Hot Hawaiian Summer: 7 Tips For Car Maintenance In Hawaii

Those who live in Hawaii, or any tropical weather, know the importance of weather-specific maintenance in order to protect their vehicle.  From the intense sunlight, to the heat, humidity and the salty breezes that are commonplace in Hawaii, ongong vehicle maintenance can be the difference between a safe smooth ride and a hazardous clunker. With summer quickly approaching, here are some maintenance tips to keep your car clean, reliable and protected from the elements.

1. Cover your car 

Summer in Hawaii is known for 24/7 sunshine, clear blue skies and record-breaking temperatures. Remember, just like sunblock is used to protect your skin, cars need coverage too. Be sure to park your car in a garage or car port or, if covered parking is not available, consider covering it with a fitted cover. When driving around the island, opt for shade whenever available.  Taking these steps can protect your car from hamful UV rays and will keep your car looking good for years to come. 

2. Wash, wax, repeat

As an island in the middle of the ocean, salt is virtually everywhere – in the wind, in the rain and on the roads.  Salt particles are corrosive and can easily eat away at your vehicle’s paint as well as brake calipers, nuts and bolts and other metal surfaces on your vehicle. Through regular washing and waxing, salty particles won’t be allowed to stick to your car’s paint and will prevent long term wear and corrosion. 

3. Replace old windshield wipers

If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks, there’s a good chance they need to be changed. Exposure to intense sunlight, heat and UV radiation can quickly dry and crack your wipers.  In order to preserve your windshield wipers for longer, keep your car parked in the shade or covered when possible.   

4. Maintain proper tire pressure

Roads in Hawaii are hot year round, but summer weather only adds to the already sweltering conditions. When driving in hot conditions, the heat generated from traveling at high speeds can prove overwhelming for tires if they’re not properly inflated.  Ensuring proper tire pressure at all times can prevent potentially dangerous tire blowouts when traveling.  

5. Make sure your fluids are at proper levels 

It is essential to keep fluid levels properly filled, especially in hot tropical climates.  Coolant, transmission fluid and engine oil all contribute to keeping your car running smoothly and safely.  Depriving your car of these oils can combine quickly with intense heat and can lead to an overheating engine and vehicle burn out.  Additionally, if transmission fluid runs too low and decays in your car, the effects can cause serious and potentially fatal damage to your vehicle. 

6. Opt for synthetic motor oils

As opposed to conventional motor oils, synthetic motor oils are designed to withstand intense heat for longer periods of time.  With synthetic oils, your engine is less likely to burn oil and develop sludge causing serious damage to your vehicle.  Be sure to keep this in mind when taking your car to get serviced.

7.  Keep an eye on the battery

 Exposure to hot temperatures can do more damage to your car’s battery than exposure to cold temperatures.  With this in mind, be sure to keep a close eye on your battery’s terminals.  As the heat builds up around the terminals, the connection can become weak and can cause further damage to your battery. Checking your battery regularly can save you the hassle of being stranded on the side of the road in the middle of a summer heat wave! It’s a simple maintenance tip but definitely an important one. 

We hope these tips will help you to stay ahead of maintaining your car before the summer heat hits.  While many of these tips can serve you well year round, summertime has proven to be especially hard on vehicles in Hawaii, especially combined with the natural elements of sand and salty air. We wish you a safe and smooth summer filled with endless sunny days for you and lots of shady parking spots for your car. Aloha!