Increasing heat can cause car problems

Posted: Updated:
By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler

TEMPE, Ariz. -- People around the Valley aren't the only ones feeling the heat now that summer has started - cars are more susceptible to wear and tear as temperatures rise. Tires and batteries can both be damaged by the heat and air conditioners see extra work.

Glen Hayward of NARPRO said that while most car air conditioners only need to be checked once a year, those in hot climates like Arizona should be looked at twice yearly instead.

"These systems run 11 months out of the year, minimally," Hayward said. "Even in the cold months we find ourselves turning the A/C on because the interior of our car gets hot from the sun beating through the window."

Hayward said that cars getting warmer while idling is a warning sign that the air conditioner needs to be taken in for maintenance.

While keeping a functioning air conditioner is important for comfort, maintaining tires is vital for safety behind the wheel, according to Hayward. Worn down tires are more prone to dangerous blowouts.

"Blowouts can cause severe accidents or even deaths," Hayward said. "Tires are being sold in some tire shops that are up to 15 years old."

Tires wearing out unevenly  at either or both edges are a sign of under inflation or an alignment issue. Hayward recommends getting tires rotated every other oil change and paying attention to the inflation and alignment while the tire is being rotated.

Hayward said that heat can also cause batteries to corrode faster, which can result in dead batteries. Batteries that ventilate through their sides rather than their top are less likely to fall victim to this variety of corrosion.