A rainstorm might not be dangerous, but prolonged exposure to harsh weather can damage your car’s exterior. There’s at least one damaging weather element in your area, whether it’s rain, wind or snow. If it’s cold outside, you’d better double-check your vehicle. If your area experiences high temperatures, you’re in the same boat. Check out the five most common weather-related vehicle damage factors below, and safeguard your ride from impending storms.

 

Factor One: Summer Tires in Winter Weather

 

If you live in a city which doesn’t see snowfall often, you might be neglecting your tires during seasonal changes. Your car’s summer changes will have faulty performances if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Even thin ice on a road can degrade summer tires—which can lead to disaster.

 

Factor Two: Heavy Sunlight on the Dashboard

 

Dashboard damages won’t appear overnight, but they can sneak up on you. Even if it’s cold outside, the overhead sun might be fading your dash. Check the plastic, and make sure it isn’t blistering or cracking. Even better: Keep a sunshade over the dash when you’re not using your vehicle.

 

Factor Three: An Empty Tank in Cold Weather

 

During winter, you should fill up your car frequently—and to near-full levels. Moist air in a near-empty tank can crystalize, creating ice in the fuel lines. Understandably, this is dangerous. If you don’t’ want to ruin your car—or your safety—make sure you’re filling up frequently.

 

Factor Four: Deicing with Water

 

If your windshield has frozen over, avoid using hot water to thaw it. It’s surprisingly easy to crack your windshield with the temperature change. If your vehicle’s glass has sustained even a small chip, a rapid temperature change can spell out disaster.

 

Factor Five: Highway Wind

 

You’d be surprised by the amount of tiny debris particles striking your windshield. Over time, small cracks can become large. Check up on your vehicle once per year, and have your inspectors look at your windshield. Even if you’re not in a high-wind area, a single blustery night can toss all sorts of irregular materials in your vehicle’s direction. Stay on top of it.

 

Stay informed about breaking weather news, too. If a storm is headed your way, make sure your vehicle’s windows are rolled up. Additionally, make sure your car is positioned away from roadside debris. During the summer months, make sure your vehicle’s seats are well-protected. Your vehicle’s interior, for the most part, is safe from harsh rays. That said, exposure over many years can create long-lasting damages.