5 Ways to Keep Your Car Happy in the Heat
We're speeding right through the dog days of summer, and your vehicle is probably feeling it as much as you are. Here are some tips for beating the heat, powered by our friends at O'Reilly Auto Parts.
1. Keep the driver cool. Invest in a sun shade or two so you don't start sweating before you have a chance to turn on the vehicle. O'Reilly Auto Parts has a variety of options, including some with movie themes.
2. Check the battery. "Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure," according to AAA. "While drivers cannot do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration." If a battery is three or more years old, go ahead and have it tested.
3. Check your tire pressure. Driving on under-inflated tires in extreme heat increases your chances of a blowout, according to AAA. Buy a gauge too keep in your glove compartment and find the recommended pressure on your car door jamb or in the owner's manual. If you notice your tires are primarily worn on either the center or outer edges, that could be a sign that they have either too much or too little air in them.
4. Check your fluids, specifically motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid, according to Northwest Driving School. Your body needs more fluids in the heat and the same might be true for your car. Here's a handy video from O'Reilly if you need a refresher on how to do this yourself (and signs you might have an issue that requires professional attention):
5. Ensure your cooling system is working properly. Most cooling systems only need to be changed every five years and 50,000 miles, but you'll want to double-check your owner's manual to be sure. "Over time, engine coolant can be contaminated and the additives it contains that protect your engine are depleted, according to Northwest Driving School. "That’s why the system should be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically."
And, as a bonus, we'll leave you with this tutorial on recharging your AC. Because what's worse than hot air blowing on a hot day?