Have you noticed how your jars of outdoor mayonnaise have started to make you feel a little funny after a quick mayo-snack? There’s a reason! It’s summer, glorious, sweltering summer, and that means, for many of us, lots more driving. But be wary of these five big summer car/driving mistakes!

1. Cars don’t need sunscreen

This is one of the most common misconceptions about cars in the summer! Sure, if you have a light complexion and lay out in the sun, you’ll burn. But your white car won’t turn red no matter how long you let it sit in the sun. Sure, paint may fade, but there is no valid reason to slather your car with any human-grade sunscreen. In fact, NHTSA says over 1,100 wrecks every summer could be prevented if people didn’t slather sunscreen all over their windshields.

2. Don’t ice down your gas!

It’s hot. We get it. And, again, we have to remember that cars aren’t people. While you may love a nice frosty cold beverage, your car just doesn’t work that way. So always decline offers to “ice down your gas” from full-service gas stations.

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Those ice cubes will melt to water in the gas tank, and once water gets pumped into your cylinders, you’re boned. Because water doesn’t compress, and you can hydrolock your engine. But don’t worry! Just trust your car’s cooling system to handle things!

3. There are no magical princesses with freezing powers like you saw in Frozen, so don’t pick up random women wearing home-made blue gowns covered in discount glitter who promise you that they can create a bubble of frosty air all around you and your car if you just give them a ride and especially don’t take the ‘chill pills’ she offers you because I have no idea what’s in that shit but it’ll knock you on your ass so fast you’ll never even realize that she’s stealing your car and taking all your money and your phone and racking up charges on your Visa and I’m pretty sure she took some pictures of my junk and put it on Craigslist and now my life is total shit.

We’ve all made that mistake, right, fellas?

4. Spraying PAM on vinyl seats does work to prevent sticking, but introduces other issues.

If you have a car with vinyl seats, I’m sure you hate how hot they get, and how agressively they will stick to your bare skin, making getting out of them a painful affair. You can spray the seats liberally with a non-stick cooking spray like PAM, but if you do, be aware your hot, slick, glistening skin will smell delicious to a wide variety of common carnivores, like cats, dogs, and the CIA-bred bloodsquirrels. Be ready for some unwanted attention and maulings!

5. ‘Night Absorbing’ coatings and sprays for your car do not work.

Don’t be fooled by one of the most common frauds of the auto accessories business — we see this every summer. There is no technology that allows your car to ‘absorb’ the milder temperatures of the night and emit them throughout the day. “Temporal Gels” and allegedly-magic “Vespersorbers” are total horseshit. Don’t get suckered in.

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Everyone knows the only way to make this work is to stand on your car, and urinate on a clock at exactly midnight while you pledge your soul to Darksyde, Lord of the Cool Evening. Anyone telling you otherwise is just trying to make a quick buck.

BONUS TIP, TO THE READER (SubieFreakout44) WHO WANTED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS:

Do not place your bare testicles on your car hood! I get what you’re going for, and I see how it’s a crucial step in your plan to convince the magistrate, but you absolutely should wait until summer is over or at least try to do this on a car that’s inside a garage. Seriously, your scrotum could be in real peril here. DO NOT PLACE YOUR BALLSACK ON A HOT CAR HOOD.

Okay, pals! Keep driving and stay cool!


Contact the author at jason@jalopnik.com.