Avoid These Common Car Problems Caused by Summer Heat

This summer, you may plan on taking a road trip or two. But, before you go, you’ll want to make sure you and your vehicle can handle the heat this summer. Here are some common summertime issues cars may have and how to avoid them, so you can cruise with confidence!

The dreadful broken air conditioning system

A faulty AC system is one of the most common car problems that make driving in the summer a pain. The last thing you need is to hop inside your car after a BBQ and feel hot air when you turn on the AC. And even if you do roll down your windows, it may not help. If you notice your AC system is not working at its best, you will want to schedule a service appointment. Make sure your technician checks your refrigeration fluid.

A weird smell inside the cabin

There’s nothing worse than the smell of mildew on a hot summer day. To keep your vehicle smelling its best, you will want to take out any wet or damp items, like towels, and allow the interior to air dry. Make sure you open all the doors and windows for the best results. If you can already smell mildew inside your car, there are many all-natural solutions you can try, including baking soda and coffee grounds.

A weak car battery

A mechanic testing a car battery.
A mechanic testing car battery | Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

When it’s hot outside, your battery will need to work harder. You will want to check your battery and make sure the plastic pieces are in good condition. Battery decline due to summer heat is one of the most common car problems in hotter parts of the season. When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to call your local shop and get the battery tested. Trusted auto maintenance professionals from places like Firestone Complete Auto Care  recommend replacing this part every 3 to 5 years is ideal.

Worn out windshield wipers

Summer showers can get intense and lead to dangerous driving conditions. It’s important to inspect your windshield wipers before the rainy season, so you don’t get stuck in the middle of a storm. Pro tip? Replace them once every six months.

A broken or worn drive belt

The sun on a windshield in the summer heat.
Sun on the windshield in the summer hear | via Getty Images

A drive belt, also known as a serpentine belt, powers your engine’s accessories. Without it, some of the most important components of your vehicle won’t work. Most of the time, these belts can last anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve changed yours, set up a service appointment and have it taken care of.

Under-inflated tires and blowouts

Having a flat tire in the middle of the summer months is not ideal. Those scorching temperatures can mess with your tires – meaning they can become overinflated and under-inflated at any point. Be sure to replace tires at the recommended mileage and check your tire pressure before heading out on your next weekend road trip.

An evaporative leak

In the heat, your fuel turns into a vapor and will increase the pressure in the fuel tank. The hotter it is, the more pressure can build up. And even the smallest leak can cause a warning light to pop up on your dash. If it happens to you, make sure your fuel cap is securely fastened. If that’s not the case, bring your car down to a local mechanic to be safe.

The most common car problems in summer heat

From increased tire maintenance to funky smells to battery stress, the summer heat can create some common car problems. By learning and preparing for what might happen, drivers can stay on top of their driving experience all summer long. Aren you planning for your next road trip? Or maybe you’re sitting in traffic on the commute home with summer’s hot rays shining down. Either way, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve done your due diligence in preventing some of the more common summertime issues. 

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