5 Summer Car Fails to Watch Out For

Aug 8, 2016

Don’t let the worst happen to your ride this summer. Follow our tips to keep your car healthy in the heat. 

From sun damage to an all-out engine disaster, there’s so much that can go wrong with your car during the year’s hottest months. But if you take the right precautions and follow a little advice from the experts at Team Valvoline, you and your ride are sure to beat the summer heat.

01. Sun Damage

You know what we’re talking about. When too much sun causes paint to fade and leaves ugly spots all over a once-beautiful hood? We’ve all seen it firsthand. It’s a like a painful sunburn for your ride that never peels away. The summer sun can damage your interior too. Don’t let sun damage happen to a car that’s under your care. Use a sunshade and park in a garage when you can. That’s the closest to sunscreen we can think of.

02. Overheating

Overheating? Not. Cool. An overheating engine can turn a relaxing road trip into the stuff of nightmares in no time. Usually, overheating results from a combination of hot temperatures and low coolant levels. Other causes of overheating include having a faulty radiator or a faulty water pump. Your car WILL tell you if you engine reaches volcanic status: warning lights; a rising temp gauge; steam blowing from your hood.

If your engine is overheating:

  •     Pull over, turn off your car, and open your hood. 
  •     Let your engine cool and check your coolant levels.
  •     Check for leaks in your cooling system.
  •     Don’t even THINK about touching your radiator cap!

Until then, keep your coolant levels in check, watch for leaks, and make sure your radiator fan is running smoothly. 

03. A/C Out

It’s pushing 100° outside and your A/C is busted. Stale, hot air lingers around you. Your t-shirt sticks to your back. And your only solace is dreaming of the cool shower that awaits you 45 minutes down the road. Yeah… That’s a particularly cruel brand of misery no driver should ever have to live with. But if you’re lucky, it may be an easy fix. One thing you can do at home is check your cabin air filter. If it’s dirty, replace it. It’s probably also worth the time to get your air conditioning serviced every couple of years. Proactivity prevents catastrophe.

If you’re not so lucky… it could be the compressor. If you think that might be the case, see your local mechanic or car guru stat.

04. Tire Blowout

There’s nothing quite as annoying (or unsafe for that matter) as a tire blowout. And when the summer heat is on, your tires have a much higher chance of blowing out. See, the hot pavement causes the air in your tires to expand, which can alter your tire pressure. Over- or under-inflating your tires can also prove damaging to your donuts. So, as a rule of thumb, especially during summer months, do yourself a favor and check your tire pressure (and tread) often.

You’ll thank us later. And don’t forget - keep a spare on board just in case. We know you know how to change that tire!

05. Engine Malfunction

We’ve covered a few of the more expected summer car issues already. But sometimes, parts malfunction without warning and engines wear down. Fate certainly plays a role in your engine’s life, but if you take the proper steps to keep your car running in the heat, you may save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches this summer. So our final word of advice? Follow your OEM's recommendations and change your oil regularly. Oil is your car’s lifeblood. And checking your oil early and often in the summer can help you prevent corrosion, clogs, poor engine performance, overheating, and total breakdowns. You’re welcome.

Happy summering from your friends at Team Valvoline. 

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Tags: DIY