GOODYEAR, Ariz. (3 On Your Side) - S&S Tire and Auto Service Center has never been busier. According to Rob Slagle, business at the family-owned shop jumped 20% in June compared to last year.

"We feel like that was partially because of pent-up demand in March, April, and May of this year," he said. "I think people put off repairing their cars, getting necessary service done. And when they had to go back to work, they thought about their vehicles."

For some, the pandemic has meant vehicles are sitting in driveways and garages. Brad Slagle, Rob's son, says cars that sit idle too long could end up with flat spots on their tires, which could cause permanent vibration issues.

"To prevent a flat spot from developing, do some driving," Slagle suggested. "Just a simple 20 minutes a week really helps out."

Jim Garnand from Neighborhood of Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) says that drive time is also important to keep fluids moving through the vehicle and return some charge to the battery.

"Batteries do not like heat or sitting, and there's always something drawing some power," Garnand said.

Rubber components on vehicles, including belts, hoses, and tires, are also impacted by intense Arizona heat. Tires are susceptible to blow-outs if they've worn through their treads.

Tire tread penny test

According to NARPRO, consumers can easily measure a tire's tread depth by inserting a penny into the groove of the tread with Lincoln's head upside down. If the whole head is visible, the tread is worn, and it is time to get a new tire.

"If your tire is older than five years old, we usually recommend you get it replaced," Slagle said. "The reason is it's not going to be as pliable as it once was when it was new, and it's not going to be able to handle the heat."

The heat and sun can also damage the paint on your car, and it's not just a cosmetic issue.

"It can start deteriorating the clear coat of the vehicle, and then it gets down into the paint. And then you're down to the metal of the vehicle," Slagle said. "It's unsightly, for one. And two, it can eventually start causing rust."

The solution is simple. Use covered parking if you can. If your vehicle must be outside, consider a cover.

 

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