Risks Drivers Should be Aware of While Dealing with High Temperatures

Phoenix, Arizona has been experiencing dangerously high temperatures this year. For the months of May, June and July of 2023, average temperature exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Last week, the city experienced 110 degrees for a 19th consecutive day.

As we go about our daily routines when outdoors, touching everyday objects can potentially burn a person’s skin. This includes touching parts of a motor vehicle; a car hood, a car door handle, a car seat belt buckle, etc.

It’s essential for car owners to be aware of the significant impact that extreme heat can have on their vehicles. While many people focus on staying cool and hydrated during heatwaves, we must not overlook the potential dangers that the intense heat poses to our vehicles and, consequently, to our safety on the roads.

Tire blowouts

One of the most common issues during hot weather is tire blowouts. High temperatures can cause the air inside the tires to expand, leading to an increased risk of tire failures. Proper tire maintenance and checking tire pressure regularly are crucial steps to prevent blowouts.

Engine Overheating

Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can strain the engine and cooling system, potentially leading to engine overheating. Regularly inspecting coolant levels and ensuring the cooling system is in optimal condition can help prevent this problem.

Battery Failure

Car batteries are more prone to failure in hot weather due to the increased chemical activity.

Car batteries use a combination of water and sulfuric acid as electrolyte fluids. These fluids are essential for the battery to function properly. Over time and under certain conditions, the water in the battery can evaporate, leaving the acid more concentrated. This can happen due to the heat generated during the battery’s operation or exposure to high temperatures in the engine compartment.

Drivers should check the battery regularly and keep an eye on any signs of weakness, such as slow engine cranking or dashboard warning lights. Have a certified technician test your battery. Openbaycan help find a certified technician nearby that can help.

Air Conditioning Issues

The demand on the car’s air conditioning system is significantly higher during hot weather. Overworked A/C units may fail or blow warm air, leaving drivers uncomfortable and distracted while driving. Here is a list of common air conditioning issues and what to do about them:

Lack of Cold Air:

If your car’s air conditioner is blowing warm or mildly cool air instead of cold air, it could be due to a few reasons:

  • Low Refrigerant: The most common cause is a refrigerant leak. Low refrigerant levels prevent the system from cooling the air effectively.
  • Compressor Issues: The A/C compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant. If it’s faulty, the A/C won’t work correctly.
  • Clogged Condenser: The condenser can become clogged with dirt and debris, hindering the cooling process.
  • What to do: Take your car to a certified mechanic who can diagnose the problem and fix the issue. They may need to recharge the refrigerant or repair/replace the compressor or condenser.

Strange Noises:

Unusual noises when the A/C is running can indicate various problems, such as:

  • Squealing or Screeching: This might be due to a worn-out serpentine belt.
  • Hissing or Bubbling: This could be a sign of a refrigerant leak.
  • Clicking or Clunking: It might indicate a failing A/C clutch or other components.
  • What to do: If you hear any odd noises from the A/C system, have it checked by a professional technician to identify and resolve the issue promptly.

Foul Odors:

A musty or moldy smell when you turn on the air conditioner could be a sign of:

  • Mold or Mildew: Moisture can accumulate in the A/C system, leading to the growth of mold or mildew on the evaporator core.
  • What to do: Consider having your car’s A/C system cleaned and sanitized. A mechanic can use specialized cleaning products to remove mold and eliminate odors.

As temperatures soar, drivers must be mindful of the impact that very hot weather can have on motor vehicles. Tire blowouts, engine overheating, battery failure, and air conditioning issues are just a few of the risks that drivers may encounter.

Proper preparation and maintenance can help mitigate these risks and ensure a safer driving experience. Remember, safety should always be a priority, especially in challenging weather conditions like extreme heat.

Other articles:

Brought to you by Openbay — get matched with a local professional that can service your make of vehicle at discounted prices.



Openbay - automotive repair & service marketplace

Online automotive repair and maintenance service marketplace; receive multiple competitive price estimates, book your appointment, history saved online.