It is HOT right now in Colorado Springs. In fact, the local news said just a few days ago (June 20th) that the temperature rose in the springs to 100+ degrees, making it the hottest June 20th on record. When it is hot, everyone knows to keep pets hydrated, ensure the kiddos have plenty of sunscreen, and overall to be weather aware so as not to impact your health. However, not everyone is sure how to keep their vehicle safe from the heat. We hope these tips on keeping your vehicle protected from the heat are helpful, because Fox21 keeps reporting that the warm weather is here to stay, and for quite a while!
- Each week, try and check the level and strength of the coolant. A low coolant level may allow your engine to overheat. Make sure the coolant reservoir is filled to the proper level. Warning: never EVER open a radiator cap on a hot radiator to check the coolant level! Hot steam and boiling coolant may spray out and burn you! If low, add a 50/50 mixture of the specified coolant and water. NEVER put (only) water in the radiator. Water does cool better than antifreeze, but antifreeze is required to raise the boiling temperature of the coolant and to protect against corrosion.
- Make sure the cooling fan is working. The electric cooling fan should come on when the air conditioner is turned on to MAX. No fan may mean a defective fan motor, relay or electrical problem. If this is your vehicle, give us a call to help right away.
- How is your A/C performing? Make sure that the A/C blows cold air and is working properly. Nothing makes hot weather seem worse than a poorly performing air conditioner. If the A/C is not blowing cold air, the refrigerant charge may be low. The system should be checked for leaks before adding refrigerant. We have an experienced team at Perkins Motors that can help if you aren’t sure.
- How old is your battery? Most car batteries will last 4 or 5 years. If your battery is 5 or more years old, start planning on replacing it. Our hot weather here in Colorado Springs is actually harder on batteries than cold weather because it increases the rate of evaporation of the liquid in the battery. The age of your battery can be determined by reading the date code. The date code number indicates the year, and the date code letter corresponds to the month as follows (A = January, B = February, C = March, etc.)
- Put something under the windshield. For a reasonable price you can buy a sun shade for the windshield to reflect light so the interior doesn't get too hot. This approach can help your A/C operate at a prime level when the vehicle is first started, and prevent you from getting a hot seat or burning yourself on hot interior surfaces. Ouch! We have all been there and it is no fun.
- Change that oil. We can’t stress this enough! Replacing old dirty oil with fresh oil can increase the lubrication protection for your engine. Switching to a heavier viscosity or synthetic motor oil during hot weather is a good idea, especially on older high mileage engines. It is also a good idea to check with your vehicle’s manufacturer to determine when to change your oil; in general you are looking at 3K-5K miles depending on your oil of choice.
- Check Your Tires. Check the tire for wear, uneven wear, age cracks or damage. Check the inflation pressure in all the tires, including the spare (never know when you may need it). Under-inflated tires makes the tires run hot and increases the risk of a blowout. Hot weather can further impact your tire’s usability.
- Wax the body of your vehicle. The body should be waxed or sprayed to help shield the paint from the ultraviolet rays from the sun. There are plenty of parts stores such as AutoZone that can help.
- Get some gear! When it is hot, it is always good to have a hat, sun glasses, some bottled water and sun screen in your car so you TOO can stay a little cool as mother nature is going to make it hot hot hot; not just for your vehicle, but for you as well.
These are simple tips, but if practiced, can help your vehicle stay on the road longer and make it safer to drive. If you have ANY questions, just call our service department and we will be happy to answer any and all of your questions (855.832.3022). If you find your vehicle’s paint job is impacted by the strong sunshine, don’t hesitate to call our body shop so they can provide you with options: 719.635.3213.
-Crystal Johnston, Director of Marketing