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Protecting Your Car in the Sizzling Sun

The dog days of summer are upon us, and like it or not, the hot weather can wreak havoc on your car. Here are 5 tips to help prevent heat-related breakdowns (and costly repairs):

Keep a close eye on your car’s temperature gauge. If the light comes on or the thermometer enters the red zone, safely pull over. Driving even a short distance with an overheated engine can cause damage, possibly leading to costly repairs. Wait for the engine to cool before driving on and do not try to cool the engine quickly with cold water. An abrupt change in temperature also can damage the engine.

Don’t remove the radiator cap. This can cause hot steam to spray out, possibly injuring you. Wait for the engine to cool before adding coolant and water. Better yet, be sure to check the coolant level and add more if necessary before you leave your driveway!

Check all vehicle fluids – not just the coolant. The hot weather can cause added strain on your car’s systems so be sure to check the oil, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and brake fluid in your car regularly to be sure they are at the proper levels.

Don’t forget to check the tire pressure. As the temperature fluctuates, so can the air in your tires. This can lead to possible problems if your tires become over or under inflated.

Never leave children or pets in a parked car. Hot temperatures can quickly rise and become deadly inside a vehicle.

It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit, water and a charged cell phone handy, just in case you do break down. Drive safely and enjoy the summer while it lasts!

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Protecting your car in the sizzling sun