We had record-breaking hot weather this past year in Southern California! With weather as hot as it has been, overheated automobiles are often a big problem. Here are a few tips taken from Road and Travel Magazine to help you ‘Beat the Heat’!
1. Before heading out be sure you check out the basics, including: oil, transmission fluid, windshield washer, battery level and strength, tire pressure, cooling system, belts and hoses.
2. Make sure you have a well-equipped emergency kit and toolbox.
3. When driving in hot weather it is particularly important to keep an eye on the lights and gauges. If your temperature gauge moves up, turn off your air conditioner.
4. If the temperature light goes on or if the gauge enters the red zone, immediately pull off the road to a safe spot, well away from traffic. Do not drive any further — not even to the next exit. Driving with an overheated engine can cause serious damage to the engine.
5. Do not attempt to remove the radiator cap itself. The hot pressurized coolant will spray out with great force and can burn you severely. Do not pour water over the radiator or engine, since a dramatic change in temperature could cause damage. After the engine cools, add a 50-50 mix of coolant and water to the reservoir to bring it up to its proper level.
6. Even when not stranded due to a breakdown, summer heat can pose dangers. Never leave a child or pet in a parked car. Even an outside temperature in the 80s can quickly bring a car interior to lethal levels.
7. Bring a cell phone for emergency calls.
It's better to be prepared for life's "surprise" problems than to simply wait for those problems to come to you out of nowhere. Take these tips into consideration so that driving this summer can go as smoothly as possible!