How Does Extreme Heat Affect My Car?

How Does Extreme Heat Affect My Car?

If June was any indication, we’re in for a seriously hot couple of months. And heat can do some terrible things to your car.

The interior, the tires, the electrical system and other components are all susceptible to heat damage. But if you know what to keep your eyes open for, you are able to limit any heat damage and keep your car in good shape longer.

High temperatures damage your tires

It doesn’t happen in a flash, but high temperatures can cumulatively damage the rubber of your tires, drying them out and making them less durable. Hot asphalt increases wear.

At the same time, the heat increases air pressure inside the tires, causing them to wear in undesirable patterns. Over-inflation causes the centre of the tire to wear unevenly, cutting back the life expectancy of your tires dramatically.

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On a string of hot days, check your tire pressure regularly to make sure it stays in the optimal range (somewhere between 32 and 35 psi).

The battery can lose its umph

The battery in your car provides power using water and acid as a conductor. Extreme summer heat can evaporate the water, exposing the lead plates inside your car battery.

When the weather turns cool again, the battery no longer has the amperage to start the car.

It’s not really something you can avoid, but it’s one of the main reasons we replace our batteries more regularly in Ontario than in more moderate climates, like the West Coast.

The guts of the vehicle

The brakes, suspension, wiring, windshield wipers, steering; everything inside the vehicle suffers in the heat in some way.

The best way to make sure nothing degrades to the point of being dangerous is regular service. Schedule a service for your vehicle after a few weeks of summer heat (like right now) and schedule one toward the end of August. Even if you don’t need the oil changed, get it done. It takes a professional inside your vehicle to take note of anything out of place or worn out.