auto repair February 12, 2018

Northern Virginia’s Record High Temps Can Lead to Record High Automotive Repairs

While the heat wave that overtook the Northern Virginia metro areas just a few weeks ago has passed, temperatures are still high enough to make your car cranky. And no doubt we have a few more 90 degree plus days in our future, so it’s good for Burke VA drivers to understand how to take care of their cars in summer so they don’t face big automotive repair issues.

The Weather Channel recently warned that when the outside temp is 90 degrees, your car’s interior can crank up to 119 degrees within 20 minutes, and 125 degrees in 30 minutes, according to this Weather Channel slide show. Top auto safety take-away from this is not to leave kids or pets alone in the car. But how else do these temps impact you and your car?

Extreme temperatures take a toll on several key areas, including with batteries, tires, radiators, air conditioners, and belts and hoses. Heat shortens the life of a battery up to about 30 percent. High temps accelerate the chemical process in the battery, which can lead to overcharging, and as fluids expand and evaporate, battery cells die.

The temperatures indicated above also mean that your car is working extra hard to stay cool, especially cars that may be idling in standstill traffic on the beltway or at other gnarly intersections in Northern Virginia during rush hour. Making your sure your cooling system can handle the heat is very important. If your care is overheating and especially if check engine light is blinking, the engine can burn up quickly. If you are losing coolant too quickly, you may have a leak – likely from a cracked or busted hose attached to the radiator. Hoses and belts are vulnerable in the heat too.

And last but not least, are you staying cool enough? Your air conditioning system is also working extra hard. Do you have enough refrigerant in the system?

It’s a good idea to have a quick check up of these important systems to make sure they are in good shape in hot temperatures. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road in boiling heat and sun. It’s much better to be cruising along smoothly, blasting the air conditioning and listening to your favorite summer tunes.

Visit Wiygul Automotive Clinic’s Resource Center for more on how to keep your car cool and happy in the summer.

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