The summer months are approaching, and in many parts of the United States, this means hot, humid days and nights. The long, warm days are definitely great for summer fun, but it’s important to remember to take care of your ignition interlock in extreme weather situations. You will want to protect the device from extreme heat and sunlight.
Taking Care of Your Car and Keeping Your Ignition Interlock Safe from Heat
You’ve likely had the experience of entering a roasting hot car on a scorching summer day. The sun tends to make the interior far hotter in just hours, or even less. This can make the metal seat belt, steering wheel, and other areas of the car burning hot to the touch. It’s uncomfortable, and potentially even damaging to your ignition interlock device. Here’s how to take care of your vehicle in hot weather, and make sure your IID keeps functioning:
- Use a sunshade — these simple items can reduce the temperature of your car’s interior by 15 degrees, and the dashboard by 40 degrees. This will cut down significantly on the unpleasant experience of getting into your car on a hot, sunny day.
- Keep your ignition interlock in a sleeve — Intoxalock offers a sleeve that helps protect your device from heat and extreme cold. If you don’t have a sleeve, you can wrap the device in a dry towel or cloth. Choose light colored fabric and make sure not to store your device in direct sunlight.
- Take your mouthpiece with you, or store it — Your mouthpiece can also get very hot, so if you can, wrap it in the sleeve or cloth to protect it. You can also take it with you, to prevent it from overheating.
- Get a battery checkup — extreme heat and extreme cold can both cause battery issues. A local automotive repair shop or chain will test your battery for free and let you know if it’s holding a charge properly.
- Start your car daily — this will also protect your battery. The starter motor charges the battery using an alternating current, and your engine must be running in order for the current to flow. Starting it regularly will charge your battery, and driving at least 15 to 20 minutes per day will help even more.
- Use Intoxalock’s unique ‘Sleep Mode’ feature — this feature is available in most states (except MA, NY, and WI). In states where it’s allowed, the Intoxalock device has a unique feature called Sleep Mode. To use, press and hold the device button for three beeps before shutting off the vehicle. To wake it up, just press the activation button. Sleep Mode can protect your car battery for up to eight hours in hot weather (and two hours in cold weather).
- Encourage air circulation — If your car is going to sit for long periods of time, crack your windows to help circulate air. You can install window rain guards so that you can crack your windows even when you’re concerned about rain, helping circulate fresh air and reducing heat buildup in your parked car. You can find rain guards that require no special hardware or drilling and won’t scratch your car at your local auto parts store or online.
Taking these extra precautions can help keep your device safe and cool. If you are concerned that it’s not functioning properly, or your car is showing signs of trouble, take it to your service center or trusted mechanic to have it checked out.
How Not to Protect Your Ignition Interlock Device
The above suggestions are quite comprehensive, but many users may feel the urge to get creative and come up with alternative ideas. We welcome creativity, but encourage you not to try the following tricks to keep your device cool.
- Removing the device — the device needs to remain in your car. It’s wired to the vehicle and removing it can cause a power interruption, which could be reported as a violation. (In some states, customers may be allowed to remove the device, if the monitoring authority approves. Check with your monitoring authority to verify).
- Putting the device in a cooler or freezer — attempting to cool down the device in this manner can cause even more damage. Extreme temperatures of any kind are dangerous, and a sudden shift can cause further damage.
- Don’t pour water or put ice near the device — some may try to cool the device by wrapping it in a cool wet cloth or putting ice nearby. This is not recommended. Water can damage the device, and cooling in this manner won’t be effective and could cause damage.
- Don’t leave your car running — while this may help cool your device, leaving your car running isn’t recommended. You might miss a retest, and it can also have an adverse effect on the battery.
Damaging your device may cost thousands of dollars in replacement or repair fees. Violations or problems with the device due to improper care may cause you to have the device for longer or incur other legal or financial penalties.
How Intoxalock Can Help
If you are concerned about caring for your device during extreme weather, Intoxalock can help. Our customer support is available to answer questions if you need assistance. Contact Intoxalock at 833-623-0200 or 24/7 via the chat feature on www.intoxalock.com.