NEWS FLASH: Summer’s Not Over (In Texas)
June 29th, 2016
Everywhere else in the country, people are looking forward to the days getting shorter and the days getting cooler. If you’re spent very much time in McAllen, TX, though, you know that we can stay pretty warm here all the way through Thanksgiving! Hot days and hot roads can take their toll on many systems on your car, and this is no time to slack off on your hot-weather auto repair and maintenance.
- Battery: Hot weather is actually more damaging to your car’s battery than cold temperatures. Heat can cause your battery’s fluid to evaporate, damaging the cells and impeding their ability to hold a charge. If your battery doesn’t have sealed cells, be sure to check the level of acid in the cells and replenish if needed (remember to only use distilled water). Also, keep your battery’s posts and cable clamps free of corrosion, and don’t let excess dirt build up on the battery’s top. Dirt and grease can act as a conductor that slowly drains battery current. These simple auto repair details can save you some headaches!
- A/C Repair and System: Few things can make a hot day seem more miserable than a weak car air conditioner. If you’re noticing AC that only blows cold when the car’s moving, odd smells or generally weak performance, chances are your AC is low on refrigerant and in need of a recharge. Another sign is an intermittent metallic clicking from under the hood…that means your compressor is cycling on and off so it won’t fail due to low refrigerant (and cost you an expensive auto repair). If your AC is leaking from a hose, line or seal, most refrigerants now include a neon dye that makes the leak easy to spot.
- Oil Change: Motor oil doesn’t just lubricate, it helps disperse heat. Fresh motor oil can help keep engine heat down. If you’ve got an older vehicle with lots of miles on the odometer, consider using a heavier, thicker grade of oil in the hot months. Better still, synthetic oil does a better job of high temperature protection. Regular oil changes are an essential auto repair item!
- Coolant: Antifreeze doesn’t just protect against freezing, it also helps prevent overheating. Have an auto repair tech check your coolant’s effectiveness with a hygrometer, and add a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water if needed. Remember to never open a hot radiator! On most vehicles, you can add coolant to the car’s overflow tank, located next to the radiator. Should your car overheat, turn on the heater to draw heat away from the engine.
- Tires: Heat is the enemy of your tires, and one of the quickest ways to get your tires to overheat is to leave them underinflated. Underinflated tires have more rolling resistance, which means more friction, which means more heat. Eventually, that heat can start to break down the tire’s internal structure and possibly cause it to fail altogether. That’s not even thinking about the poor fuel economy and clumsy handling that you get with underinflated tires. It’s not like it’s a complicated auto repair…check your inflation with a quality gauge (while the tires are cold) and inflate them to their proper level.
And of course, we don’t need to remind you…never, ever, ever leave pets or kids in a car. The glass in a vehicle makes it like a greenhouse, and temperatures will get up to 130-150 degrees within minutes!
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