Tinted Windows Beat The Summer Heat!
Do Tinted Windows Really Help With The Heat?
While the amount of heat reduction will vary from car to car, normal window film generally reduces heat by 35% to 45%.
Is having your car’s windows tinted a practical means of keeping your car cool, or is it simply a great way to annoy other drivers? Tinting certainly can help keep the heat out of your car and therefore cause less stress on your engine, but there is a legal component to having tinted windows.
In North Carolina, tinting laws came about in 2001 as more and more vehicles with darkly tinted windows were showing up on the roads. This law is specific, and since 2001 the details of the law have been modified regularly. Presently, the darkest tint allowed in NC is 35% (though there is a medical exception that allows for more tint).
Law officers in North Carolina take window tinting seriously, so it is important to follow the State’s guidelines closely. If you have tinted windows and are unsure of the percentage of tint they are, pop into Mount Airy Toyota for a quick analysis–it’s better to have it checked by a professional rather than get a citation.
Keeping cool inside your car doesn’t need to be a hassle. Paying close attention to your car’s temperature as you drive, and performing regular checks is the key to maintaining its ability to perform this summer. And, if you find your vehicle does need some professional attention, you know exactly where to take it: Mount Airy Toyota Service Department.
Keep Your Car’s Air Conditioning Running Right: Here’s How to Keep Cool This Summer
The muggy Southern days are fully upon us, and if your car isn’t cooling correctly, you are certainly feeling the heat. Your car should be a respite from the hot air and humidity, not a conductor of them, which is why it is so important to keep your car’s coolant in check by having a mechanic give a good once-over at least once a year. If you are worried about your vehicle’s ability to stay cool another summer, your first step is to check a few elements of the car yourself; your second step is to head into Mount Airy Toyota for a quick appointment to make sure everything is running properly.
A vehicle’s coolant system is not only working during the summer, but it also works hard during the coldest parts of the winter. A coolant system is meant to keep the engine running at the proper temperature at all times. This is vitally important because an engine that overheats can cause permanent damage if not completely destroy the engine itself. And, no matter the weather outside, the temperature underneath the hood can get incredibly hot.
Your car’s coolant system is comprised of many individual parts, including:
- coolant fluid inside the radiator
- water pump
- heater core
- cooling jacket
- hoses that transfer fluids in and around your engine
It’s a complex system where each part is reliant on the workings of another part, and when one goes bad the entire system can overheat and, essentially, destroy itself. An old, cracked hose or a loose cable is all it takes to degrade, and eventually, break down the engine’s ability to cool itself. Clearly, maintaining your engine’s cooling system is one of the most important things you can do in order to keep your car running well. Whether it is in the heart of summer or in the midst of winter, there are important precautionary steps you should be taking so that you never have to deal with an overheating engine nor a lack of air conditioning.
What You Can Do
Whether or not your car is pushing out cool air, it is important to regularly check the entire cooling system. Now, you may not be a mechanic, and this is okay. These checks are to see if there is an issue, so you can schedule an appointment with a certified mechanic.
- Check the Coolant Level
The radiator holds the coolant, but before twisting open the radiator cap, make sure the engine is COMPLETELY cool. Otherwise, the hot liquid will spew from the opening, causing both you and your car severe damage. Once the car has cooled and you have opened the cap, look into the reservoir to make sure the fluid looks clean and clear of debris. Also, check the fluid level to see that it is not too low or too high (there should be a clear mark of where the coolant should top off).
If the fluid is at the right level, but looks a bit dirty, this is a sign it needs flushed. If the coolant is low but clean, this could be a sign there could be a small leak. In the former case, make an appointment to have the coolant flushed as soon as possible; driving long periods of time with bad fluid could damage the engine. In the latter case, keep an eye on the coolant level–check it every day and especially after a substantial drive to see how quickly it is losing fluid. If you find after a few weeks that the level has remained at full, you are good. If, however, you find that it is leaking coolant, even a small amount, consider having a mechanic look at it. Chances are there is a faulty hose that needs replacing. That said, if you find puddles of coolant under your car, this could be a sign of a cracked radiator or, at best bet, a loose fitting. Regardless, it is not safe to continue a regular driving routine with a vehicle that is leaking coolant. Get this checked right away.
- Monitor the Temperature Gauge
It is easy to gloss over those temperature gauges located behind the wheel. Over the years, it’s the big two–the speedometer and the fuel–that gets most of our attention, but it’s a good idea to add the temperature gauge to those you pay close attention to. Your car’s temperature gauge is an accurate representation of the temp under the hood, inside the engine. If ever you notice this guage running high, pull over as soon as possible and turn off the engine to let the temperature come down (the time this will take is dependent upon how long you were driving and how much time the engine had to build heat).
Once you are rolling again, keep a close eye on the engine’s temperature and if the overheating persists, bring the car to a mechanic immediately. The key thing to keep in mind is that an overheating engine is nothing to take lightly. Once you see it is running hot, find the fastest and safest way to pull over and let the engine rest. Otherwise, your car could be completely ruined.
- Check the Fan and Hoses
As with any procedure featuring the engine of your car, wait until it is completely cooled down before inspecting the fan and hoses. Locate the fan in front of your engine and look for cracks in the metal anywhere in and around the fan; also, check for loose bolts around the fan. Locate the hoses, big and small, and look for leaks, cracks, heavy wear and tear. Give each hose a light squeeze to make sure it is still firm or to see if it has stretched and thinned over the years. If you find anything that looks or feels suspicious, have your engine’s coolant system checked right away by a professional.
Regardless of how confident you are in your vehicle’s coolant system, have it checked regularly–perhaps along with every oil change. The engine is your car’s heart, that from which everything else works, so take care of it!