We’re entering the triple-digit heat season in Southern California, and this is the time of year I begin to hear more from customers. It’s not so much that they want to stay in touch, although they like us, but that their automobile, truck, or van is experiencing problems. Part of the issue is that many people don’t shield their car from the intense damage heat pounding down on it can cause. I sometimes feel like a broken record, but I’m always telling customers, “heat can wreak havoc on your car.” They usually don’t pay much attention until their AC doesn’t work, their tires aren’t holding up, or the engine oil isn’t up to snuff.
Along these lines, Lila, referred to me by my long-time customer, Cherry, stopped by the shop. That morning, before getting into her car, she noticed that her driver’s side tire looked odd; it was bulging. In her words, “it looked as if it were pregnant.”
“Have you ever seen anything so crazy?” she asked me when she got to the shop.
“Actually, I have. I’ve probably seen everything that can happen to a car happen. A tire will bulge in this weather if it’s overinflated. The air inside expands as the outside air heats the rubber in your tire. If your tire had too much air pressure in it, that could be the reason behind the bulge.
It looked like a straightforward repair, but while Lila had her car at the shop, I asked if she had time for us to do a quick once-over to ensure nothing else was wrong. I suggested she wait in our Customer Lounge, but she needed a ride to her office, so I took her there. I told her we’d contact her when the car was ready for pickup.
In the meantime, our highly-trained technicians performed our Car & Truck Courtesy Check on her car to ensure that there weren’t any leaks, damaged hoses, etc. I was back on the phone with Lila about two hours later to let her know we had fixed the tire and did a visual check under the hood. She had a co-worker drop her off at the end of the day and thanked me profusely.
“I’m so happy Cherry recommended you to me. You’re the best.”
Although that was nice to hear, I also wanted Lila to know how she could avoid further heat-related issues.
How Do You Protect Your Car from the Heat?
I shared with Lila a few things to keep her vehicle in tip-top shape no matter the weather.
Your car’s air conditioning system needs maintenance too. During the hotter weather, you may find that the A/C is not pushing out the cool air as quickly as you’d like. Get your air conditioning check every two to four years or 20,000 miles.
The engine can begin to show problems as the outside temperatures heat up. The oil you used all winter may be too thick for the summer temperatures. Make an appointment to replace your oil with a version made specifically for the hotter months to avoid these issues.
Many customers find that their car’s battery is a bit crankier in triple digits. It may have problems holding a charge or producing enough power. This may be because the air conditioning, electric sunroof, windows, fans, etc., are in frequently use. Have your battery checked before the hot weather does any significant damage. Tip: Carry battery cables with you.
• Cooling System
Car cooling systems have to work much harder in severe weather. The coolant itself becomes heated, and so there may be engine parts that do not get cooled down. Sitting in traffic slows down the air circulation through the fan, further aggravating the situation. Before taking a road trip, top off the coolant in your car.
• Regular Maintenance
Always follow regularly scheduled maintenance protocol to ensure any issues are detected before they reach a critical stage.
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For the past 30 years, AutoAid has received AAA’s Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Award. Our trained technicians can help you with your car’s air conditioning, brakes, oil changes, engine, windshield, tires, tune-up service, and battery replacement for hybrid or gas-powered vehicles. We provide maintenance and repair for Domestic, European, and Japanese cars. Contact us at 818-305-6632 or visit our website’s appointment page. Situated in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, our 5,000-square-foot facility is near several freeways and major thoroughfares. At AutoAid, we are here to help any motorist, whether it’s replacing parts on your car, conducting maintenance, or answering your questions. We make auto repair easy, understandable, and convenient because we listen to your needs.