Mercury has steadily risen to alarming levels in many parts of northern India, prompting the weather department to issue a yellow warning.
The summer sun has returned with full and ruthless vengeance in Delhi and many other parts of northern India. Although brief showers late last month provided some relief from the debilitating heat here, the mercury has climbed back to alarming levels, prompting the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue a yellow warning and ask Delhi residents to stay indoors if and whenever possible. But as people run for the shade and shelter of home or office spaces, the harsh conditions often leave vehicles outside.
As the ambient temperature in Delhi hits 45 degrees Celsius, a vehicle parked in direct sunlight and with all windows closed is likely to have extremely high cabin temperatures. Not only can this take a huge toll on auto parts and upholstery, but can also lead to the rare event of fire. Getting into such a vehicle can also pose health risks.
Here are some important tips to protect you and your car during peak summer conditions:
Shade is a shade better
The obvious step to keeping your car cool(er) is to make sure it is parked in the shade. If your office or living space has underground or pole parking, now is a good time to move your vehicle here. If not, try to find a tree or build shade that can protect the vehicle from the direct rays of the sun. Not only does this keep the cabin of the car a little cooler, it can also help prevent degradation of car upholstery and electrical components.
Remove flammable materials
Again, obvious, but it’s important to check the cabin of the car for anything that could potentially be a fire hazard. Since the temperature in the cabin often reaches 60 degrees Celsius, it is best to remove items such as deodorant cans, disinfectant sprays and spray-based car cleaning products. A recent advisory issued by the General Department of Forensic Sciences and Criminology of the Dubai Police also specifically warns against removing such material from a vehicle.
Take it easy with AC
Getting in and turning on the AC to the maximum can not only pose a health risk to the occupants due to the sudden change in ambient temperature, but can also put additional strain on the car’s systems. If possible, unlock a vehicle and open the doors and windows a few minutes before getting in. Once inside the vehicle, turn the vent to let fresh air into the cab instead of keeping it in recirculation mode.
Disconnect electrical components
Modern cars are equipped with a wide variety of electrical components and while these are usually tested to withstand high temperatures, it is best to disconnect them if possible. Items such as pen drives, CDs and portable car air purifiers should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Date of first publication: 07 June 2022, 13:55 IST