Prepare your car for the summer heat

With temperatures rising and the sun beating down on the roads, the heat could take a toll on your car.

Just like in the winter, when the extreme cold can cause problems for your ride, the summer can do the same. Experts say the most important thing to do to keep heat-related problems away is to maintain your car.

Rob Toney, store manager at University Quick Lube in Hattiesburg, said it starts with your tires.

"As you travel on the highways, your tires heat up, gain two or three pounds, depends on how much driving you do," said Toney.

"If you're riding in the car and have a little vibration or shimmy in the car, could be a knot on the tire, could be a separation in the tire," Toney said. "If the tire tread is getting too thin, you may want to replace it before hitting the highway."

"In the summertime, you need to get it checked, make sure no corrosion on the battery terminals. Keep them clean, keep everything checked up," said Toney.

University Tire and University Quick Lube said it's been busy, with drivers coming by to have their cars checked before hitting the road for vacation.

You can save yourself a lot of hassle in the hot-weather months by monitoring your car's fluids. Fluids that you should check include:

  • Coolant: This is the big one. If your coolant/antifreeze level is too low, it can cause overheating.
  • Motor oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Power-steering fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid

"Keep an eye on your coolant, make sure your coolant stays full and clean,"  said Toney.

"Even with proper preventive maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so AAA recommends every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit."

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