Intense heat can cause vehicle damage

July 25, 2013 12:00 AM

After a brutal heat wave enveloped much of the nation, many drivers around the U.S. are ready to enjoy the slightly more tolerable temperatures. However, all motorists should be aware of the dangers hot weather can bring to cars so they can adequately prepare for the next scorching day. 

"Prolonged exposure to high temperatures is not only a threat to passengers, but a vehicle concern as well," said John Nielsen, managing director of automotive engineering and repair for AAA. "Knowing the dangers and preparing your vehicle for extreme heat can help keep your vehicle running smoothly during the hot summer months." 

Perhaps the most important thing you need to pay attention to is the engine, as overheating can cause a number of problems. To keep the motor cool, make sure the coolant is at the right level and the engine maintenance is up to date. Taking a car in for a tune up, when a professional checks and flushes the system, is a simple and effective way to ensure an engine stays cool. 

Another area that needs attention is the car air conditioning service. Controlling the temperature of your car's interior is important for more than just your personal comfort, as a faulty feature could be a sign of more severe problems. The refrigerant may be low or there could be an electric issue somewhere under the hood. 

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