Heatwave in Delhi: Top tips to keep your car safe under unforgiving sun
The summer sun has returned with full and unforgiving vengence in Delhi and many other parts of northern India. While brief showers late last month did provide some relief from the grueling heat here, the mercury has climbed back to alarming levels, prompting India Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue a yellow alert asking Delhi residents to stay indoors if and when possible. But while people scamper to the shade and shelter of home or office spaces, vehicles can often be left outside under the harsh conditions.
With ambient temperatures in Delhi touching 45 degree Celsius, there is every chance that a vehicle parked under direct sunlight and with all windows shut is likely to have extremely high cabin temperatures. Not only can this take an enormous toll on car components and upholstery but may potentially lead to the rare instance of fire. Stepping into such a vehicle can also potentially have health hazards.
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Here are some key tips to help protect you and your car in peak summer conditions:
Shade is a shade better
The obvious move to keep your car cool(er) is to ensure it is parked under shade. If your office or residential space has underground or stilt parking, it would be a good time to move your vehicle here. If not, try to find a tree or building shade that could protect the vehicle from the direct rays of the sun. Not only will this keep the car cabin a tad cooler, it could help prevent degradation of car upholstery and electrical components.
Remove inflammable materials
Again obvious but it is important to check the car cabin for anything that could potentially be a fire hazard. With car cabin temperatures often reaching as high as 60 degree Celsius, it is best to remove objects like deodorant cans, spray sanitizers and spray-based car cleaning products. A recent advisory from General Department of Forensic Sciences and Criminology at Dubai Police also specifically warns of such materials being removed from within a vehicle.
Go easy with AC
Getting in and powering the AC to the max can not only be a health hazard for the occupants because of the sudden change in ambient temperature but can also put additional pressure on the car systems. If possible, unlock a vehicle and open the doors and windows for a few minutes before stepping in. Once inside the vehicle, turn the AC vent to allow for fresh air to enter the cabin instead of keeping it in re-circulation mode.
Disconnect electrical components
Modern-day cars are equipped with a wide range of electrical components and while these are mostly tested to withstand high temperatures, it is best to disconnect these if and when possible. Items such as pen drives, CDs and portable car air purifiers ought to be taken away from the direct line of the sun's rays.