Many people love to take summer road trips. Before you hit the highway this year, be sure to have your vehicle looked over by a professional mechanic. Undetected car problems can leave you stranded on the side of a busy interstate. Here are five of the most common summer automotive repairs.
1. Busted Radiator Hose
Every summer, hundreds of motorists in North Carolina experience engine overheating. In many instances, the problem stems from a cracked radiator hose. As coolant begins to spew out, it’s only a matter of time before the vehicle’s temperature gauge begins to approach the red danger zone. There’s a good chance the driver will need to call for a tow.
Before the weather starts to really heat up, be sure to have your entire cooling system inspected by an automotive repair technician. They will be able to determine if any parts need to be replaced. Once a worn radiator hose loses its inner rubber, swelling will soon occur. At this point, driving your vehicle on a scorching day becomes an especially big risk.
2. Dead Battery
Many drivers tend to associate a dead battery with cold weather. While it does take more juice to start a vehicle during the winter, hot conditions can actually put even more stress on a battery. Ideally, you should have your car’s battery inspected and tested every six months.
Before leaving the factory, car batteries are first stamped with an expiration date. Batteries on the verge of expiring should always be replaced ahead of time. Also, try to avoid purchasing an economy battery. Although these units may initially save you some money, they will be more likely to fail. Some cheap batteries don’t even last two years.
3. Malfunctioning Air Conditioner
When it’s hot and muggy outside, your vehicle’s AC system becomes a big source of comfort. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for an air conditioner to fail during the summer. If cold air stops blowing from the vents, you may simply need an AC recharge. This automotive repair involves replenishing the system’s refrigerant levels.
On the other hand, one of the system’s parts may have failed. In the event you hear a hitch-pitched squeal or grinding sound coming from under the hood, a bad AC compressor could be the culprit. Once a compressor’s internal bearings have started to seize up, the only option is to have the component replaced.
4. Tire Blowout
While a tire blowout can happen at any time of the year, it’s even more likely to occur during the summer. The blistering hot pavement often causes greater pressure to build up inside the tire.
Underinflated tires are far more prone to exploding. For this reason, automotive repair experts recommend maintaining optimum air pressure at all times. Manually checking your tire pressure at least twice a month will give you an extra sense of security. Furthermore, never wait to replace tires that have started to show signs of excessive wear.
5. Broken Drive Belt
Your vehicle’s drive belt is extremely important. It’s responsible for powering several of your car’s critical accessories, including the water pump and alternator. If the drive belt suddenly snaps while you’re on the road, you won’t be able to drive too far. Immediate automotive repair is needed.
Over time, a drive belt naturally begins to wear down. However, the summer heat can put an extra amount of tension on the rubber. The best approach is to have the belt routinely inspected. Large cracks, wear marks, and chirping sounds all indicate the need for replacement.