Last week we wrote about how to help your car survive summer heat, but now it’s time to take care of drivers.
As you can imagine, air conditioning has become a necessity in the lives of most people – be it in the household or a vehicle. There are people so used to it, i.e. spoiled, that they refuse to leave their living quarters in high temperatures if there is no air conditioning outside as well. But, believe it or not, people have managed to live without this piece of modern technology before, especially in their cars. If you are one of those people who still drive older vehicles with no A/C, stick with us to see how to survive driving such a car in the summer heat.
1) Don’t fear the sweat
Once you accept the fact that you are going to sweat – how much depends largely on your body tolerance for high temperature and humidity – you are golden! Hey, it’s summer! When are you going to sweat if not in the scorching summer sun anyway? Just make sure you have also dressed accordingly. If you are going on a road trip, or just somewhere where you can be dressed casually, pick your most comfortable attire, preferably made from cotton or other light fabric, and don’t worry about the sweat stains. However, if you need to be presentable for work or some other occasion, then take your smart suit or elegant dress in a bag and find a place to change and refresh once you reach your destination.
For female drivers, here is one more tip – don’t straighten your hair if you know it will only frizz back up at the slightest bit of perspiration. Let your curls shine!
And remember, people out there pay big bucks for sweating not bullets, but entire buckets – in all kinds of saunas! Just imagine your car is a mobile sauna where you get this particular kind of service for free. Or you could make a game of it, like the guys from Top Gear did in one of their episodes:
2) Hydrate regularly
After accepting the challenge of driving a sweatbox on 4 wheels, you need to feed the sweat. Drinking water before, during and after spending time in a hot car will prevent dehydration, which can cause more serious medical issues. Also, check the color of your urine if you are spending long periods of time in a hot car, so as to monitor the level of water in your organism. If you are fine, it should be clear to slightly yellow, but if it looks like maple syrup, then you need to drink more water. Of course, you can drink other non-alcoholic liquids as well, but plain old water (the colder you get, the better) will refresh you the best and stave the thirst for the longest. Also, if your mouth tastes like you just ate dust, you can drink juice or ice-tea to get rid of it, but don’t forget water, too.
3) Crack the windows
You might not like getting blasted with air through an open car window, but keeping it closed is not the answer either. One of the quickest ways to heat up the inside of a car is to keep the windows closed in the summer heat (especially, under the direct sun). You need to let a little bit of outside air into the cabin and just by flowing through, it will cool things down for the driver and passengers at least a little bit.
In some car models, you can even get away with just running the HVAC system fan to create a much-needed airflow inside the car. This always helps for a little while, or until the car itself warms up, at which point if the HVAC system will start spitting out warm air, making things worse. But hey, at least you got a break from melting, right?
Keep in mind that the outside air will always be a degree or cooler than the inside of the cabin, so crack a window – or all of them – to let the air in. Not every hair will be in its place afterwards, but you won’t have a heat stroke. Listen to your body’s needs, and bring a cap or a headscarf if you don’t want to worry about your hair.
4) Drive during cooler parts of the day
If you are going on a road trip, you will travel long distances for a certain amount of time. You can benefit greatly from driving during the evening, night or early morning, because those are the coolest parts of the day. You could get some sleep when the temperatures are highest and continue your journey when driving gets more manageable. Even if you are using your car with no A/C just to go to work and run errands, you can always get up a bit earlier or go when the sun starts setting.
5) Pull over if you must
A recurring theme here, you might have noticed, is: “Listen to your body”. We all have places to be and things to do, but if you value your own health and life, you will find the time to pull over when you are feeling unfit to drive. On a back road, make sure nothing eats you. In the city, ignore people honking or swearing at you for pulling over. Once you feel dizzy, loopy, generally weak or sick, stop driving! Especially if there is someone in the car with you. Have a drink of water – not too much at once because it will make you sicker if you are already exhibiting signs of dehydration – and splash some of it on your face, neck and arms as well. Continue driving only when you feel like yourself again and ready to continue. If not, ask for one of your passengers to take over for you.
If you have found our advice helpful, come back next week, too! We have prepared 5 tips for a stress-free road trip for you.
Here at CRS Automotive, we treat our customers’ cars as if they were our own. Let us be your trusted mechanic and your car will be ready for all seasons and driving conditions. We are expecting you in our repair shops in Hamilton and Stoney Creek. Come see us today!