By Judy Hedding, reprinted from About.com
Too obvious? Walk a few extra steps if you see a tree
nearby. Be aware, however, that trees mean birds, and you may have debris
or bird droppings on your car you return. If you can't park in the shade,
pick the best direction. Say you're at the mall at 3 p.m. Which is the
best way to park? The sun sets in the west, so you don't want to be
2. Window tinting/sunshades
Mitigate some of the effects of the sun by having your windows tinted. Arizona's laws regarding window tinting are not as strict as the window tinting laws in many other states.
Basically, Arizona law says that the front side windows must allow at least 35% of light to pass through the tint. If window tinting isn't in your budget right now, then you can eliminate some of the heat by purchasing a windshield sunshade that you place on the inside of your windshield when you leave your car.
This prevents the sun from beating on your dashboard and steering wheel. Dashboards don't like the sun or heat. If you don't cover them, they will fade and crack. Steering wheels, of course, get extremely hot, cause burns to the touch, and cause unsafe driving when you can't really grip the wheel. There are also removable side window screens, if you have passengers in the rear who want a little relief from the sun on long road trips.
3. Service your vehicle
In hot dry climates, cars need special care. Frequent oil changes and belt checks are a must. Batteries die faster than everyone thinks they will. Make sure fluids are full.
4. Items you should have in your car
Common sense says that you should always have a spare tire and a first aid kit. Here are some additional items that you might not think of if you aren't used to living in a hot climate.
5. Items you should not have in your car
Think about it does it make sense to buy a milk chocolate candy bar and leave it in your car in the heat? Believe me, no matter how smart we all think we are, at one time or another we've been dopey and left something we shouldn't have in the car. Hopefully, there wasn't a large cleaning bill as a result.