The Heat Takes a Toll on Our Cars, Too

By Karen – August 29, 2011

With Austin’s “refreshing” 100+ degree weather days and record-breaking heat, we need to make sure we are taking proper care not only of ourselves and our loved ones (including our pets!), but also our car. Different vehicle components can fall victim of extreme heat and it is unpleasant dealing with car failure in the middle of a scorching hot Texas afternoon.

Howdy Honda recommends that you check the coolant levels, oil levels and tire pressure year round. However, summertime heat can take a toll on those, as well as heavily damage or drain other components such as gas, battery and wipers.

Coolant Levels
Driving around Austin during the day without air conditioning is less than ideal. Keeping the radiator in your vehicle in top condition simply requires routine checks, especially before leaving for a big road trip.

Let’s start by stating the obvious—gas is anything but cheap. Second obvious statement—gas is a liquid, and what happens to liquid in the heat? That’s right. It evaporates. Now, unless you are the King of Dubai with a net worth of $30 billion, we might assume you wouldn’t like your money turning into toxic fumes (figuratively speaking). Your best bet is to park in a shaded area, under trees or in a covered parking spot (you can also invent The Car Tent and make $30 billion annually).

Battery Life
Just like gas, the acid inside a car’s battery also evaporates, and, with the sweltering heat of Austin, we’re guessing that evaporation is in overdrive. Heat is one of the primary causes of short battery life, so park in the shade to prevent direct sunlight and preserve your battery (See? The Car Tent is looking like a great idea, entrepreneurs). In addition to parking in the shade, get your battery tested if it’s more than two years old. However, if it’s three years old or older, you’ll be better off replacing it all together. Also remember to always carry a pair of jumper cables because you never know when something might happen.

Although tires are manufactured to withstand high temperatures, poorly inflated tires are at higher risk of catastrophic tire failure, especially during extremely hot days. A catastrophic failure is no flat tire; it can cause accidents and even take lives. So, go right now, check your tire pressure, and keep inspecting it regularly—avoid any preventable tire risk.

Windshield Wipers
Wipers are probably not the first things that come into your mind when thinking about heat damage, but it does affect them. Heat can make your wipers “stick” to the glass and when you are able to pull them loose, they will most likely scrub all over your windshield, instead of clean, creating a nice smearing artwork of dirt and dust. Therefore, try to use your wipers regularly to avoid letting the heat win.

Howdy Honda has a world-class Service Department and Express Service Center ready to inspect or repair any car care need. Schedule a service appointment by calling them at (512) 443-4300 or by using the convenient online scheduling service on their website.

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Here at AFM, we like to keep it local. On that note, we ask you to support businesses that support us, like Howdy Honda, and help keep AFM the best free publication in Texas.


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