By Ben Silver - June 15, 2016
Everyone knows that winter driving and frigid temperatures pose a threat to there car or truck. So we prepare our vehicles wisely so that they don’t end up at a junkyard with a bunch of smashed up used auto parts hanging off of them. One thing we forget about our cars, is how sensitive they can be to the heat of summer. In Denver, we get very hot days in the summer and this time of year can be a peak season for salvage yards because of it. Heat can cause issues with many of the systems of your vehicle, namely the engine and transmission. So, read this blog and get your car, truck, or SUV ready for high temps of a Colorado summer.
Start with Tires
In Colorado, many people will swap there tires when winter hits with snow tires or studded tires. This definitely helps your car or truck handle during the cold days of winter but can be detrimental once the snow and ice have melted away. This is just a reminder to put your summer tires back on now that your car is navigating the hot streets and highways of Denver. Your vehicle will handle better, get better gas mileage, and be quicker and more agile with proper tires. A set of nice all-season tires can be a good option and save the hassle of taking the wheels and tires of your car or truck twice a year.
Your cars cooling system is critical during this time of year. If it’s not cooling properly, your vehicle is at risk of over heating. We sell tons of used engines every year to consumers that had there engine overheat. This is is the most common problem that occurs this time of year that can turn your daily driver into a junk car. Normally, the cooling system should keep your car operating around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, but higher temperatures can cause the coolant to reach sweltering temperatures of up to 250 degrees, increasing the chances of overheating. This is why once summer arrives, checking coolant levels as well as the condition of the cooling components is a great practice for your car or truck. It may be time to have the cooling system flushed to protect the engine. You should do this every couple of years. Check the condition of the coolant. If it looks cloudy or dirty, then it’s probably time to take the vehicle in for a flush. Professional repair shops will be able to quickly diagnose any other problems with the cooling system and suggest replacement auto parts or additional service.
Check the A/C
Air Conditioning systems have a tendency to fail or need service this time of year also. As the weather heats, I turned on the A/C in my car and it was blowing hot air. Fortunately, I didn’t need any major service or used auto parts. Just a simple recharge took care of the issue and I can drive comfortably now. It’s a good practice to run the A/C at least once every time you drive your vehicle and check if it still blows cold air. Also, pay attention to any strange noises or odors whenever the A/C is running. If your car has a cabin filter installed, have it checked as well as cleaned as necessary. If the A/C blows hot air or you suspect problems in the system, don’t hesitate to have it undergo a thorough inspection by a professional.
Time for an Oil Change
Believe it or not, engine oil can help draw heat away from the engine as well. As oil ages in your car or trucks engine, it get’s thinner and is less effective at lubricating the engine and aiding in cooling the engine. Check your owners manual for oil change specifications and be aware of when your next service is scheduled. It’s ok to bump your vehicles service up a month or so to beat the heat. This is cheap insurance for the coming months of a hot Denver summer.
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Ben Silver is the CEO of Central Auto Parts and acting President of the Colorado Automotive Recyclers. When he's not "auto blogging" or pushing Central Auto Parts to new heights, he's chasing his young daughter around the house or tying flies for the next great fishing adventure.