7/15/2011 6:46 PM
Everyone thinks to winterize their cars to protect them from the extreme cold temperatures, but did you know it’s just as important to protect your vehicle from the high temps the summer brings? AAA has a few maintenance tips that will keep you from getting stranded.
1. Heat Can Zap the Life from Batteries.
Most drivers think battery problems occur primarily in winter, but summer heat can negatively impact your car's battery even more than the bitter cold of winter. Heat and vibration are a battery's two worst enemies, leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. While drivers cannot do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration. If a car's battery is more than three years old, it's a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last. Should the battery need replacement, the technician can usually replace it on location.
2. Keep Your Engine Cool.
Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system's job to protect the engine from overheating. In addition, additives in the coolant protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the odds of long term engine damage, and a summer time boil over, definitely increase.
3. Avoid Excessive Heat Where the Rubber Meets the Road.
Driving on under-inflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner's manual or on a sticker normally located on the driver's door jamb. Some vehicles use different pressures for the front and rear tires. While checking the tire pressures—including the spare—drivers also should inspect the tire treads for adequate depth and any signs of uneven wear that might indicate a suspension or alignment problem.
4. Cars Need Fluids During Extreme Heat Too.
Engine fluids are essential to keeping a vehicle running smoothly. Most fluids not only lubricate, they also serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, this cooling effect is reduced, and the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels. If any fluids need to be topped off, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner's manual.
Posted by Ivan
7/15/2011 6:46 PM |