Summer Car Problems and How to Avoid Them
Make Sure Summer Doesn’t Cause Your Auto Issues
In the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, we hear the lyrics “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy” crooned out. The idea is that the crops are ripening, and overall life is good. All is good until your vehicle breaks down because of the intense heat, of course.
We have rounded up the 7 most common problems that you will experience during the summer. Many of them are inconveniences, but some, if not addressed, can lead to an accident. If that’s the case, then you know the best auto body repair shop in Billings where we would love to work on your vehicle.
Gasoline, like other liquids, tends to vaporize when it gets warmer. This isn’t really a big issue, as modern vehicles have methods to trap the vaporized gas and allow it to condense back into the tank overnight when it’s colder. The problems occur, however, when you have a small leak.
You will notice the leak in two ways. One, your fuel efficiency will go down. Two, your check engine light will come on. Your first order of business is to make sure your gas cap is tightened; a loose gas cap can cause an error.
Underinflated and Overinflated Tires
Here in Billings we can hit 95 in the day, and 60 overnight. That large fluctuating temperature can lead to serious problems as the pressure inside changes. Driving on underinflated tires can cause the rubber and other components to stretch beyond what they were intended to do, resulting in a blown tire and a potential wreck.
Make sure that you regularly check your tire pressure to ensure they are within the normal limits (pressure guide is found on the inside of the driver’s door jamb). You will especially want to monitor before, during, and after a long trip.
Your serpentine belt is responsible just about all of the auxiliary functions of your vehicle. From the AC, to the alternator, to the power steering and more. When it breaks, you are pretty much going to be stranded. It is recommended that you have it changed every 60k – 100k miles, so if you’re near there you might want it inspected; especially for a road trip.
Your car battery is a marvel in itself. But the battery hates extreme temperatures. Cold weather is hard on the battery, and so is hot weather. The older your battery is, the more strain it’s going to take when these extreme temperatures hit. They simply wear down and can’t function as well.
Batteries should last about 5 years, and sometimes can make it 7. The good news is that you can take your vehicle to just about anywhere that sells vehicle batteries, and have it tested to see how close to depletion it really is. When buying a new one, don’t forget the core fee.
Summertime living may be easy, but along with the heat comes the smells. You don’t even have to spill food or drink in your vehicle to have it start to stink. A little bit of moisture can lead to mildew and a musty old smelling car.
Fortunately, smells are usually easy to take care of. You certainly should have your vehicle detailed a couple of times each year. And replacing the cabin air filter can alleviate some smelly air pains.
Vehicles run on tiny explosions. In the winter, that’s not a big deal. In the summer, the engine heats up really fast, and it stays hot for a long time. Even just sitting there in the sunshine it can get over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Overheating is usually an issue with the radiator. If you overheat, you have to cool things down, and almost always a mechanic is going to have to help you solve the issue. Learn what to do if you overheat.
Failing Air Conditioner
The AC was first used in vehicles back in the 1930’s. But it wasn’t until the 50’s and 60’s that they picked up in popularity, and they didn’t really become mainstream in vehicles until the 70’s. The point being, you can drive without an air conditioner… but it’s not comfortable or pleasant.
The AC conking out is usually one of two issues: the condenser or the coolant. There are DIY coolant recharge systems out there, but most mechanics recommend against this method.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Vehicles
Whether you blow a tire, hit a deer, collide with a vehicle, or run off the road, we know that accidents happen. It’s our goal to restore your vehicle to full factory safety specifications.
Give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we can schedule you a time to restore your vehicle.