(BPT) - Summer is a great time to get up off the couch and soak up the sun. As you stock up on sunscreen and prepare to protect your skin from the direct sunlight, be sure to pick up products to protect your vehicle as well. Whether you're taking the car out for a summer road trip, a day at the park or just running errands around town, the warm summer weather can have an effect on your ride.
The heat is not the only thing to look out for this season. Sand, dirt and water can easily find their way inside your vehicle as you spend more time at the beach and outside. There are thousands of aftermarket products and accessories available to protect, preserve and personalize your car, truck, or SUV as you head into summer, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). In fact, Americans spend $33 billion annually on products to modify and customize their cars, trucks and SUVs, according to SEMA.
Here are a few must-have products to get you through the summer:
*Wax: The sun, insects, airborne particles and even dirt can be damaging to your paint finish. Protect your car's paint and keep it looking shiny and clean during summer by giving it a wax. Wax products come in a variety of different forms and create a barrier to shield your car and preserve its finish. Whether it's a paste, liquid or combined with a wash, car wax is an easy and efficient way to protect your vehicle in the summer.
*All-weather floor mats: As you start to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, you'll notice the sandy towels and muddy shoes begin to take a toll on your car's interior. You're left with soiled carpet and hard-to-clean stains. Owners can protect their floorboard with an aftermarket floor mat. Available for almost every car, truck or SUV, a custom-fitted, all-weather floor mat will trap foreign particles and protect your investment.
*Custom fitted seat covers: Spills, stains and snags are prone to happen in your vehicle as kids and passengers enjoy their summer snacks and drag their sand buckets and skateboards in and out of the back seat. Custom fitted seat covers are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and provide durability to your seats and headrests. They come in thousands of colors and fabric combinations, giving you the ability to truly personalize your car, truck or SUV.
*Wheels and tires: Replace your winter tires with a set of wheels better suited for warmer weather. Snow tires are designed for better traction in the cold and will not provide the same handling capabilities as a summer or all-season tire. If you don't have winter tires, consider checking your tread wear to determine if it's time to replace them. There are hundreds of different wheels and tires available to choose from that will increase performance, prevent overheating and improve your vehicle's handling during the summertime. Check your local tire dealer for more information.
*Window film: Block the sun and reduce the heat in your car with window film, also referred to as window tint. A variety of different shades are available when tinting the windows of your car, truck or SUV. Window film can protect your interior from sun damage, reduce heat and offer safety by preventing your glass from shattering.
*Roof racks, bike racks and cargo boxes: Make your outdoor summer activities easier and more accessible by storing your bikes and surfboards on a roof rack. If you're headed to the beach for the day, you can transport your boogie boards, firewood and coolers in a cargo box on the roof of your vehicle. There are a variety of different sizes and styles of cargo carriers to select from.
These simple, inexpensive products can make your summer more enjoyable by protecting and preserving your car, truck or SUV. Visit your local auto retailer to learn about the different aftermarket products and accessories available.