The hottest days of the year are upon us.
Along with the usual car trouble calls, the rising temperatures will bring in waves of stranded drivers with cars that are not well equipped to handle the heat.
There are some easy preventative measures you can take to protect your car in the summer months, according to the Arizona Highway Patrol Association.
Check your engine cooling systems: Many summer breakdowns happen because cooling systems fail and the car overheats. If you don’t completely trust the state of your car, get an inspection. When checking parts under the hood, look for hoses that look worn and could be prone to cracking.
Change your oil: The hot temperatures will make your car work overtime. Poor oil maintenance can cause your car to break down. Make sure your oil and battery are both in good condition.
High heat can zap your battery: Signs of a low battery can be dim headlights or clicking sounds when turning the key in the ignition. AAA Arizona recommends you get your battery checked twice a year, especially if it’s an older car or battery.
Watch the gas: Don’t let your gas level drop below a quarter tank. More air conditioning means more gas. If you’re stuck in a traffic jam, you could guzzle your supply faster than expected. Running on an empty tank can turn into a much more serious, dangerous situation.
Inspect your tires frequently: Flat tires are one of the most common road assistance service calls during the summer months. Temperatures on Arizona highways often exceed 135 degrees. Try to travel when temperatures aren’t peaking (Noon to 4 p.m.) to prevent blowouts. Check the condition of all your tires. Look for cracks or uneven treads and make sure all tires are fully inflated.
Wiper blades wear and tear: The wipers on your windshield are a common and neglected victim to the heat. They crack and deteriorate often. With monsoon season beginning soon and thunderstorms rolling into the Valley, it’s important to have working wiper blades for when the rain does come.
Prepare for an emergency: If you do experience car failure, you may be on the side of the road for some time. Make sure you have a water supply that you keep well-stocked in your car. It’s also recommended that you keep a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, non-perishable food, boots and outerwear, an extra phone charger and a whistle.