How Southwest Florida heat can damage your car

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
People under the hood of a car. Photo by Kampus Production.

With gas prices so high, it would be inconvenient to have to put any more money into your car. How can you make sure it doesn’t overheat during Southwest Florida’s hot summer months?

Experts say most car batteries last three to five years, and it’s usually even shorter here in Southwest Florida. Each day of extreme heat pushes the battery closer to its end, and if your car struggles to start up, that’s a sign your battery is weakening. Make sure you keep your tires properly inflated; you can see how much air you need on the inside of your car door.

Experts say doing these things can avoid long-term problems

“Heat takes a very serious toll, not just on us as people, but on your vehicles as well,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. “If your vehicle is not properly maintained, then, you know, with all this heat out there, you might just go out to your vehicle and it suddenly doesn’t start, or your tires get low and you’re driving along and suddenly you get a blowout. All that stuff can really be caused by the extreme heat that we’re seeing.”

If you do end up having car trouble on a hot summer day, AAA encourages people to keep an emergency kit in their car, containing things like a phone charger, water and jumper cables. AAA says it’s preparing for a lot more calls in the next month due to the extreme heat.

“If you’re not properly maintaining your vehicle, then you could suffer something a little more severe down the road that you may have caught early,” Jenkins said. “And if you aren’t properly maintaining your vehicle, then you might have some issue pop up that could have been avoided if you had just taken it in to get a full inspection periodically. So, as we’re heading into the summer travel season, it’s not just the extreme heat, but it’s extended road trips that people are taking. Now is really an important time to ensure that your vehicle is ready for the road.”

Another reason to make sure your car is well-maintained: One mechanic told WINK News that some car parts are taking over a month to come in.

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