AAA: Summer heat worse for vehicles than winter cold

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Many people think of the winter as being hard on their vehicles, but AAA Central Penn reports the summer is actually worse.

It was a busy day Sunday at Tires Plus along South 29th Street in Harrisburg. Technicians completed several complete vehicle inspections. They say that’s the first step in making sure your vehicle is well maintained during the hot summer months.

“Typically the summer heat takes a big toll on your battery. Heat is very damaging to the batteries. A lot of people think winter is the problem. It’s your heat in the summer,” said Zachary Gray, tire sales manager at Tires Plus.

Have your battery checked out, especially if its more than three years old, according to AAA.

Check your tire pressure because low pressure and heat can cause internal damage and eventually a blowout.

“Other things to keep an eye out for are your fluid levels, oil, coolant. Engines work a lot harder because you’re using your radio a lot. You have a lot of strain on it through the AC system, so the engine is the lifeblood of the vehicle,” Gray said.

AAA Central Penn advises keeping a summer emergency kit in your vehicle.

“Some important things to keep in your car would be things like jumper cables, maybe some emergency road flares or reflectors, a first aid kit, your cell phone charger, a flashlight with extra batteries.”

Other emergency items include water, oil and coolant, and snacks for your kids and pets. You should also know warning signs to look out for.

“You want to keep an eye on your dashboard. There are indicator lights to let you know when the car senses something may be going wrong like your check engine light. If one turns on that you’re not familiar with, check your owner’s manual, or make an appointment to have it looked at,” said Doni Lee Spiegel, spokesperson with AAA Central Penn.

Having your vehicle inspected at can prevent problems and breakdowns along dangerous roads.

“You put your safety and the safety of your passengers at risk in a breakdown,” Spiegel said.

“The longer you put off having your vehicle looked at, is more money you’re losing out of our pocket because the vehicle is no longer going to run the way it should,” Gray said.

You can do the quarter test to measure your tire tread depth. Place a tire in the groove. If you can see Washington’s entire head, it’s time to get new tires.

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