Routine Car Maintenance Tips for Tropical Climates

Checking your fluid levels is one of the most important maintenance routines for your car.
Checking your fluid levels is one of the most important maintenance routines for your car.

Islanders know how important routine car maintenance is for their vehicles. From the intense sunlight to the heat, humidity and salty breezes, there are countless ways in which Mother Nature can eat away at your car.

Here are some general vehicle maintenance tips, so you can keep your car clean, reliable, and protected from the elements.

Make sure your fluids are at proper levels
From engine oil to transmission fluid and coolant, it’s essential to keep your car’s fluids properly filled in a tropical climate. A lack of engine oil can combine quickly with intense heat, speeding up the likelihood of your engine overheating and burning out. The same applies for transmission fluid. If your transmission fluid runs too low and decays, you can expect serious, if not fatal, damage to your vehicle.

Use synthetic motor oils
Synthetic motor oils are designed to withstand intense heat for longer periods of time than conventional motor oils. With synthetic oils, your engine is less likely to burn oil and develop sludge.

Wash and wax your car regularly
Surrounded by the sea, salt is virtually everywhere – in the wind, in the rain, and on the roads. Saltwater particles are corrosive and can eat away at your vehicle’s paint as well as brake calipers, nuts and bolts, and virtually any metal surface on your car. Regularly washing and waxing your vehicle gets rid of those salty particles and prevents them from sticking to your car’s paint.

Cover your car
Parking your car in a garage or covering it with a fitted cover are two of the best ways you can protect your car from salt and harmful UV rays.

Maintain proper tire pressure
When you’re driving in hot conditions, the heat that’s generated from traveling at high speeds can prove to be too much for your tires if they’re not properly inflated. Ensuring proper tire pressure prevents scary and potentially dangerous blowouts while you travel.

Watch your windshield wipers
Exposure to intense sunlight, heat, and UV radiation can quickly dry out and crack your windshield wipers. If you notice that your wipers are leaving streaks, be sure to change them out. To preserve your wipers as long as you can, try to park in the shade and cover your vehicle when possible.

Keep an eye on your battery
This general vehicle maintenance tip is an important one, especially if you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road in hot weather conditions. Because exposure to hot temperatures can do more damage to your battery than exposure to cold temperatures can, keeping a close eye on your battery’s terminals is key. The heat can cause a buildup to form around the terminals, which can weaken the connection and damage your battery further.

While salt particles, heat, and sunlight are impossible to avoid, there are plenty of steps you can take to protect and preserve your vehicle from their damaging effects. We hope our routine car maintenance tips, from regularly washing and waxing to keeping close tabs on your fluid levels, make a helpful checklist to keep your car running (and looking) its best.