Washing your car after every desert road trip is vital. In fact, if you live in the desert, it is a good idea to wash your car at least once a week. Some dust is going to stay stuck to your car surface, even if it is regularly waxed. The longer this dust settles, the harder it is going to be to clean off.

While many people wash their car on a regular basis, some basically never wax it. It is easy to wash your car, but waxing it is a little harder and more expensive. However, a wax job is particularly important when it comes to desert conditions and protecting your paint job from sand. Wax will cause some sand to slide right off of the paint. Also, the wax layer is going to add a buffer zone that will prevent dust and dirt from scratching the paint. 

Window Tints

Tinting your windows is a cheap and easy way to protect your car from harsh desert conditions, particularly the relentless sun. A window tint is not only going to protect your glass and prevent it from scratching, it is also has a number of other benefits. First of all, a window tint is going to keep the inside of your car cooler, even on the sunniest days. With your car already under a lot of stress from the sun and rough desert driving conditions, being able to turn down your AC just a notch can be very helpful. 

Window tint will also protect everything in your car from sun fading. The relentless sun will not only fade the colors, but it can also deteriorate surfaces. Leather can crack, vinyl dashboards can start to warp, and your steering wheel can start to peel.

Interior Covers

You also need to take some steps to protect the inside of your car. Floor mats, dashboard covers, and seat covers will all help to preserve your interior. These covers will not only protect your surfaces from getting dirty, they will also increase their lifespan and reduce the effects of the sun. For instance, your dashboard can become warped, faded, and damaged from regular sun exposure. Carpet or vinyl dashboard covers are cheap, easy to install, and will definitely protect the surface.

Seat covers are going to get dirty and they will need to be replaced (or washed) every few years, That being said, it is much easier to replace a seat cover than to replace the actual seat. Seat covers are also great because they prevent the desert dust from getting into the tracks and electrical components on the seat controls.

Thick rubber floor mats are going to make it so much easier to keep your car clean. Dealing with mud and dirt is simple because you can quickly pull out the floor mats and spray them down with a hose. Desert sand is very invasive and will get everywhere. Having this extra protection on your interior is going to help preserve the style and functionality of your interior components.

Replace Your Air Filters

When it comes to protecting your actual engine, there are obviously a lot of things you need to do. First of all, basic engine maintenance and servicing is probably a little more important in hot climates.

One thing that you can do yourself is to always change your air filter. In fact, changing your air filter to protect your engine from dust is something you should do before you take off on any long road trips. You could buy air filters in bulk and always have them on hand to immediately replace them when they are dirty.

Check Your AC

The last, but perhaps the most important, thing you should have checked before you take off on any desert road trip is the air conditioning. Just because your AC is working fine on your daily commute doesn't necessarily mean it can deal with the extra workload of a desert drive. Have a professional check your AC to make sure it is all charged up and that your levels are topped off before taking off.

Driving in the desert can be an amazing experience. It can also be disastrous if you aren't fully prepared. Most of the preparation involves common sense and basic maintenance. If you do these five things, your car will probably be all the more ready for the harsh desert conditions.

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