3 Vulnerabilities of Your Car in the Summer Heat

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We’re in the dog days of summer. School has been out for a while, and your days have been consumed by beach lounging and poolside chatting. Today’s an exceptionally hot day, so you and your friends decide to head to the pool, equipped with a car packed to the brim with beach towels and coolers full of your favorite summer. But as you prep to cool yourself from the summer heat, remember to do the same for your car.

There are a number of areas in your car that are vulnerable in high heat conditions; your engine, tires, and battery need special attention during these intense summer days. 

1. Overheating Engines

Overheating engines aren’t just a myth of your parents’ generation. Most cars today are manufactured with more reliable engines than that of their frequently overheating 1970’s counterparts.  

However, It is still possible to overheat the engine when proper precautions are not taken. AAA recommends that you change your engine oil to one with a higher viscosity (a thicker oil) in the harsh summer heat. In addition, ensure that your cooling unit is being maintained properly as per the instructions of your car’s manufacturer.  

2. Heat: a Tires’ Worst Enemy

Tires lose tread and traction in extreme heat conditions. High speeds, car weight, underinflation, rough roads, and aggressive driving all contribute to high tire temperatures. Although you can’t control the heat, you can avoid contributing to tire failure by refraining from, and avoiding such actions. 

3. Battery Fluid Evaporation

Contrary to common belief, battery problems are not isolated to winter weather or accidentally leaving your lights on. Heat can also cause damage to your battery, rendering it inoperable. Like any liquid in high heat conditions, evaporation occurs and battery fluid in your car is not an exception to this fact.  

The rapid evaporation of battery fluid can cause corrosion on the terminals and connections. To avoid the need for roadside assistance, be sure to clean any corrosive material build up.

For further summer driving and safety tips, check out this interactive guide from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

No matter how careful you are with your car in the summer heat, problems may still arise. It is important to be prepared for all car breakdown scenarios. Refer to this quick car breakdown safety checklist incase you are ever in the unfortunate situation of a car breakdown.

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