Summer is a great time for family road trips and all those camping vacations you’ve been planning to take with the family. As the warmer weather gets here, you need to make sure your vehicle is in top shape before you hit the road There are common breakdown issues that happen for cars in the warmer weather, and here’s what they are so you can be prepared and know the symptoms in case you run into them.

Overheating

Many drivers only fill up their coolant occasionally because they don’t see any leaks happening, but in the warmer weather that doesn’t always mean there isn’t a problem. When it gets too warm, vehicles use their cooling systems more and this can cause weakness in the lines. Driving your car in warm weather can mean slight weeping from a seal becomes an all out leak very quickly. Make sure you top up your coolant before any long road trips this summer.

Engine Failure

This can happen from a number of different things, but one of the common ones is low oil pressure. When the weather gets hot, engine oil has to work harder. As the temperature rises, the oil becomes less viscous more runny. When this happens, it doesn’t lubricate the engine as effectively and it can cause serious damage to your engine or any of its parts.

Tires

When you drive on any given day, the friction between your tires and the road will cause heat so in the summer when it’s already hot out it just makes things worse. If your tires already have wear and damage to them, then heat and friction can just make it worse or completely blow the tire altogether. If you’re planning a long road trip over the summer, it’s important to check the condition of your tires and change any out as needed.

Brakes and clutches

If a component that uses friction to work is overheated then it can cause a change in the surface of that component which will likely change how the component itself works. This can mean it won’t work as well, won’t grip as well or doesn’t allow you to stop as quickly. If these components on you car are questionable then you should check with your mechanic before going on any long distance road trips.

Alternator

Many components to your car work from power from the battery, and the battery is kept charged by the alternator, which is driven primarily by a rubber belt. The belt often drives components like air conditioning and the water pump. When the weather is hot, these two items often work much harder than normal. If the belt is weak in any area then it can snap until the extra pressure. If this happens then it means no air conditioning for your car, but worse the battery probably won’t hold a charge and therefore you probably can’t start it.

Travelling in the summer with your family is a great time: beautiful weather, no school and it is special bonding time with everyone. Trips can quickly go south if you have issues with your car. By checking in on these items early and doing any necessary preventative maintenance you can likely avoid any car troubles and fully enjoy your trip!

If you do end up with one of these car problems or any other perils arise be sure to call the nearest tow truck company to give you a hand.

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