Arizona is a beautiful state, there’s no doubt about that, and we enjoy some scenic drives here, too. Driving in the summer heat, however, can be challenging. Summertime temperatures often top 100-degrees. It’s important to make sure that both you and your vehicle are fully prepared.
Statistics show that the most common cause of summer vehicle breakdowns is overheating. The good news is that by simply following some preventative maintenance tips, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting stranded on the roadside this summer. Here are a few places to start:
Check coolant and other fluid levels
Just as people can get dehydrated when the temperatures skyrocket, cars can too. The heat evaporates fluids more quickly. This creates the potential for there to not be enough fluid to adequately perform functions such as cooling. Checking fluid levels frequently can help alert you to any deficiencies before they cause more serious problems.
Maintain your air conditioner
An air conditioning system that is already showing wear or signs of malfunctioning will almost certainly fail during extreme temperatures. Keeping it operating smoothly is important for passenger comfort. It is also a safety factor if you have a breakdown or even if you get stuck in a summer traffic jam. This is especially true if your passengers are children or pets. They are unable to adequately cope with the heat if the AC isn’t working.
Practice proper tire maintenance
Hot weather can have a negative impact on tires, causing them to break down faster and even crack, leaving you with a greater chance for blowouts during driving. Good tire maintenance protocol includes maintaining the proper air pressure, frequent inspection of treads, and tire rotation every 5,000 miles or as recommended by your auto repair professional.
Watch your windshield wipers
The heat of summer can cause your wipers to crack and break down quickly. Frequent inspection and replacement (if needed) will help keep these in working order. This is especially critical as monsoon season approaches.
Be prepared for emergencies
Even with the best of preventative maintenance, not every emergency can be avoided. When the emergency happens in the middle of hot weather, it’s critical to be prepared. This includes carrying some basic tools, a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and adequate water supply.
Professional car maintenance
For a few do-it-yourself vehicle owners, some of the maintenance tasks mentioned above can be completed on your own and at home. Others, like tire rotation, AC service, and cooling system maintenance are better left to a professional. Schedule an appointment with your auto care professional today and you’ll be ready to roll when the summer heat really hits!