Summer heat can be brutal on vehicles, how to make sure yours is ready

CLEVELAND - Extreme heat can push automobiles past their limits, much like the freezing winter weather can. Motorists should be aware of potential dangers to their automobiles by making sure they are summer ready.

"When something really bad happens to it, especially if something like the engine fails or transmission fails because of the heat, then you're looking at a couple thousand dollars instead of a couple hundred," said Safeway Safety Center's Service Manager, Charles Pulaski, as he explained how hot summer temperatures can take a toll on vehicles, as well as on the humans who drive them.

Pulaski said motorists take the summer weather for granted, neglecting the fact that the heat also has a effect on cars much like the winter freezes.

"Wintertime just because of the cold everybody thinks that's when all of the problems happen -- problems happen year round," he said.

According to Pulaski, you should take precautions to minimize your stress, like purchasing a good battery.

"Cold is rough on batteries because it'll drain them but heat will kill your battery. It actually boils the water out of the battery and causes it to fail a lot sooner," he said.

Keeping coolant mixtures of water and antifreeze at correct levels will help motorists avoid overheating, as well as having the belt checked to make sure it's not worn down. Both can be very costly otherwise.

"If a belt fails because of the heat then the water pumps not turning and then you're gonna be stuck somewhere with an overheat problem as well," Pulaski explained.

Of the utmost importance to ensuring your car stays on the road and is safe for travel, Pulaski said you must check your tire pressure often during summer months.

"You want to make sure that your tire pressures are correct because if under-inflated tires run hot and the hotter the temperature is outside the streets are hotter -- it makes the tire run hotter and you can have a failure on the tire," he said.

Even with proper care, vehicles can still break down, but following these steps decreases the chances of it happening to you. Pulaski said it is imperative to keep them running as long as you can the more you take care of them the earlier you catch problems you won't have to pay larger money down the line.

AAA recommends every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle. They said it should include things like water, jumper cables and a first aid kit.

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