up and steer without getting absolutely torched.
Another thing to remember in the summer is to always keep various survival supplies in your car. I don’t mean a month supply of food or tactical climbing gear but bring a few things just in case your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere on the hottest day of the year. So, always have at least of gallon or two of drinking water; you never know when you’ll have to survive weeks wondering through the barren desert looking for the Lost Opata Mine. All joking aside, it’s always smart to have a first aid kit, a few emergency jackets and/or blankets (the desert can frigid temperatures at night), and a basic tool/ratchet set. Now if your overzealous on caution, you can always bring that tactical climbing gear we mentioned earlier. Your call though.
Despite all these things to remember for the car in the summer, the utmost important thing to remember is to be smart. Use your common sense before going out in your car. Summer, as fun in the sun as it can be, can actually pose many dangers. Don’t stress too much though, just be smart and have a good time. Happy driving!
Author: Ben Delamater