What to Do if Your Car Overheats in the Summer

Auto Repair, How-To on July 10, 2018

It’s summertime in Arizona, and you know what that means. Not only does it make a lot of our regular daily activities pretty annoying, the sun and the heat also take a big toll on your car. It’s becomes much easier for your car to get overheated at temperatures of 90°F and above. Is there anything you can do if your car overheats in the summer, or to make sure that your car continues to run smoothly in the heat?

What to do if your car overheats

Most modern cars have warning lights that get triggered when the engine starts to overheat. Watch out for these signs. If you notice something unusual, here’s what you should do:

  •  Pull over to the side of the road and turn the engine off right away.
  • If you have an extra bottle of coolant, or even some water in the car, this can temporarily fix the issue just to get you home or to an auto shop. Do not attempt to open the hood if there is smoke coming out! You will burn yourself! In this circumstance, you will have to wait until the engine cools down enough to check the coolant tank.
  • If the coolant tank is completely empty,  you may have a leak. If this is the case, you need to get to an auto repair shop ASAP.
  • If you have AAA or roadside assistance, you can call and get your vehicle towed within a certain radius of miles for free. Regardless, it is important to have the issue professionally check to ensure it does not become a repeat experience.

Follow these Arizona Summer Car Maintenance Tips

#1: Check the oil

Engines tend to overheat during the summer. That’s why it is important to make sure that they get as much lubrication as needed. Check the engine oil. If you’re running low, add oil yourself. Adding oil is different from changing oil, which is done by a car mechanic. You can add oil yourself. It’s very easy.

#2: Check All Car Fluids.

Every car has different fluids such as the motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, washer fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. It is very important to make sure that your car has enough of these fluids at the start of the summer. If you’re not sure what these fluids are or how to check for them, take the car to a local AZ garage shop and ask for help.

#3: Check the Tires.

We have discussed how the Arizona heat affects the tire life and air pressure in this article. Basically, heat causes your tires to over-inflate and even explode, in the worst-case scenario. Similarly, when the tires are under-inflated, the tire rubber gets worn out from the heat, and this could lead to the dissembling of the treads. What can you do? Check the PSI (pounds per square inch) of the tires with a pressure gauge. Are the tires properly inflated? If not, take the car to the nearest garage shop.

#4: Wash the Car Regularly.

Wash and wax the car at least once or twice every week. Wash away all the dirt and the dust collected on the surface of the car. Make sure the car looks shiny and fresh. Washing and waxing the car regularly ensures that the paint doesn’t fade from the summer heat.

#5: Cover the Car.

Always cover the car when you’re not using it. Don’t just leave it out in the sun; the heat has a corrosive effect on the paint and could do a lot of damage. Even more damaging than the heat are things like bird poop and sap. To be safe, make sure the car is always parked in a garage or under a shade.

 #6: Take the Car to an Arizona Auto Shop.

There are a lot of things you cannot do, such as checking the battery, radiator, car air conditioner, etc. You should take the car to a local Arizona garage shop and get a full service done if you have any concerns at all. The car mechanic performs a radiator check, tests the AC, checks the battery fluid, and looks for any sign of damage.

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