It’s essential for vehicle owners to be aware of the significant impact that extreme heat can have on their vehicles. While many people focus on staying cool and hydrated during heatwaves, when planning for a short or long road trip we need to be prepared to drive in hot weather.
Regular vehicle maintenance, including checking fluid levels, belts, hoses, and tires, is crucial before embarking on a journey in hot weather. If any issues are detected, they should be promptly addressed by a professional mechanic.
Check and maintain your vehicle’s Cooling System Before you Drive in Hot Weather
Summer heat puts extra pressure on vehicle engines. For this reason, have a technician check your cooling system to ensure it can protect your engine from overheating. A system check includes inspecting the radiator and associated HVAC components to make sure they are in good working condition. Flushing and refilling the coolant at recommended intervals will help keep the engine cool.
Any sign that your system is not working to fully cool the passenger cabin is a sign that your refrigerant level is low or you have a system leak. Contact a certified technician to conduct any necessary repairs as soon as possible. Openbay can help find a certified technician nearby that can perform an inspection on your vehicle.
If you neglect to maintain the cooling system, it can cause wear and corrosion on your engine, eventually leading to long-term damage and breakdowns.
Rubber cooling system parts can also deteriorate when exposed to extreme heat. When you have your vehicle serviced, have the drive belts checked for cracking, soft spots or signs of deterioration. Worn parts have a higher chance of failure in hot conditions and should be replaced.
Check the owner’s manual to determine recommended intervals for your vehicle to be serviced and inspected.
Keep the Car Hydrated Before you Drive in Hot Weather
No surprise here – humans need to stay hydrated during extreme hot weather and your motor vehicles need to stay hydrated too. From windshield washer fluid to engine and transmission – each are essential to keeping your vehicle operational. Fluids lubricate your vehicle’s parts and act as a coolant by carrying heat away from important engine and transmission parts. This is especially important during high outdoor temperatures.
Read your owner’s manual to find out how to check your vehicle’s fluids and how to top off fluids when necessary.
- Engine oil
- Transmission fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
Plan Your Route
If possible, try to plan your journey to avoid driving during the hottest parts of the day. Opt for early morning or late evening trips when the temperatures are cooler.
Whenever possible, park your vehicle in the shade or use a sunshade to reduce the interior temperature. This simple step can protect your car’s interior and keep it comfortable for your return.
As temperatures soar, drivers must be mindful of the impact that very hot weather can have on motor vehicles. Tire blowouts, engine overheating, battery failure, and air conditioning issues are just a few of the risks that drivers may encounter.
Proper preparation and maintenance can help mitigate these risks and ensure a safer driving experience. By staying hydrated, planning routes wisely, and taking precautions against sun glare and overheated roads, drivers can reduce the dangers of driving in the heat.
Remember, safety should always be a priority, especially in challenging weather conditions like extreme heat.
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