For many people, summertime means driving time. Whether you and your family have decided to take an extended vacation road trip or you simply need to maintain your daily commuter in searing weather, the extreme heat can make your car more vulnerable to critical breakdowns that require you to call a towing service.
The more awareness you have about how hot weather affects your car, the more easily you can take steps to minimize your risks of a summertime automotive failure. Give special consideration to the following four issues.
1. Summer Heat Raises Your Tires’ Blowout Risk
Even during cooler times of the year, your car’s tires warm up whenever you drive on them. The heat comes from the way tires’ sidewalls flex and bend as the tires grip the road surface. The lower the air pressure inside the tires, the more the tires will flex. Over time, a tire’s sidewalls can weaken until a blowout results.
Summer temperatures can greatly accelerate this kind of tire wear. The combination of heat buildup inside underinflated tires and the high heat radiating up from the road can increase your chances of a blowout.
Since tires naturally lose about one pound of pressure per square inch each month, check your tire pressure monthly and top it up to the recommended range in your owner’s manual, especially in the summer. At the same time, inspect the tread and sidewalls for any bulges, nicks, and other signs of potential weakness. 
2. Heat Can Damage Your Engine Oil
The oil in your engine protects it against the extreme heat from combustion and friction. Eventually, though, heat will cause the oil to oxidize and break down. Hot weather speeds up this deterioration. It can also affect the health of the oil filter and seals, cause unwanted gunk to build up in the engine, and raise your risk for an oil leak.
Check your oil level before your next summer road trip, and maintain the habit of checking it periodically. Watch out for any telltale black spots beneath the car that might indicate a leak. Change the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.
3. Hot Weather Can Shorten Battery Life
Car batteries can provide reliable starting power and general electricity for years at a time. However, the chemical reactions within the battery that make this power possible can suffer from extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer. Extreme heat, in particular, can cause your battery to meet a premature demise.
Watch your battery life and performance, especially during the hotter months of the year. Regular auto inspections can reveal any worrying drops in voltage output. Your mechanic can also check the battery terminals, tighten the battery to keep vibrations from hurting its performance, or replace a battery near the end of its lifespan.
4. High Temperatures Can Overwork Your Coolant
The coolant in your car’s radiator stabilizes the vehicle’s operating temperature range by keeping the radiator’s water in liquid form, from the dead of winter to the dog days of summer. The lower or higher ambient temperatures get, the harder the coolant must work to maintain this safe range.
If you let your coolant get too old, dirty, or low, a summertime drive could pose more of a challenge than it can handle, causing your car to overheat quickly. If you see your temperature gauge shoot up past normal levels, pull over immediately and stop the engine. If you see a coolant leak, have the car towed.
You can protect yourself against this unhappy situation by checking your coolant reservoir periodically and adding coolant when the level looks low. Carry some coolant with you on road trips for this purpose. However, you’ll still want your mechanic to check for coolant leaks or flush and replace dirty, discolored coolant.

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4 Ways Hot Weather Can Leave You in Need of a Tow