By Ryan Lengerich, CNJ STAFF WRITER
Mirrors fall off, glass shatters, dashes crack and warp if untreated.
Art Farro said he will repair 20 to 30 rearview mirrors in upcoming months. He has seen hot windows shatter when cold water touches the pane.
The owner of Art’s Automotive Paint and Body on Commerce Way said the pounding New Mexico sun can damage cars’ exteriors and interiors.
But there are steps owners can take to protect their rides.
“Keep them washed and waxed and cleaned and shade them when you’re not driving,” Farro said.
A good wax prior to the sun’s beating can save a car’s paint, Farro said. Some waxes have a UV protectant which acts like sunscreen on paint.
Light colored paint, he said, reflects the sun’s rays better than darker colors.
According to the National Weather Service, Clovis eclipsed 100 degrees seven times last summer. Temperatures reached 103 degrees on Aug. 3, the hottest day of the year.
Farro said when temperatures reaches those extremes, car interiors can top 120 degrees, causing adhesives to melt, dash boards to warp and rearview mirrors to fall.
“Leaving the window cracked ever so slightly equalizes the air pressure and lets some of the heat out of the interior,” he said.
Washing your car in the summer is a good idea, but experts say spraying cold water directly on a fire-hot car can be disastrous. Farro said he has seen the drastic variation in temperature shatter windows on the water’s impact.
David Deaton, president at Clovis Body Shop on South Prince, recommends running warm water over paint prior to washing. He said never wash the car in direct sunlight because cold water on hot metal creates water spots.
When on the streets, Deaton said, never to park next to a sprinkler; while Farro said to avoid sappy trees.
A car wash cleans your paint but a good wax job makes the car shine. Farro recommends McGuire’s Show Glaze for the best shine. Consistent paint maintenance, he said, can make the difference when the owner is ready to sell their car.
“I have painted some cars and a year later they look like crap,” Farro said. “I have painted other cars and seven or eight years later you can tell who takes care of their cars and who doesn’t.”
Deaton said cars built up to about the last seven years have clear coats on the paint which are more protective than older models. He recommends waxing the car every six months.
The most important step for summerizing a vehicle, Deaton said, is protecting the interior.
Without proper maintenance the sun can cause the dashboard vinyl to crack. He recommends using a vinyl protector at least once a month.
Other options such as dash board, steering wheel and windshield covers are also effective.
“Tinting your window will really make a difference on keeping your interior cooler and helping to protect your interior,” Deaton said.
Most summer maintenance can be done at a fairly low cost and by the car owner, Deaton said. But his body shop and others around the city have detailing services for car owners looking for a professional touch.
Most New Mexicans, he said, understand the importance of preparing their automobile for summer.
“I think we are used to it,” he said. “We have seen so much deterioration around here from the old paints that with the technology we have and the new paints we have the care that people take is fine.”