Driving in the heat of summer or the chill of winter can be challenging but if we are well-prepared we can make it a lot more comfortable. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
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Prevent the build-up of ice on your windshield by wiping it down with undiluted vinegar the night before.
Keep your battery terminals clean and firmly attached. Ensure the cells are topped up with distilled water.
For the comfort of passengers keep a couple of rugs in the back seat. Fold them up and insert them into cushion covers when not being used so they can serve a dual purpose.
Run your demister just long enough to clear the window and then switch to floor (feet) heating. Remember hot air rises so by having the heat coming from below it warms the whole body more quickly.
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Once the car is warm, begin to gradually turn the heat down, so that by the time you arrive at your destination, your body has begun to cool a little and the cold air outside won’t be such a shock.
Don’t wear your coat in the car for the same reason - you will feel the cold all the more when you get out. Put it on as you are getting out to keep your body temperature as stable as possible.
Invest in a good pair of non-slip gloves. Some knitted gloves can compromise your grip on the steering wheel.
If you’re unable to keep your car under cover, consider investing in a sunshade. You might also consider a steering wheel cover to protect your hands from the burn of a hot steering wheel.
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Open the doors and windows for a few minutes before you get in. This will allow built-up hot air and fumes to escape.
Check that your coolant is fully topped up and your tyres properly inflated.
When you first get into the car, close the top air-conditioning vents and open the bottom ones. Crack the windows open just a little at the top. This way the hot air will be pushed up and out of the windows. Then open the top vents and face them upwards. Cold air drops so if you aim it high the cool air will wash down over you. Another effective method is to use the demist setting and angle your visor so that the cold air travels up your windshield and over your head.
Wear sunscreen and pay particular attention to the side that’s closest to the window. The direct sun through glass will burn you in a very short time.
Bring plenty of cold water. A great idea is to half-fill a bottle and freeze it. Then you just have to top it up and it will stay cold for a long time. If you don’t have an insulated bag to keep it in, wrap it in a towel.
Keep some wet-wipes in the car for a quick refresh.
An insulated bag in the glove box can hold items like your wipes, sunscreen, lip-balm, etc.
When you get out of your car, cover any metal objects. Tuck the seatbelt clasps away out of the direct sun.
A bit of forethought can save a lot of stress and discomfort and make your trip much more pleasant for everyone.