5 Hot Weather Car Problems and How to Avoid them.
Virginia summers can be brutal for people and vehicles alike. Preparation and self-inspections can help you prevent several issues. Most of the time, a quick and cheap service at our auto repair shop can have you back on the road without an issue, but not always if you don’t prepare or wait too long.
Let's dive into five common hot weather vehicle issues.
#1 -Tire Blowouts Caused by Under Inflated Tires.
The hot daytime and cool nighttime temperatures of summer can cause a nightmare on the road. Checking your tire pressure is recommended year-round to catch any issues before hitting the pavement, but during the warmest months it becomes especially important. Tires should be inflated to the same PSI for safety, fuel efficiency and proper functionality. Small to mid-size vehicles typically fall in the range of 30-40PSI and vehicles with larger tires usually will be 40-45PSI, always refer to your owner’s manual to be sure what your specific tires need.
#2 - Weak Battery Issues
Your battery works harder in hot weather, which shortens its life and reduces efficiency, especially if it’s installed loosely. A quick self-inspection of your battery can buy you a little extra lifespan. While there is not much you can do about the heat, you can make sure all the plastic pieces are in good condition and there is no visible corrosion. Make sure your battery is secure in its mount to reduce the vibration you expose it to. Always be sure to carry jumper cables, just in case. And, while we all want everything to last as long as possible, be aware that your vehicle battery has an average lifespan of 3-5 years and the extra strain on your alternator running on an old battery can cause serious, and costly, damages.
#3 - Broken Vehicle AC
No one wants to think about what a Virginia summer would feel like without your car’s AC blowing full blast. A few quick tips to prevent AC issues: Be sure your fluid levels are where they need to be. Ensure your battery is the appropriate age and is in good working order. Get an electrical inspection if you notice anything wrong with your electrical functions, as this could lead to a malfunction. If your air conditioner is not blowing cold, have an expert check your refrigeration fluid (these are dangerous chemicals and are best left in the hands of a trained professional.
#4 - Broken Serpentine Belt
Drive belts will typically last 60,000-100,000 miles before requiring replacement. If you don’t know when the last time you changed it was, you should have an expert inspect yours. If your Serpentine belt breaks you could be left without AC, power steering, and Alternator. Replacing a belt is a low cost service that can save money, time and frustration.
#5 -Overheating Engine
Summer temperatures will put your engine under strain, but there are things you can do to ease this. Be sure your coolant levels are appropriate and top it off often. If you notice you are going through more coolant than you should, be sure to have your engine inspected for any leaks in the coolant lines. While the experts are under the hood, they should also be checking for blocked hoses, corrosion or mineral deposits, radiator issues and a broken water pump. You may be wondering, if my vehicle’s engine overheats, can it be fixed? The answer: Maybe. Your radiator may already be damaged and might have been the reason it overheated, but if you pulled over to let it cool down or had it towed in, you may have saved your vehicle from further damage. If you continued to drive your vehicle with it overheating, you could cook your engine.
Most of these issues can be avoided with a quick self-inspection. Look under your vehicle to see if there are any wet spots on the ground from oil or coolant. Be aware that your air conditioning will have condensation and may produce a puddle of water. Find problems before they force you to deal with them on the side of the road. For all other inspections or services, our mechanics at Global Automotive will make sure your vehicle is in the best shape for the hot summer ahead!
Global Automotive experts are ready to diagnose and repair any issue your vehicle may have. We’ll get you back on the road safely. Call to schedule your appointment today and see why we’ve been trusted as Fauquier’s Auto shop for over 25 years.