If you have traveled on Texas highways over the past several weeks then you may have noticed more disabled cars than usual. The hot summer temperatures in Southeast Texas have put more strain on vehicles than during other times of the year, leaving motorists disabled dangerously on the side of the road.
Often times this problem can be avoided with a little preventative maintenance on your vehicle’s cooling system. With that said, here are some things vehicle owners in Texas can do to keep their cars running in good condition during the remainder of this summer season.
Tips on Preventing Heat-Induced Car Problems
Regular maintenance is the answer. Before we get into any specifics, regularly checking under the hood is the best way to catch minor issues before they turn into catastrophic issues. For example, having your oil changed regularly will mean that either you or a seasoned mechanic will have the hood open more often and be able to keep an eye on things. You might notice that your car’s coolant level is lower than it was the last time you checked it, which could tip you off to a coolant leak. Or you might notice that there’s an abrasion or hairline crack beginning to form on one of your coolant lines, letting you know that it’s time to replace your hoses before a hose cracks and your engine overheats, or worse, seizes up.
Checking your vehicle’s fluid levels often is easy and can help you anticipate a problem with the cooling system. A great time to peek under the hood is while you are filling up your vehicle at the gas station. Take just 30 seconds to pop the hood and visually inspect your oil, coolant, brake, power steering, transmission and windshield washer fluid levels to ensure that there are no leaks or other issues. If your car is burning oil, which is something you’ll want to keep a close eye on, you may find that you need to add a little bit of oil every now and then to keep it at recommended levels. Radiator leaks are one of the most comment car problems Texans experience. As cars age, corrosion begins to take a toll on things like the radiator and when radiators leak, it can lead to overheating and even an engine fire. You may have noticed black messy burn marks on the side of the road this summer where this likely occurred.
Maintaining proper tire pressure is another important thing to consider during the hotter months, because if your tire pressure is too low then they are going to heat up and potentially blow while you’re driving down the road creating a serious safety hazard for you and other motorists. In addition, proper inflation will help you achieve better MPGs. While you’re paying attention to your tires, inspect the tread wear to make sure it’s even and that you aren’t needing new tires.
Get in the habit of checking the temperature gauge located in your vehicle’s dashboard. As soon as you notice your car is running hotter than usual, find a safe place to stop and give your local mechanic a call. If an auto repair shop is nearby, take your vehicle in and have them check your cooling system for any issues.
If it’s been a while since you paid any attention to your car’s cooling system, or if you drive an older vehicle, we encourage you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop located on Atascocita Rd for a comprehensive vehicle inspection. Our trusted mechanics will let you know if there are any high priority issues at hand, which ones to keep an eye on, and which ones might be ok until your next scheduled visit. We hope to hear from you soon!