By Mollie LaSalle
The excessive heat can cause a multitude of problems for vehicle owners. Taking care of your car in 100 degree-plus temperatures is important for the safety of the vehicle, and yourself.
Most car owners know the basics maintenance-wise, get your oil changed every three thousand miles, and have them check all your fluid levels, and tire pressure. Go ahead and have the tires rotated if the tech suggests you do so, it will extend the life of the tires. Make sure your battery is inspected, too while they are under the hood. Extreme high temperatures can shorten the life of the battery; inspect it yourself for any signs of corrosion or dirty terminals. You should have your battery tested if it’s older or showing signs of weakness, as driving in extreme heat can really do a number on an older battery.
Whenever you can, try to park in the shade, and leave your windows cracked to allow air to circulate inside the car; you can also cover the windshield with a sunshade. Just remember that you’re not the one whose interior car temperature is 110 degrees when you get in it at 5 p.m.
Extremely hot weather can be deadly to your tires. The hotter the rubber gets on tires, the softer they become. If your tires are not properly inflated, they can wear poorly on hot roads; it’s important to take care of them. Check to make sure your tires are properly inflated, and make sure they get rotated, at least with every oil change. If you know you are running on bald tires, you need to get them replaced before you have an issue with them. Some of my co-workers have had tire issues in the last month, from a blowout, to having tiny holes in the tread. Another co-worker had to get two new tires, because she didn’t get her tires rotated in a timely manner.
Trey Deckard, the manager of Lakeway Tire in Woodville, offered up these words of advice, “this hot weather does some stuff to your tires for sure. You’re talking about 150-degree pavement. If you’re traveling, with the heat and all that, if there’s a tire issue, it’s going to make itself known. You also need to stay on top of coolant levels, and make sure your radiator is full, and it’s also a good idea to get your tires rotated with every oil change.”
If your tires are not properly inflated, they can wear poorly on the hot pavement. If you hit any kind of road hazard, the heat will only make it worse. If you haven’t rotated your tires in a while, you’re going to have some irregular wear and that will cause problems. Experts warn that the combination of underinflated tires and hot pavement can lead to a blowout.
The bottom line is this: take care of your vehicle, and it will take care of you. A car is an investment, and with the proper care and maintenance, it should serve you well for many years.