car breaking down

How to Prevent Your Car Breaking Down in the Desert Heat

Arizona’s summer is upon us, which means 100+ degrees on a daily basis. The desert sun is not only tough on your skin, it’s hard on your car as well. Here at VIP European Auto Interior, we would like to give you a handy guide on how to prevent your car breaking down and leaving you stranded in the desert heat. 

Common heat-related issues include all of the following: 

  • Tire blowouts
  • Dead batteries
  • Low fluid levels
  • Brittle belts

If you’re worried about the interior mechanisms of your car, such as the belts and battery, be sure to get them checked out by a mechanic before a long drive in the summer heat.

How to Prevent and Deal with a Blowout

If you’ve even been in a situation where one of your tires blew out, you know how scary it is. The good news is that you can do a few things to help prevent a blowout from occurring. For a full look at the topic, check out our past blog, How to Prevent a Tire Blowout.

The first thing you can do is pay attention to the tire pressure monitor displayed by your car or, if your car doesn’t display tire pressure, check it yourself before driving. Hot air means the air in your tire will expand, thus potentially overinflating your tires. If your tires are overinflated past what is recommended in your car’s user manual, be sure to deflate them to a normal pressure right away.

If you do experience a blowout, you’ll be able to feel it. Your car will slow down and then swerve to one side (depending on which tire blew). You may also hear or feel it under your seat, especially if it’s a rear one. 

To drive through a blowout:

  • Do not slam on your breaks
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel
  • Allow your car to slow down
  • Pull off to the side when you have regained control
  • Turn on your hazard lights

Once you have finished changing the tire or you have called for roadside assistance you can get on with driving to your destination. 

Check Your Vehicle’s Fluids

You can save yourself a lot of hassle in the hot-weather months by monitoring your car’s fluids. Fluids that you should check include:

  • Coolant
    • If your coolant/antifreeze level is too low, it can cause overheating
  • Motor oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Power-steering fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid
    • To ensure your windshield stays clean from all the dust

Replace Your Battery

Summer heat is notorious for killing car batteries, especially if the car has sat for a longer period of time or has not gone on longer drives in a few days. Older batteries are especially susceptible to dying in the heat.

Get your battery tested to avoid any costly service charges if your car decides not to turn on one morning. It is always worth it to be safe instead of sorry, so if you or your mechanic suspect that your battery may be on its last leg, get it replaced. 

Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

If you ever do break down or are stranded in the heat, it’s important to be prepared. You should keep an emergency kit in your vehicle year-round, but adding extra items to it in the summer, especially in Arizona, never hurts. 

A typical kit includes jumper cables, a flashlight, road flares, water, nonperishable food items (and ones that can withstand extreme temperatures), and a first aid kit. You can also choose to add the following, especially if you remove the kit from you car after every drive to avoid exposure to heat: 

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat
  • A bandana for dust
  • Extra water
  • Extra phone charger

Having these things on hand could just end up being a lifesaver, should you ever need them.

Keep Your AC Running

Remember, a full tank of gas usually translates to a full tank of working air conditioning. It’s essential for keeping you cool and comfortable, but it’s also key to keeping your car running efficiently. 

Make sure your air conditioning system is running properly. If your vehicle has a cabin air filter, have it inspected (and replaced, if necessary) so that you can get the most out of your cooling system.

Call VIP European For a Cool Interior

The sun also damages the interior of your car. It can cause colors to fade, leather to dry and crack, and your dashboard to look weathered. If you’re wanting to fully prepare your car for the new season, take it in to VIP European Auto Interiors. Our expert technicians can get your car looking like new again, and protect it from the sun, in no time. Get your free estimate today.