“Prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not only a threat to passengers, but a vehicle concern as well,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah Spokesperson. “Knowing the dangers and preparing your vehicle for extreme heat can help keep your vehicle running smoothly and your family safe during the hot summer months.”
AAA Tips for Common Heat-Related Car Problems
• Over Heated Engine--Replace Coolant as Recommended. Over time, engine coolant becomes contaminated and its protective additives are depleted. That’s why the system should be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Older coolants required changing every two years or 24,000 miles, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles, and many do not require replacement until approximately 100,000 miles. See the owner’s manual or maintenance booklet to determine the service interval appropriate for your vehicle.
• Heat & Vibration Failure--Secure & Test Battery. Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies, leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. Make sure your battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration. If a battery is more than three years old, have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last. AAA members can request a AAA Mobile Battery Service technician come to them and test their battery free of charge. For more information on the AAA Mobile Battery Service visit AAA.com/Battery.
• Blown Tire--Check Tire Pressure. Driving on under-inflated tires affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, and can cause tires to overheat and increases the likelihood of a blowout.
This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer—not the number molded into the tire sidewall. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a tire information sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb. Drivers should also inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem.
• Air Conditioning Failure—Check System & Replace Filter as Needed. If a car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it did in the past, it may mean the refrigerant level is low or there is another problem. Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician. Many automotive climate control systems today are equipped with a cabin filter that prevents outside debris from entering. If present, this filter should be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months.
If you think your vehicle is experiencing problems due to the extreme summer heat, have it checked out by a trained automotive technician.