Every car deserves its day in the sun! Or does it? With summer heating up fast, high temps could mean car troubles for your sweet ride. To keep activities like road trips, waterparks, and festivals on your agenda, we’ve rounded up some common car issues that may crop up during the hotter months, along with tips on what you can do to help prevent them!
Problem #1: Weak A/C.
In hot weather, a fully functioning air conditioner could be the difference between an amazing drive in the country and a miserable, in unison, “Ugh! Are we there yet?!” If you start to notice that your air conditioner is blowing warm air for more than a few minutes after you start the car, there could be a leak in the system. Adding refrigerant could solve the problem in the short-term, but you may be better off investing in a proper repair if you can find room in your budget.
A lack of cold air could also be an indication of other problems with the A/C, like the fan or A/C compressor not working. A failing A/C could impact more than your sweat glands. On many cars, the serpentine belt that helps power the A/C also provides power to other parts of the car, like the water pump that helps cool your engine (i.e your engine could overheat!).
Problem #2: Dead Battery
Many drivers know that extreme cold can damage a car’s battery, but few know that extreme heat can do the same. Since heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, your battery life could suffer in the summer. When this happens too quickly or too often, the battery could end up being destroyed and have to be replaced. Your Mechanic recommends these tips on keeping your battery in tip-top shape:
- Check your battery often, and add distilled water if necessary to keep it cooling properly
- Have your electrical system checked to make sure it’s charging at the correct rate
- Don’t let dirt become an energy conductor; keep the top of your battery clean
Problem #3: Low Tire Pressure
Your car tires could also be drastically impacted by the weather. Maintaining proper tire pressure is not only important when it comes to gas mileage, but especially so when it comes to safety. Over- or under-inflated tires could reduce your car’s handling capability or generate excess heat and cause a blowout, says AutoTrader.
To better avoid a summertime tire issue, get a tire pressure gauge and check your tires (and spare tire) every few weeks and during long road trips. Don’t feel like getting a little grimy? Shops like Pep Boys and Discount Tire will check your tire pressure for free!
Problem #4: Lack of Essential Fluids
You do your best to keep your body hydrated during a heat wave, but what about your car? It’s “thirsty” too! The summer heat is no joke when it comes to drying out a car’s essential fluids. Keep a close watch on your brake fluid, transmission fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid, and even washer fluid. Engine coolant, says AutoTrader, is the number one thing motorists should stay on top of in the summer months. If any fluids are running low, have a mechanic check your hoses for leaks or cracks. It could be the difference between being on the road, or stuck on the side of it.
(Did you know? Between service visits, Jiffy Lube customers may receive free top-offs on many vital fluids! Stop by your local Jiffy Lube to learn more.)
These tips could help you and your car cruise in comfort, but if you’re worried about breaking down, car insurance with a roadside assistance plan can help! Call 1-800-708-0123 or visit an ABC Insurance Agencies store near you for help finding the best coverage available for your needs.