Summer is almost here, which means the inside of your car can heat up quickly in states with high temperatures and humidity. You might be concerned about how the warm weather affects your ignition interlock device. However, Intoxalock tests our devices in extreme weather conditions, making sure they meet all federal regulations and perform in all seasons and weather conditions. With a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your device remains unaffected by summer heat.
Shield the Sun
When the sun directly hits your vehicle, the temperature inside your car can get extremely hot. If you can, choose to park in a shaded spot to prevent direct sunlight from hitting your vehicle. You should also avoid placing your ignition interlock device directly in the sun. Instead of setting it on the dashboard where the sun will hit, set it inside of your glove box or center console storage, underneath the seat or wrapped in light-colored fabric.
If you are placing your device under your seat or on the floorboards to avoid the heat, remember to also protect the device from getting any debris from the floor inside of it. Wrapping it in light colored material and placing it out of the sun will keep it cool and keep debris from impacting your device.
For additional temperature adjustment in your vehicle, you can use a windshield sunshade or window visor to block the sun. According to the Florida Energy Center, conventional car shades help reduce the internal temperature of your vehicle by 15 degrees and the dashboard temp by 40 degrees. The use of reflective foil shades can reduce your car’s internal temperature even more.
Keep the Mouthpiece Cool
Your mouthpiece will get hot if it sits in your car. You can safely remove it after each use, so take it with you when your car will sit so you don’t have to provide a breath sample into a mouthpiece that will be hot to the touch.
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.
Battery Care Matters
Extreme weather, both hot and cold, is tough on car batteries. Visit a local auto parts store to test your battery and ensure it’s capable of holding a charge during very hot weather. In periods of extreme heat, start your vehicle daily to keep your battery fully charged.
Enable Intoxalock Sleep Mode
One of the best things you can do to help protect your battery is to enable Sleep Mode if your car is going to sit for eight or more hours in hot weather (versus two hours if in cold weather). The process is simple:
- Press and hold the button on your device for three beeps before you shut off your vehicle.
- Release after the third beep. Your device is now in Sleep Mode and will remain there until you press the activation button the next time you provide a breath sample.
Sleep Mode is an exclusive feature that Intoxalock offers to help maintain your car battery in extreme weather if Sleep Mode has been approved by your state. You will need to wake your device up again by pushing the button before you start your car, which may take a few moments.
Don’t use faulty “tricks” to try to cool your device
Sometimes people try creative tricks to help cool down the device. Never try any of the following:
- Do not disconnect the device and bring it inside (unless you live in Minnesota and are approved to do so by your monitoring authority), as this will register a power interruption and may be reported as a violation. Remember that you are responsible for all violations.
- Do not leave your car running for long periods of time to keep it cool. You could miss random retests, which will be reported as a violation and could possibly cause a lock out.
- Do not pour cold liquid down the air tubes.
- Do not wrap your device in a wet cloth.
- Do not cool your device in a refrigerator or freezer.
Follow these tips for successful summer driving with your ignition interlock device. For help with your device, you can contact our 24/7 customer support through web chat. Visit Customer Support here, click on the blue rectangle that says “Questions? Chat Now.”
For more information about an Intoxalock ignition interlock device, call our state specialists at (833) 623-0200.