Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Those Car Parts Can't Bear Extreme Summer Heat - Vol.229

Extreme summer heat might not be affecting you from the cool comforts of your air conditioned home, but it certainly affects the life of some of your vehicle parts. Despite being designed to withstand the heat produced from engine in operation, the exposure to constant and intense heat can leave some car parts susceptible to early deterioration or need for replacement. Here are some parts most often affected by extreme heat that you need to carefully monitor.

Car Batteries
Numerous studies have shown that the absolute worst time for car batteries isn't so much the cold of the winter, but in fact the extreme heat of the summertime. Heat evaporates much of the battery fluid, which causes the corrosion to form along the terminals and the connecting cables. If the battery is allowed to operate without the fluid inside, it will shorten the lifespan of the battery and eventually lead to failure. To minimize this problem, you can add distilled water to some battery terminals to reduce the change for evaporation and to supplement the battery acid lost; however, don't perform this replacement before checking with your local mechanic or with your battery manufacturer as every battery is different.

The Engine
Engines produce heat when running, but when the excessive heat of the engine is paired up with an already hot atmosphere, it runs the risk of the battery overheating. During intense summer months, flush your coolant system in replace the coolant currently running through your system. Old coolant can get contaminated and by adding or topping off you car with new fluids.

The Interior
The heat of the summer sun can be brutal on the interior of a vehicle. Any rubber inside the car like steering wheel covers will start to get dried out and begin to tear apart. The heat is also very hard on plastic dashboards. When a plastic dashboard is exposed to intense heat from the sun for long periods of time without protection, it will eventually begin to crack.

Windshield Wipers
Speaking of rubber, the blades on windshield wipers are predominately composed of rubber. During the summer months these blades are rarely used and can start to dry up. The next time you go to use your windshield wipe during a rainstorm, you'll find that they either don't work to keep away the rain or don't work as well as they should.

Gas Lines
When gasoline is exposed to extreme heat, it will begin to evaporate. This process will happen regardless of whether the fuel is in the gas lines or within the gas tank itself. Although this problem isn't going to cause any direct harm to your car, it can be costly to your budget. So if you fill up your car and come back to see that a portion of your gas is no longer in the car after sitting in the driveway a few days, the heat is to blame.

Air Conditioner
The absolute worst time for a car's air conditioner to go out is in the midst of a hot summer day. Heat can impact both the coolant levels in the air conditioner and the pump that move airs from the engine component and into the cabin. Top off the fluids and have your air conditioner looked at before summer starts to avoid problems that may arise once it gets hot.