Does the Southwest Heat Wear Your Car Out Sooner?

Sun Auto Service Expert, published on 10/02/2015

Soaring temperatures in the summer can present unique challenges for your automobile. While many components are made to stand up to extreme heat as part of normal operation, others don’t fare quite as well. Learn which parts of your vehicle require special attention when the temperature rises, so you’ll know just how to prepare for hot summer months.

Make Time for Your Tires

While tires are made to handle high heat resulting from friction, no rubber can go unaffected when left in the blazing sun for hours at a time. Hot, dry weather can compromise tires, and the effect can be heightened by driving on hot pavement. For these reasons, maintaining ideal tire pressure and regularly inspecting your tread is highly recommended. To know your vehicle’s optimal tire pressure, you can check the owner’s manual or the sticker on the side of the door on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Check Your Battery Charge

It’s tough to combat the effects of heat on your car’s battery, but being mindful of them is a good way to avoid being caught off-guard. High temperatures result in the evaporation of your battery’s fluids, so it’s wise to have yours tested often, especially if your battery is older than 2 years.   Don’t forget to keep a set of jumper cables handy as part of your roadside kit, in case you should need them.

Maintaining Fluid Levels

Just like people need additional hydration when the weather is hot, your car or truck has a distinct need for fluids as well. While it’s important to stay on top of your vehicle’s fluids no matter the weather, some components work harder during the summer and may need additional lubrication. Check your brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and, of course, make sure your motor oil is at the correct level.

Don’t Forget the Windshield Wipers

You may not frequently need to use your wipers, so make it a point to test your windshield wipers every once in a while. Wiper blades that sit against a hot windshield for months on end can crack and stick  onto the glass - rendering them less effective when the rainy season rolls around. If yours are brittle and smearing more water than they clear away, it’s best to replace them entirely.

If you don’t like to do these things yourself, stop by your local Sun Auto Service for a checkup.