How to avoid an automotive breakdown during extreme heat

Lifestyle | 19 Jun |

Arizona drivers run the risk of being stranded with an automotive breakdown in triple digits any time they put off maintenance or ignore warning signs. If you haven’t driven your car in a while, now is the time to get out and take it for a spin. Turn off the radio, put the windows down, and listen for any odd noises.


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Your Network of Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals want to help you avoid the most common problems, including:

Tires

• According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, 85 percent of drivers don’t know how to properly inflate their tires.

• Under-inflated tires create excessive heat and stress that can lead to a blowout. To get the most accurate pressure reading, check tires when they’ve been driven less than a mile.

• The minimum acceptable tread depth is 3/32 inch which is about the distance from the edge of a penny to the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, but you don’t want to strive for the minimum during our summer.

Air Conditioning

• If it’s running a little warm, you might be low in a refrigerant or have a loose drive belt. It could also be clogged valves or filters, slow leaks in components or hoses or clogs in the condenser.

• Neglecting minor issues like a leaky hose can lead to early compressor failure, which can be an expensive fix.

Batteries

• Heat evaporates battery fluids, which can speed up corrosion. If your car’s battery is more than two to three years old, you should test it now.

Must carry items in case of breakdown:

• Charged cell phone

• First-aid kit

• Fire extinguisher

• Reflective warning triangles

• Foam tire sealant (but don’t leave it in a hot car or it might explode.)

• Jumper cables

• Flashlight and batteries

• Duct tape

• Gloves and rags

• Water and snacks

• Sunshade and umbrella

The Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) helps car owners find skilled and honest car repair shops. NARPRO only recommends independent, family-owned, full-service auto repair shops that have passed 26 rigorous tests. Visit www.NARPRO.com to find recommended shops near work or home. NARPRO is the easiest way to find an honest mechanic in the Valley.

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