How Summer Heat and Humidity Affects Your Car

It's that time of year when the heat and humidity are peaking here in Northern Delaware. You might be sweating a bit more when you spend time outside. Summer weather can also have an impact on your car. Warmer temperatures and more moisture in the air can affect everything from engine performance and fuel economy to failing sensors. 

It's no secret that hot and cold exterior temperatures have different effects on vehicles. There are problems you worry about in the chilly winter months, and there are issues that you should watch for during the summer, as well. Your engine gives off heat when its running. When you combine that with even more heat in the environment around it, it can add more stress to the engine and cooling system.

Engine Overheating

Overheating is always a concern if you push your vehicle a bit too hard in the summer heat. Always keep an eye on the temperature gauge and let the engine cool down if it is starting to overheat. If the overheating persists, then you should get your car checked out by an automotive expert. There could be engine or cooling system damage that requires professional repairs.

Hot Air vs. Cool Air

Hot air naturally has more water in it than cool air, and this is exaggerated even more here on the East Coast with the summer humidity. Cooler air is also more oxygen dense. More water and less oxygen running through your engine will also cause it to work harder. You may experience a slight loss of performance and drop in fuel economy, but nothing significant. If you do notice your engine is starting to struggle on excessively hot and humid days, you may want to have it looked at.

Sensor Problems

Your vehicle has many different sensors that will let the internal computer know if a potential problem is detected. Excess moisture in the air from heavy humidity can sometimes cause the sensors to trip inadvertently and tell you there is a problem even when there really isn't. Any time you have a warning or the check engine light comes on, you should get it diagnosed and reset by a professional. Just know it may just be the humidity playing tricks on your sensors!

Air Conditioning Issues

Odds are you are running your air conditioner much more during the summer. You may be due for an A/C system tune up, recharge and vent cleaning if you want it to run at optimal efficiency. If your car is starting to overheat, the first thing you should do is turn off the air conditioning. You may even want to turn the temperature dial/thermostat up. This will draw some of the heat away from the engine and help cool it down. Roll down your windows to keep it from getting too stifling inside the vehicle.

You shouldn't worry too much about driving in the summer. Today's vehicles are well-equipped to handle in all types of weather. However, these are a few issues you can look out for when the Northern Delaware summer heat and humidity are at their worst. 

If you are experiencing automotive problems or are just due for routine maintenance services, call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.


Car Care Tips
Fox Run Auto Inc. is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Fox Run Auto Inc. (302) 834-1200 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.