Making sure your vehicle is safe during dangerous heat

Making sure your vehicle is safe during dangerous heat

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Car care experts say your car works harder when it’s hot outside, especially once temperatures get above 85 degrees.

Since we’re well into those temperatures - and will be more frequently now - WTOC checked in with a local auto shop to see what you need to do to make sure your ride can handle the heat.

There’s a lot you can do at home without having to take your vehicle into the shop to at least make sure your ride is in top shape, and it starts with getting your head under the hood.

Fluid levels are big, from oil to coolant. You want to make sure your oil is relatively fresh before big road trips, and at the proper level. You can easily spot your coolant through a transparent reservoir, and it’s usually a green or orange color. If it’s low, fill it up to the fill line and make sure it looks clear and there’s not debris floating around.

Tire pressure is another big item on the hot weather checklist. In extreme heat, tires inflate an extra two to three pounds, which increases the risk of over-inflation and blowouts, so make sure you’re checking the pressure and putting air in after your car’s been sitting for awhile.

If you notice your air conditioning isn’t working well, or cutting off altogether, check your temperature gauge because it could mean your engine is overheating. We asked the owner of RPM Autoworx on Chatham Parkway about vehicle fires, and if the extreme heat puts your vehicle more at risk than in normal temps.

“Most cars won’t catch on fire unless there’s an electrical issue, or possibly in rare cases, if there’s an oil leak and it got onto the exhaust manifold in these extreme heats," said Rick Broussard, Owner, RPM Autoworx.

Several other heat smart tips include making sure there is no debris in front of behind your grill to prevent air from flowing in and across the radiator. Also, the heat affects batteries, so make sure your amperage is where it needs to be and that the positive and negative ports aren’t corroded.

Copyright 2019 WTOC. All rights reserved.