Keeping Your Car On Track in Hot Weather – A Guide

It’s interesting that we all recognize immediately the dangers posed by winter weather on our cars --- increased wear and tear, the impact of sub-zero temperatures, the added chemical irritation of salt and gunk on the roads --- but are often oblivious to the equally damaging effects of heat. We think it’s just a question of flipping on the a/c or opening the sunroof, and then it’s all fine. The summer sun can do a lot of damage to your vehicle if you’re not prepared, but fortunately we’ve prepared this handy guide for you.
1. Pay attention to the temperature gauge
Many of us have been guilty of ignoring flashing lights on the display. If you see a light coming on or the thermometer entering the red zone, you need to find a place to safely pull over and switch off the engine. Let it cool for a while before driving on. You may think to yourself, “It’s just a couple more miles” but those couple of miles could end up costing you dearly in repairs if your engine overheats. Also, don’t try to cool the engine with cold water. That sudden temperature change can do other damage.

2. Keep an eye on fluid levels
Heat makes fluids evaporate! That’s basic chemistry. Just as you need extra water in the heat, your car needs a bit more as well. First ensure that there is proper engine lubrication while you’re driving. Have a look and check the motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Don’t forget the cleaning fluid for your windshield!

3. Look after your battery
Besides the engine itself, the battery is helping pump the lifeblood of your car --- power. The heat does a real number on car batteries. One thing to check is that it’s secure and snug in its place so that it doesn’t vibrate too much. It’s another fluid level to check as well, because they, too, can evaporate in extreme heat.

4. Get tires up to the right pressure
If you’re not in the habit of checking on your tire pressure, then you should change that as soon as possible anyway. In the hot weather, however, the risk of blowouts on the baking road surface is greatly increased. We probably don’t need to get into the detail of how frightening and potentially dangerous a tire blowout can be.

5. Everyone out of the car!
However short your stop when you park or pull over, don’t leave your kids or pets in the car. You might not realize just how hot it gets in there, or how quickly! Even an hour in such extreme temperatures can be damaging to young children and animals. Think again!

Stay safe in the summer heat. Keep the car in a shaded or covered location if possible, and follow our guide to avoid the worst of the potential damage caused by our friend the sun.


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