As the weather worsens, damp and condensation in your vehicle will probably become more of a problem. Last week, we looked at the causes of condensation and how to defog your windows so that you can drive safely. One step better than knowing how to deal with damp is knowing how to prevent it in the first place. Here are our top tips on preventing leaks and damp in your vehicle.
Know the signs
As we discussed last week, condensation is caused when warm air hits a cool surface; the moisture in that air stays on the surface as liquid. So, it goes without saying that the dryer you can make your car on the inside, the less condensation you will see. Damp towels, seats, clothes or food and drink wrappers add moisture to the air, but leaks can pose a risk, too. Check the foot wells and boot for water, if you see significant amounts of water, it is likely that you have a broken seal somewhere. If you can’t find it yourself, pop to a local garage and ask an expert to take a look.
On wet days, you need to make sure that you keep the moisture out, but on dry, sunny days, it is a good idea to keep the windows open a bit. Allowing the air to circulate through the car will give moisture an exit point and help to dry the interior, if there is damp.
Switch off the air recirculation
You will be forgiven for not knowing about the existence of this button, but it could make a huge difference.
Use the air conditioning
Don’t save your air conditioning for the summer months. You should run it every couple of weeks anyway, just to keep the system in good shape, but, surprisingly, AC can help to remove damp from the air. Don’t freeze while you’re driving but, once your vehicle is up to a bearable temperature, put the AC on for a few minutes to let it remove some of the damp air.
Use smear-free glass cleaner and avoid anti-fogging products
Wiping a foggy screen with a scarf, old cloth or grubby shammy is a quick fix; the more grime you put on your windscreen, the more there is for water particles to stick to. By regularly cleaning the interior of your vehicle with good, non-smear glass cleaner, you can reduce condensation. However, don’t be tempted to use ant-fogging solutions as they can blur your vision and be difficult to remove.
Park under cover
It is undoubtedly easier to arrive home and park up than go through the hassle of parking in a garage, however, it will reduce condensation, leaks and damp considerably. If you have a garage, use it!
Check your heater matrix
The heater matrix is responsible for the warm air blowers. If this leaks, you will leak coolant into your car; check with your garage as it could be relatively inexpensive to replace or fix.