When the weather warms, many people take to the outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and rising temperatures. High temperatures can cause all sorts of damage to a vehicle, from zapping battery power to overtaxing the cooling system. Recognizing potential hot-weather risks and performing routine checks on the vehicle are the keys to keeping vehicles in top form.
Excessive heat can shorten the life of a battery because it causes battery fluid to evaporate more quickly. AAA reports that car battery issues are the most common breakdown calls.
It’s a good idea to top off a battery with distilled water if it is the kind that requires it. Inspect the battery for corrosion and leakage of battery acid. This could be a sign that the battery will need to be replaced.
Cooling systems work hard to keep the flow of air to the engine and prevent it from overheating during warm seasons. To avoid overheating, check coolant levels before getting on the road. In addition, have the cooling system checked by a trained mechanic.
Hot weather causes the pressure inside of tires to rise. Overinflated tires can wear down prematurely or result in blowouts. Check tire pressure routinely in the summer, when tires are cold.
Hot weather can put extra demand on all fluids and engine components. Check transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid and engine oil levels.
Pack with breakdowns in mind
Plan ahead for potential summer breakdowns by bringing along water, snacks, sunscreen and an emergency medical kit. Be sure mobile phones are fully charged and that the number of a tow service or roadside assistance crew is entered into your list of contacts in the event of an emergency.