To paraphrase an old classic, summer’s here and the time is right for taking to the streets. Literally. What better way to spend your summer vacation than by taking an adventurous road trip across America’s endless network of blacktop highways? Alas, triple-digit temperatures can take a serious toll on your vehicle and if you venture forth unprepared, you could find yourself stranded roadside wishing you’d have taken a cruise to the Bahamas instead. If you want to avoid this particularly cruel fate, here’s a quick list of car overheating issues to look out for… and what you can do to prevent them all from happening.
Low Fluids Can Overheat Your Engine and Kill Your Car
You wouldn’t try running a marathon without first hydrating yourself and taking measures to ensure you stayed hydrated. Your car is no different. Just because it lacks flesh and blood doesn’t mean it can’t collapse under the stress of a hot day. To stay off the shoulder and keep your wheels spinning, do the following:
- Keep your oil level at levels recommended by the manufacturer
- Don’t forget your automatic transmission fluid, as running your car on low levels can cause you to overheat when driving up steep grades.
- Ensure your coolant levels are topped off.
Old Hoses, Belts and Filters Can Rupture in the Heat
Simply eyeballing the condition of hoses, belts and filters under your hood isn’t good enough. In many cases, hoses can deteriorate from the inside and deliver a highly unwanted surprise just as you’re firing on all cylinders. Before you hit the road, make sure that you:
- Check hoses not only for tears, but also for bulges. Feel for soft spots (when the car is cold), which are indication that the hose is wearing thin and about to tear.
- Replace any drive belts that are cracked or frayed.
- Replace your air filters to ensure you get the best gas mileage out of every buck. If they’re plugged up, your car will still run – but your gas mileage will suffer.
Extreme Heat Can Sap Your Battery
You’re probably aware that extreme cold can diminish your battery’s life, but did you know the same thing can result from excessive heat?
The end result of this kind of temperature exposure is increased corrosion on your battery connections, which prevents the battery from fully recharging when the engine’s running. You may not need a new battery, especially if you’ve had it tested and the charge is still good – but cleaning the connections is critical to ensuring it doesn’t simply give out on you in the middle of your summer road trip.
Car Tires Expand in Hot Weather
The hotter it gets outside, the hotter your tires get. And when a tire gets hot, its internal air pressure expands. You might think this is a wonderful thing, especially if you’re concerned about driving with under inflated tires. But the fact is, an overinflated tire is an accident waiting to happen. Not only can over inflation wear your tire out prematurely, but it can also leave you open to blowouts. When checking your tire pressure, always ensure that you’re not over inflating or under inflating. Stick to the recommended air pressure printed on the sidewall of the tire as well as the recommendation in your car owner’s manual or the sticker inside the driver’s side door.
Unless you’re an experienced mechanic, taking care of everything to ensure your car doesn’t overheat will likely require a visit to your local auto shop. Looking for a quality repair shop in you area? Look no further than Openbay. Compare quotes and book service from top shops near you with the click of a button.