| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

I was eating in an outdoor venue over the weekend to celebrate Father’s Day with family. The heat was stifling. At the peak of the afternoon, I could feel the sweat running down my back and pooling around me. As I sat and surveyed the parking lot, I viewed a wide variety of vehicles including an 80’s model Cadillac, a brand-new Dodge Ram pickup truck, a tricked-out Jeep Wrangler, and several Harley Davidson motorcycles. It was an interesting collection. I said a silent prayer that I was not riding my Harley as the heat would have been unbearable. It struck me that no matter the year, make or model or type of vehicle, heat can be brutal not only on your body but also on your vehicle. This article is a reminder of how heat can terrorize your vehicle and what you can do about it.

Heat can break down the motor oil in your vehicle. When oil breaks down, it can create deposits on the inside of your engine which can restrict the air flow into your engine. As the deposits reduce the amount of space for your air to flow internally it can result in poor fuel economy and reduced power. The last thing you need is less power when you are trying to enter one of the highways around our metroplex.

Another thing oil is designed to do is reduce heat in the engine and provide the necessary lubrication to keep things running smoothly, especially with the fine-tuned internal components of today’s engines. It cannot do its job if it is compromised due to the heat.

What Can you do?

Changing your oil on a regular basis is the best investment you can make in reducing the effects of heat and increasing the longevity of your vehicle. Look up the recommended oil change interval in your owner’s manual and stick to the schedule to prevent the breakdown of the oil. I recommend using the severe duty cycle intervals for extra insurance against the summer heat.

Heat has a detrimental effect on the electrical system in your vehicle. Heat can halt the internal ionic reactions needed by a battery to function properly. The impact is that the battery can have difficulty maintaining a charge and reduction of power it can deliver when you need it. Sitting in the heat in a vehicle that will not start can be the worse.

What can you do?

Have your trusted technician to check your battery health at every oil change. Modern equipment can provide you with a read-out that shows the cold cranking amps (CCA) and health of the battery capacity in a percentage format. Change the battery when the health is below the point you can count on it rather than waiting until it will not start will prevent you from being stranded somewhere.

Heat puts tremendous pressure on your vehicle’s cooling system. The specially formulated fluid that circulates inside your cooling system is designed to dissipate the extreme heat generated by the engine. This can cause premature failure of internal components such as the radiator, thermostat, coolant hoses, or water pump, not to mention the engine itself. Our Texas heat dramatically increases the amount of heat that needs to be managed by this system.

What Can you do?

Exchanging the fluid in your cooling system on a regular basis ensures the fluid is performing as designed to reduce the engine heat. Your trusted shop can show you objective measurements on the status of your fluid. A fluid exchange service can also remove contaminants that will hamper the system’s ability to perform. Note that if you need to add some coolant to your system, safely add it to your overflow bottle and use the recommended coolant from your owner’s manual. Tap water will not perform heat removal that your system is designed to perform.

Preventative Maintenance is the #1 action you can take to lessen the effects of heat on your vehicle. If you do not have a trusted automotive shop, check out Christian Brothers Automotive in Bedford, Texas. We are located at 3920 Hwy 121 next to Wendy’s and Exxon. We do a complimentary 142-point inspection at every oil change or repair to keep you educated on the health of your vehicle. Our digital inspections are accompanied by pictures so you can see firsthand how your vehicle is dealing with the effects of the summer heat. Click on to schedule an appointment for service. Your vehicle will love you for it.

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