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6 Tips for Safe Driving in Severe Heat

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August is nearly over, but in many parts of the country, September’s temperatures could be just as high. To finish the summer in comfort and safety, heed these tips for maintaining your vehicle in extreme heat.

Seek Shade

If you’re able, keep your car parked in the shade to prevent heat from building up inside. You can also purchase folding sunshades to place in the windshield and rear window.

Protect Yourself and Your Passengers

When you get in the car, open the windows a bit to let the heat out. Take care not to burn yourself on other hot surfaces like seat belt buckles and the steering wheel. Redirect air-conditioning vents as necessary for rear-seat passengers. And take extra precautions to ensure that you don’t leave any kids or pets inside your hot vehicle.

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Keep Fluids Fresh and Replenished

Engine coolant degrades and becomes less effective over time, so make sure you flush and replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. And keep your vehicle running as efficiently as possible in the heat by keeping the engine oil, brake fluid, and other fluids at the right levels.

Check the Battery

Heat can be hard on your car’s battery, so if yours is more than three years old, you may want to get it checked out on your next service visit.

Inflate the Tires Properly

Underinflated tires are more likely to overheat, especially when the pavement is sizzling. So always keep yours inflated at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You should also regularly inspect your tires for wear and damage.

Be Ready for Breakdowns

If your vehicle does break down in the heat, you’ll want to be prepared. Carry an emergency kit with items like water, jumper cables, flares, and a first-aid kit.

Tire Tips: When to replace them and how to maintain them

News Sources: AAA, Consumer Reports