Today: Nov 17 , 2019

Car Maintenance Tips for Hot Arizona Summers
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17 June 2016   Jason Williams
In the sweltering Arizona heat, now is as good a time as any to make sure that your vehicle is in good working order.
The hot Arizona summers can be brutal for a vehicle, affecting everything from the tires to the paint. Going without a vehicle checkup for a long period of time can result in you getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. This article will present a few tips for you to stay on top of your car maintenance during the hot summer months in the Grand Canyon State.

Car Battery

Heat and overcharging can cut short the life of your car's battery. Battery fluid evaporates due to heat, which goes on to harm the battery's internal structure. A malfunctioning battery could also come from a damaged voltage regulator that allows an excessive charging rate.

If you want to get the most out of your car battery, have the system checked to see if the battery is charging at the right rate. If your battery needs to be topped off, ensure that you check it often. If needed, add distilled water, especially when the heat of the weather is excessive.

Fluids

Windshield washer, coolant and motor oil are all things that you can check on your own. The most important thing that you should check on a regular basis is the coolant, or antifreeze. Today's vehicles have closed systems for antifreeze, so you can easily check or add antifreeze to your car. You can do this through the coolant reservoir under your car's hood. To learn the location of the reservoir in your car, look through your vehicle's owner manual. When checking the coolant, ensure that it is above the minimum and below the maximum markings. Add more coolant if needed. When you do a routine antifreeze check, make sure that you never that you never open the lid of the coolant when the engine is heated.

Experts say that you should change the coolant at least once a year. This keeps your car's cooling system fresh and revitalized, which not only stops corrosion but ensures that your coolant is set at the right boiling point. When you renew your vehicle registration, make sure that a thermostat test, a pressure test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection is done. At this time, the inspector should look at drive belts and hoses to see if there are any frayed edges, bulges or cracks.

Tires

In the hot Arizona summers, checking your tire pressure is vitally important. As the days heat up, the air in your tires will expand. To prevent a desert breakdown from happening, check your tire pressure when it's a bit cooler. You also want to use the right type of tire pressure for your car. This usually isn't the pressure noted on the sidewall of your tire. To find your right tire pressure, check the label in your glove compartment or door jamb. You can also look in your owner's manual.

If your tires are over- or underinflated, they can decrease your car's handling capability or create excessive heat. Both of these situations can cause a blowout. Even though most of the newer cars have some sort of tire pressure monitoring system, invest in a high quality tire pressure gauge and check the pressure every few months. When checking the pressure in your tires, you'll also want to look at your spare. You don't want to find yourself in a jam and find that you can't use the spare tire.

Air Conditioning

To keep yourself cool in the heat, keep the windows up and the air conditioning running. Sure it's a drag on your car's fuel economy, but it keeps driver and passengers comfortable and lessens your fatigue as you drive. Make sure that you get your a/c looked at on an annual basis.

Paint

It's important to keep your car cool at all times, even when you're not at the wheel. The hot, hot Arizona sun can damage your vehicle's paint and make it harder for you to cool down when you're driving. On the hottest days, keep your interior and exterior cool by parking in a garage or under an awning whenever the opportunity arises. You should also wax your vehicle using a polish that contains UV protection to lessen the damage of the sun and to prevent the paint from fading. Consider purchasing a sunshade. For the price of 2 Starbucks' lattes, you can keep the sun from coming in through the windshield. This decreases drying, fading and cracking in the interior. Plus, you're kept cool when you're behind the wheel.

These tips can ensure that you will have a lot more time to enjoy the nature, sights and sounds that Arizona has to offer. No one wants to break down in the desert. Being proactive now can save you some headaches during the hottest days of the year.