Is your vehicle summer ready? If you drive an older car, you’ll want to prepare yourself for common car problems that occur when the temps rise.
Everyone loves summer time. It’s a great time to be outdoors and hit the road to take on new adventures.
It’s also a time when the number of car breakdowns reported is higher than any other time of year. This is more than mere coincidence. The summer heat has everything to do with it.
As you work on getting your summer body ready, ensure you hitch your car onto that bandwagon and get it summer-ready too. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common car problems you’re likely to encounter during summer time. Read on.
1. Most Common Car Problems: Broken Drive Belt
The drive belt is charged with powering your car engine’s accessories. These include the power steering, air-conditioning system, and alternator.
The summer heat could cause the belt to break which in turn means that the components that rely on it to function would also fail. To avoid these common car problems, change your drive belt if it’s been a while since you last changed it. Now is as good a time as any.
2. Tire Bursts
Tire bursts are one of the most common car problems encountered during summer. It’s therefore important to ensure that your tires are inflated properly.
Summer season is notorious for its huge temperature fluctuations. The days get really hot while the nights can get quite chilly. With this in mind, if your tires don’t have the right pressure, it makes them more susceptible to getting worn and damaged.
This creates the perfect recipe for a tire blowout. To prevent this, monitor your tire pressure at least once every week and ensure that the pressure readings are in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
3. Vaporized Fuel Leaks
It’s time for a little chemistry lesson. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it short.
Heat in general causes the liquid fuel in your tank to vaporize. The trapped vapor causes the pressure in the fuel tank to rise. Cars are designed to allow this excess pressure to escape through a system of hoses where it is held until your car engine needs to use it.
This system is particularly important in the summertime to prevent engine breakdowns and extend the life of your car when temperatures are unusually high. If there’s a cracked hose in the system, the vaporized fuel leaks resulting in low gas mileage.
That’s the cue for the check-engine light to come on. This is quite a common problem in used cars. If that happens, your local auto repair shop can sort that out for you in a jiffy to have your car up and running in no time at all.
4. Weak Battery
If you thought that it was only the cold winter weather that weakens your car battery, you’re wrong. The high summer temperatures are no good either.
This is because the battery has to work a lot harder to keep your summer car engine and other car accessories cool. If there’s a malfunction in any of the battery’s components, it reduces its efficiency.
Check to make sure that the plastic components aren’t obstructing the flow of air over your battery. Also, ascertain that all parts of your battery are in tip-top condition. A slow engine crank start could be a sign that it might be time to replace your battery with a new one.
5. Broken Air Conditioning System
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a cool car on a hot summer’s day thanks to your trusted AC. If your AC breaks down, the temperature inside your car can rise to unsafe levels which could be detrimental to your health.
So, check to see that your vehicle’s fluids are at optimum levels and that all the electrical components that power you AC are working well. To reduce the strain on your AC, try driving during the cooler times of day like in the mornings and evenings.
6. Engine Overheating Problems
While it’s not fair to lay the blame on the hot summer weather, engine overheating problems can also be the result of a faulty cooling system. This puts a strain on your engine to sustain a normal temperature.
If you notice steam coming out from under the hood of your vehicle, you need to pull over to the side of the road ASAP and call your local repair shop for help. To prevent this, keep an eye on your car fluid levels. If you notice that your car is draining fluids faster than usual, it could be a sign that there’s a leak in the system that needs the attention of an auto mechanic to fix it.
7. Worn Shock Absorbers
Those off-road summer escapades might be great and all but they spell disaster for your shocks. If after driving on the gravel or hitting a pothole you notice that your car feels a little uneven while driving, sluggish when making a turn or excessively bouncy the most likely culprit are the shocks. It’s a good idea to have them checked.
8. Worn Wiper Blades
You’ll get quite a bit of use out your wiper blades during the spring/summer rains. This will likely leave them worn and damaged making it difficult to remove water from your windshield without streaking.
This could cause a build-up of debris under those nicks or warps on the edge of the blade which may cause scratches on your windshield. That would be the cue for you to replace them.
The Bottom Line
As much as these car problems may be common during the summer, don’t let them put a cramp in your style. If you can avoid them altogether, the better your summer will be.
The last thing you want is to get stuck by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to rescue you from the hot summer sun. Get proactive and start preparing today.
Do you want to get the most out of your car? Read about the 5 most effective ways you can use to keep your car in top condition.