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Summer Car Tips: Helping Your Vehicle Survive Extreme Heat

By: Ryan Gallagher August 14, 2017
Summer heat can cause serious problems for your car.

It’s the summer and life is good—as it should be. Don’t let vehicle problems get in the way.

The extreme heat that summer delivers is great for beach bums and backyard barbecues, but it can be quite detrimental to your vehicle. What’s more, drivers who neglect to maintain their cars may find themselves broken down on the side of the road in the sweltering heat.

To get you going to your summer destination without issue, be sure to check these important systems.

Fluids

Engine coolant, or antifreeze, is a must-have and the number one most important fluid to keep tabs on during the summer season, according to Autotrader. A car’s engine gets extremely hot without the help of the summer sun, so keeping coolant levels high is a great start to maintaining a vehicle this summer.

You don’t have to be an oil-covered mechanic to check fluids like coolant, motor oil, and windshield washer fluid. Doing this yourself could save you a trip to the local car dealership or auto shop. Consult your car’s manual for information on how to check your coolant level. 

Battery

A car battery’s arch rivals are heat and vibration, according to an American Automobile Association (AAA) statement. Hot conditions alone can wear out a car battery faster than normal. While you can’t do much to avoid the summertime heat, you can make sure you have a new battery that has been securely installed as to reduce vibration.

In addition, keep an eye on their battery fluid and always check for terminal corrosion. The heat can cause corrosion build-up—a condition that, when left unchecked, could result in connection issues.

If your battery is older than 3 years, think about buying a replacement or getting your current battery checked to see how much longer it will last. It’s also never a bad idea to keep a spare around the garage!

Belts & Hoses

Belts and hoses are quite crucial when talking about preventative car care. High heat levels can cause cracking or other forms of damage to a vehicle’s belts and hoses.

Unlike checking fluid levels, less car-savvy drivers should leave these checks and replacements to the local mechanic.

Tire Pressure

Summer heat will expand the air in your tires. Either go out and buy a pressure gauge or head to any gas station to check the air levels in your tires.

Check your vehicle’s manual to find out how to inflate or deflate their tires. You can also check optimal pressure directly on your car tire or on the tire maker’s website.

Air Conditioning

Proper air conditioning (AC) in a vehicle is always necessary. Sitting in summer traffic is no fun with the windows down and no air moving. Keep yourself and your passengers sane by getting your AC checked the next time you get your vehicle inspected.

In addition, don’t stress! Road rage is not worth it, especially on your way to the surf or a social event. Drive safely while making good decisions; keeping your cool is key to enjoying summer. Let’s not end up on the roadside in an accident rather than at the poolside party.

For any specific help, please seek out information in your vehicle’s manual.

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