As temperatures climb to new highs, Vehicles for Change’s Steve Sullivan shares tips for protecting your car in extreme heat.
Why does heat cause problems for cars?
Heat puts added strain on vehicle components. It increases electrical resistance and an already high temperature under the hood, which can result in inadequate cooling for many parts. This causes components to work harder and can result in failure.
What vehicle components are most vulnerable in extreme heat?
Batteries, the cooling system, alternators, starters and fan motors.
What can we do to protect our cars in the heat?
Have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis. If your battery is more than three years old, it could be stressed in extreme temperatures. If your cooling system has not been serviced in the last two years, this should be done. Proper air flow is essential for both engine cooling and AC function.
If a heat wave is in the forecast, should cars be taken to a service provider?
If one is lax on car maintenance, the battery and cooling system should be checked. If the vehicle sees regular service visits there should be no real issues.
What should we do if we see that the car’s temperature gauge is in the danger zone?
If the AC system is on, turn it off and open the windows. If the gauge is still in the danger zone, put your temperature selector in the full hot zone and turn the blower on high. This will help redirect some of the heat trapped by the cooling system. If these remedies have no effect and the gauge is still reading hot, safely pull of the road and call for assistance.