Vehicles can take a real beating when the summer heat is sizzling, and it doesn’t need to be a heat wave to see the signs of heat damage.
“You don't want to be on the side of the road in a hundred degree heat,” said Curtis D’Addario, owner of D’Addario Auto Services. “It’s very tough on vehicles.”
The heat can do a number on a vehicle, and it is a good idea for drivers to keep tabs on what is going on under the hood.
“In the hot weather, the heat causes such expansion, the batteries internally they fail,” D’Addario said.
His auto service business in East Hartford sees more cars with battery issues in the summer than in the winter.
On Average, a battery will last about four years, depending on the quality.
If the battery has outlived its life expectancy, drivers may want to replace it before it burns out.
Also, drivers should keep an eye on tire pressure.
“Just like when you walk out on hot pavement, it burns your feet. It does the same thing to your tire. Your tires expand like crazy,” D’Addario said.
When it comes to windshield wipers, drivers should check them for cracks.
If there are streaks on the windshield when the wipers are on, it is time for new blades.
“As the rubber gets hotter and hotter, it gets softer and sticky, and can cause failures of any rubber component,” D’Addario said.
The same is true for belts and hoses.
Most shops will do a complimentary inspection on a vehicle, so even if a driver doesn’t know what is what under the hood, a professional can take a look before you head out on the road.
It doesn’t have to be a real scorcher for a car to get damaged.
“Anytime you're using the air conditioner in your vehicle, that you feel you should use your air conditioner, is a hot condition for your car also,” D’Addario said.
The best thing to do to avoid a breakdown is to keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance.
Things like oil changes will help keep a car in working order during the dog days of summer.
“Oil is not only a lubricant inside of an engine, it's also a coolant. It pulls the heat from the metal parts,” D’Addario said.
Keeping the car cool during the summer scorcher can keep money in your pocket, and your car off the lift, so check your coolant.
In case of a breakdown, have a safety bag on hand with bottled water, a flashlight, flares, spare tire, and a charged old cell phone because if a phone is dead you can still call 9-1-1 on any cellular device.
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