How intense heat damages your car

sun on car

Right about now, the temperature here in the Philippines is 36°C. And while that's not hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk (that takes around 60° C or more, if you're curious), that temperature is more than enough to damage some of your car's parts when you expose them to the sun's heat on a daily basis.

Truth is, heat isn't much of a problem with modern cars today. Thanks to modern technology, your vehicle can withstand a huge dose of solar power without heading straight to the junkyard. However, too much of it can cause a myriad of problems to your vehicle, and can negatively affect its performance and safety on the road.

Red car

Here's a rundown of the possible damage that can occur when your car is exposed to too much heat:


Engines can take a lot of heat, thanks to oil, coolant, and fans that keep their temperatures at a safe level. However, too much of it can damage your car's engine, and cause it to perform way below its potential.

How is this possible? Cold air is heavier than hot air. Too much heat makes your intake receive less concentrated levels of oxygen. This, in turn, makes your vehicle's engine work double time to make up for the difference in performance. The result here is an overworked engine that loses horsepower.


High temperatures can cause your battery to wear out prematurely. This is especially true if you add in high accessory loads, such as turning on your air conditioner at full blast.


Air-conditioners relieve us from the discomfort of sweating like pigs. And while it does serve its purpose well, too much heat can cause it to work double time just to cool you down. This can overburden your car's engine and (again) take up some of its power that should have been used to keep your vehicle's performance in tip-top shape.


Leather is processed animal skin. And while it contains chemicals and dyes to make it look that way, it still retains some of the properties that make up natural skin — like skin elasticity and suppleness.

Steering wheel

We're all told to avoid prolonged sun exposure because it causes premature aging. That's what also happens when leather is exposed to too much sunlight and heat. Premature aging occurs, and the leather loses its elasticity, becomes dry and rougher in texture.


Plastic is another material that can be damaged by too much heat. And while leather tends to loosen up when damaged by sunlight, plastic, on the other hand, gets brittle and hard in the process.

Car paint

Think your car's paint is protected from heat? Think again.

It doesn't matter if your car's paint has a clear, protective coat as thick as a pancake. Eventually, that seal will wear out if you expose your vehicle regularly to the sun's damaging rays and heat for long periods of time.

When a normal skin gets sunburned, it normally cracks and peels for some time before it heals itself.  It's the same with your car's paint.

First, it will start to crack and then peel off in strange and weird-looking ways. However, what's not included here is the "healing process," since your vehicle will be left with unsightly marks and dull paint finish on a permanent basis. 

Tire cracks

Have you ever heard of the term, "dry rot"? This term is actually a misnomer when it comes to tires, since its actual meaning pertains to damage to wooden objects caused by a specific type of fungus.

However, when used in cars, this term is a condition where a tire's rubber —most especially the sidewalls — turn hard and brittle due to excessive UV light and heat.

The effect here is almost the same with plastics, but in this case, your safety gets compromised because your steering wheel is in danger of wobbling at low speeds. What's more, your entire car might wobble if tread separation happens in any of the rear wheels. 

Old car

These are just some of the damage that too much heat can do to your vehicle. To avoid these problems, make sure to put in enough oil and coolant in your engine at all times. Regularly check your engine fan, replace your car's air filter, be moderate in your use of the air-conditioner, and avoid exposing your vehicle to the sun's rays even when cleaning it for a short period of time.

It won't take much effort on your part to do these preventive measures to keep your vehicle cool (even when it's blazing hot outside). Just remain vigilant, and consistent with your car maintenance, and you will surely enjoy a hassle-free summer ahead of you. 


 Photos from Pixabay

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