Hot summers are not just brutal for people but can be harmful to cars as well. Even though most auto repair shops have the tools and skills to help you get you back on the road, it’s best to stay on top of preventative vehicle maintenance in order to help you avoid some common car problems that occur during the summer months.
Before discussing these typical car problems, first, we’ll discuss the ways that heat can affect your car.
Does hot weather affect car performance?
Excessive heat can harm various parts of your vehicle, which will eventually affect its performance. The most common problems vehicles experience during summer involve these components:
- AC system
Although vehicles are designed to handle fluctuations in temperature, changing weather conditions can still take a toll on their performance.
What are the most common car problems during summer, and how can I avoid them?
It’s easy for car owners to forget to replace the coolant in their vehicles. This is a common reason behind overheating, especially on days when it’s sunny and very hot.
Always remember to use a solution of 50/50 coolant and water whenever possible. Only use water in dire situations, because it can corrode your engine. When you keep your coolant levels topped off, your vehicle will be in better shape during the summer.
May to October is considered the “blowout season” for tires. Changing temperatures (from hot during the day to cool at night) are detrimental to tires if they’re not properly maintained.
Conducting regular year-round tire pressure checks will help you detect issues before you hit the road. This maintenance measure is even more crucial during the summer.
For your vehicle’s safety, fuel efficiency, and optimal functionality, remember to inflate your tires to the same PSI. Refer to your manual for the recommended PSI for your vehicle.
Car batteries work extra hard under hot weather conditions. As a result, their lifespans shorten, and their efficiency reduces. By doing a quick battery inspection, you can extend that lifespan for a little bit.
While you can’t control the summer heat, you can check to ensure that the plastic pieces on your battery are not damaged and there is no visible corrosion. Make sure your battery is affixed securely to lessen vibrations. Always have jumper cables ready.
Keep in mind that the typical lifespan of a vehicle’s battery is three to five years. Serious and costly damages can occur when your engine has to bear the extra burden on the alternator charging an old battery.
Broken air conditioner
Sweltering heat is almost doubled inside a car with a broken air conditioner. Maintenance is vital in order to keep your AC from breaking down during the summer. Be sure to check the following things to keep your AC running efficiently in hot weather:
- Evaporator coil. Check if it’s dirty. This is a common culprit why your AC can stop working.
- Outside unit. Check if it’s clogged with debris or leaves.
- Refrigerant. Check if your freon needs to be charged. Trained professionals are required to fix this issue.
Broken serpentine belt
Serpentine belts will usually last 60,000 to 100,000 miles before they need replacing. If you don’t remember when you last changed your drive belt, call a professional to inspect this for you.
If your serpentine belt is broken, all of the other components of your vehicle, including the(AC, alternator, and power steering, will be affected.
Replacing your serpentine belt doesn’t cost a lot of money. Save yourself from frustration and unnecessary expenses by replacing it when necessary.
Hot car interior
Opening your car door and feeling the baking heat inside the car is something that almost everyone has experienced. To lessen this heat, try to park your vehicle in the shade and crack your windows open to allow hot air to escape whenever possible. A sunshade can also help lessen the heat from the sun.
Hot car interiors are especially dangerous to children and pets. Never leave them alone inside a hot car.
How can I protect my car in the summer?
These common car problems can be avoided by conducting quick car inspections. Look under your car. Do you see any wet spots caused by oil or coolant? Is your AC not blasting cool air like it used to?
It’s important to identify and fix any issues with your vehicle before you’re forced to deal with them on the road.
Let us at The Auto Warehouse help you find the best car for your needs. Call us today for more information!