When All Hail Breaks Loose: How To Protect Your Car From Climate Catastrophes

While the debate over global warming is heating up everywhere, no doubt remains about the damage all the wacky weather can do to your car. From a dead battery to dented roof, you need to do what you can to protect your vehicle. Here's how you and your car can survive:

Extreme Warming

According to some in the debate, the earth is getting warmer. If this is the case where you live, your vehicle can suffer damages inside and out. While the best solution is to keep cars in garages, that's not always possible.

UV rays do a number on paint, upholstery and leather. One of the best things you can do is keep all surfaces clean and free from dirt and dust. Otherwise, as the sun bakes the car, that dirt and debris leave indelible stains. Wash, dry and wax the exterior and park in shade whenever possible. Also, tinting your windows will protect yourself, other occupants and your car's interior. Some professional-grade tint can block up to 99.9 percent of harmful rays.

Extreme Freezing

According to other sources, the earth is really getting colder. Even if it's not and you live where winter prowls, your car needs adequate precautionary measures to remain reliable.

Check your antifreeze, oil, power steering, transmission and brake fluids regularly during subzero temps. If these important fluids can't flow, the car simply won't run. Ignition components and the battery must also be monitored, as they tend to conk out when the mercury dips too low. Either winterize the car yourself or take it to a pro to prep for freezing conditions.

Unprecedented Hail

Hail in wacky weather not only breaks records, it breaks just about everything it lands on. While incidents of hail are expected to increase (if global warming predictions are to be believed), the strength of your car's exterior probably won't.

Hailstorm damage is predicted to increase for everything exposed to the elements, including your car. When brutal hail is forecasted and you don't have a garage for protection, secure thick blankets to absorb the blows. If the earth is actually warming where you are, you might think you're going to escape the wrath of hail, but warmth only may mean precipitation in a different form: rain. If your car is damaged by hail, consider taking it to an auto shop like Brandywine Coach Works to repair dents.

Ferocious Flooding

Of course, with rising seas and more rain, you'll be lucky if your car doesn't float away. In which case, you wouldn't have to worry about the hail damage. However, if your car has been through one too many gigantic puddles, you may have your work cut out for you.

Begin by disconnecting the battery to halt power. Examine the various parts and cavities of the vehicle for water and mud, clearing them out or giving them time to dry. Only after that's been completed should you try to start the car as water in the engine or mixed with fuel and oils can cause permanent damage. Since floods are dangerous, if you believe the area you reside in will see more and more of them due to climate change, learn how to cope from behind the wheel now.

Preposterous Potholes

Potholes have always posed a problem for drivers, but with the onset of catastrophic atmospheric conditions, sinkholes are becoming more common.

Floods, especially following droughts, may leave the earth vulnerable to collapse. If you're unlucky enough to be driving over a hole as it collapses, there's not much you can do except try to escape. The Corvette Museum lost eight cars to a mammoth hole but have since recovered. In another case, a police Sargent in Colorado survived a sink, using the roof of his vehicle to propel him upward and out. While you can't anticipate a major sinkhole, a quick course in defensive driving might prepare you to quickly avoid the potholes you can see.

Horrendous Hurricanes And Terrible Tornadoes

Tornadoes can pick up 18 wheelers and toss them like toys. If wild weather happens to flip your vehicle, there may be hope to save it, provided body and structural damage aren't too severe.

Since gravity pulled the vehicle's fluids in the wrong direction whilst it was upended, you'll need to wait a day or so to try and fire up the engine. Replace the spark plugs, check all fluids, cleaning any oil that may have leaked onto the engine and cross your fingers as you turn the key. If you're uncertain about the structural integrity of the car after a flip, consult with an auto body specialist before doing anything.

While global warming still may be in the speculative stage scientifically, two things are quite clear for car owners: The need to update insurance policies and the need to form chummy relationship with local auto shops very soon.