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So you gotta drive through the desert. Or maybe it’s not the desert, but it’s summer and it’s really, really hot. Do you know how to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe? We’ll help you out.
We'll cover a few car care tips you'll want to know before driving in hot weather. Everything from keeping your air conditioning going strong to what can happen if you let your tire pressure increase or decrease too much. You might not always cover this information in drivers ed or when you learn about defensive driving tactics, but it's super important so pay attention!
What should you do if you see this symbol on your dashboard? Of if the gauge on your temperature gauge is all the way over to H? Pro tip: it should always be somewhere between C and H when your car is running.
Immediately pull over and let your engine cool. That symbol is part of your temperature gauge and means that your car is getting too hot and is in danger of overheating. This can cause your vehicle's engine permanent damage within minutes. You’re more likely to see this symbol in the summer, so be on the lookout.
If you absolutely can't pull over right away, turn off your air conditioner and turn on your car's heater, full blast. Really! Your heater works by pulling hot air from your engine which can cool your engine down. Note: this will definitely not cool you down, but it could save some pricey repairs on your car!
If you find that your car is overheating when the weather is mild, you're probably looking at a different problem like low coolant levels. This can also be caused by a leak in your cooling system in one of the many parts that make it up, like the radiator, tubes, or water pump.
Another important tip is to make sure your tire pressure is at the right level whenever you're driving in extreme heat. Low tire pressure in combination with hot temperatures can be the perfect recipe for a tire blowout. This is the last thing you want to happen in the middle of a sweet road trip, or ever really. Just another reason why staying on top of your car maintenance is so important.
You should never leave kids or animals in a car, period. But you especially shouldn't be doing this when it's hot outside. Even on a mild day (70 degrees or so), the temperature inside a car can reach up to 120 degrees in no time at all -- even with windows cracked! Keep this fact in mind before bringing animals or little ones on your summer driving outings. The dangers of leaving living beings in a car are literally fatal and leaving a window down isn't always enough to keep kids and animals cooled down.
With these tips, this summer you can be cool and stay cool no matter what weather you're driving in.