6 Tips for Driving in Extreme Heat

heat wave interstateSummers in Sacramento are known for being hot, but our weather has been unbearably scorching this year!

When temperatures are record-high, motorists need to be cautious about the effects extreme heat can have on their vehicles. Follow our Sacramento car accident attorney’s tips to prevent breakdowns and traffic accidents:

1. Check Your Battery

Car batteries can be damaged during extreme heat, as constant heat and vibration can cause the battery to suffer an internal breakdown and eventually lead to failure. Although hot weather is unavoidable, you can protect your battery by making sure it is securely attached to prevent vibration.

Battery fluid also evaporates faster when it is exposed to high temperatures, which can lead to corrosion on terminals and connections. To prevent this, clean any corrosive substances on the battery terminals and cable clamps. This will ensure the clamps are tight enough to prevent them from moving.

Any battery that is three or more years old should also be tested by an auto technician to determine how much longer it is expected to last.

2. Maintain Your Vehicle’s Cooling System

Summer heat puts extra pressure on vehicle engines. For this reason, have a technician check your cooling system to ensure it can protect your engine from overheating.

If you neglect to maintain the cooling system, it can cause wear and corrosion on your engine, eventually leading to long-term damage and breakdowns.

Rubber cooling system parts can also deteriorate when exposed to extreme heat. When you have your vehicle serviced, have the drive belts checked for cracking, soft spots or signs of deterioration. Worn parts have a higher chance of failure in hot conditions and should be replaced.

Check the owner’s manual to determine recommended intervals for your vehicle to be serviced and inspected.

3. Avoid Driving on Excessively Hot Roads

As the rising temperatures cause roads to become hotter, you should check the pressure of your tires to make sure they are not under-inflated. This could be a major concern, as under-inflated tires can overheat and increase the chances of a blowout during summer months.

This summer, learn how to check inspect your tires for proper pressure and depth and wear of the tread that might be a sign of a suspension or alignment problems.

4. Make Sure Your Vehicle Has Plenty of Fluids

Engine fluids are essential to keeping your vehicle running. These fluids lubricate your vehicle’s parts and act as a coolant by carrying heat away from important parts. High summer temperatures will evaporate your vehicle’s fluid levels and reduce their cooling effect, which leads to overheating.

You should check all of your vehicle’s fluids, including:

  • Motor oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid

These should be completely filled. If they need to be replaced, be sure to check your owner’s manual to make sure you are using the right type of fluid.

5. Maintain Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning System

Having a cool environment is essential to protecting you from extreme temperatures and staying safe during heat waves.

Make sure your air conditioning system is properly maintained to adequately cool down your vehicle’s interior. This will protect you and your passengers from dangerous temperature levels that can cause heat stroke and dehydration.

If you notice the air conditioning system is not working as well as it should, it may mean the refrigerant level is low. Contact a certified technician to conduct any necessary repairs as soon as possible.

Many new-model vehicles are equipped with a cabin filter that prevents outside debris from entering the vehicle’s interior. If your car contains this feature, you should have it inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months.

6. Be Prepared for Breakdowns

Even if you take care of your vehicle, there is still a chance it may breakdown. You should be prepared for this possibility by having an emergency kit containing these recommended items:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • Road flares
  • Emergency beacon
  • Basic hand tools
  • First aid kit

Your vehicle should also always have a spare tire and the tools needed to quickly change a blown-out tire on the side of the road.

Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys

The Arnold Law Firm is concerned for the safety of all motorists traveling on California’s roadways this summer.

Car accident victims and their families are provided with a free legal evaluation that comes with no obligation of hiring our firm. Our injury attorneys also work on a contingency fee basis, which means you will only pay us if we successfully represent your claim and recover compensation on your behalf.

Complete our Free Case Evaluation if you were injured in a car accident.