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Simple steps to keep your car running in the summer heat

Posted at 10:45 AM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 13:45:48-04
Triple digit heat accelerates wear and tear on your car, especially with any rubber and glass parts on your car. Windshield fixes go up by 20% and general repairs are more common in the summer months because of the heat as well, according to AAA. 
   
Windshield and windows are especially vulnerable to heat because high temperatures make glass expand.
 
"If you already have a crack or chip in your windshield, the excessive heat is going to make that spread," said Valerie Vinyard of AAA Arizona. "You don't want to be driving on the roadway and all of a sudden that tiny little crack blossoms into a huge thing."
 
Doing these things can help keep your windshield from cracking or help stop cracks from spreading:
  • Avoid slamming your doors. This can put added pressure on your windshield.
  • Don't immediately blast the AC. The fast temperature change between the outside and the inside of the car can cause cracks to spread, so gradually increase the air conditioning to better protect the glass.
As for your tires, AAA recommends you check the pressure monthly using a pressure gage because the heat can accelerate loss of pressure in the tires and wear them out faster, so taking the five minutes to do this can help keep you from getting a blowout on the road.
 
Batteries only last an average of 2.5 years in Arizona because of the heat. That's about half the life of a good battery if you lived elsewhere.
 
This is what to look for so you can replace your battery before it dies when you're on the road:
 
"Your car may take a little longer to turn over even if it's a newer car," said Vinyard. "It also might stall once, but start right back up again, but you had that one stall. also, your headlights might not be as bright as they normally are."
 
If you notice any of these things or see corrosion around the battery, get it checked out. Or you can clean off the corrosion using water and baking soda with a steel wool pad.
 
Heat also breaks down all kinds of rubber hosing in your car and especially your tires. It specifically will increase stress on tread cracks, sidewall bubbles, bald spots or other structural deficiencies that could cause a blowout or disintegration, especially at highway speeds. To help protect them, you can use Armor-All with a UV protectant.
 
For more safety tips from AAA, click HERE