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Heat-related car problems

Hot summer temperatures aren't just dangerous for you and your pets. The hot weather is also being blamed for an increase in car problems.
Hot summer temperatures aren't just dangerous for you and your pets. The hot weather is also being blamed for an increase in car problems.

Prepare to spend a lot of money to fix your car if you end up in the shop with a heat related problem. The most common issue mechanic Jason Isclaw sees is over heating, dead batteries, and shredded tires. The extreme heat is keeping him busy at Cross Tire on Bowman. "This car came in with a battery problem. We know batteries die in the heat. The heat kills batteries, tires, and a lot of other things."

Cross Tire Owner Lelon Cross says the reason batteries die in the summertime is due to heat building up so much it sucks the energy out of the battery. "The battery will just start to not crank the car over as well as it should."

Hot weather causes problems not just under the hood, but the tires fail as well. Cross says the pieces of rubber on the road are not all recaps from truck tires like some people think. "A lot of those are old or even brand new tires that came apart because of the heat."

Drivers can prevent heat related problems by parking in the shade, cutting the air conditioning whenever possible, and staying out of traffic jams. If you are stuck in traffic for a long time, Cross says turn the car off. "In the summertime, the rubber in the belts which turn your alternator and your water pump, tend to crack."

Cross says the heat evaporates cars fluids too. Drivers will notice the signs and symptoms. If your car seems to lose power, or has a hard time with its get up and go, that could be a transmission issue or a warning your car is over heated.

Cross urges drivers to spend a little money now to keep cars in good shape so drivers don't end up with a big bill when something does go wrong later down the road.

Another common problem is if your check engine light comes on, it's not necessarily an indication there's a major problem. Check your oil and water first, or your gas cap may need to be replaced or tightened. Those are quick and inexpensive fixes.

If drivers do find themselves broken down on the side of the road, make sure to have a bottle of water and a cell phone.

A new battery costs around $150 dollars on average.
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