3 Automobile Safety Tips for Extreme Heat

The extreme summer heat in the desert can take a toll on everything in the environment, including your car. A breakdown or flat tire without a spare can turn a day's adventure into a hazardous situation if you have not taken steps to prepare your car and yourself for the possibility.

Of course, it's best to prepare your car to lessen the chances of a breakdown but it is wise to be prepared in either case. Follow these tips for driving in extreme heat and protect yourself in the event of a breakdown.


1. Under the Hood Preparation   

It is always a good idea to check the fluids in your car. Brake fluid, oil, and antifreeze can evaporate or leak over time. If any of these fluids get too low, your car’s engine may be damaged. You should frequently check your fluids as part of your normal car maintenance routine.

In times of high heat, it's crucial that these fluids are kept at the correct levels, especially coolant. Your engine needs to be cool enough to keep running and not overheat. The cooling system keeps the engine cool even when outside temperatures are hot. An overheated engine on a hot day may leave you stranded on the side of the road for hours.

Check your battery. Most people know that extreme cold can drain the charge out of a battery, but you may not know that extreme heat can also sap power. Whether the temperature is hot or cold, a dead battery can leave you stranded in adverse conditions.

It is also a good idea to be sure that your air conditioning system is in good working order before hitting the open road on a hot day. Even with the windows open, the interior of a car can heat up very quickly if you're not moving.  Air conditioning will be even more important if you're transporting fur-covered pets or young children in your car. Both pets and kids will overheat faster than the adult who's driving the car. Even if you're not too uncomfortable, it may be hot enough to be dangerous to your smaller traveling companions.


2. Exterior Car Preparation   

You may not be able to do anything about the fact that the door handles on your car get too hot to touch on blistering sunny days other than having something available to protect your hands, but you can take steps to prevent your tires from being damaged by the heat.

Under-inflated tires will get hotter while you drive than those that are inflated to the proper pressure. If the air inside the tires gets too hot, it will expand, possibly leading to a blowout. Even if that doesn't happen, under-inflated tires are more likely to unexpectedly go flat on you. Take the time to check your tire pressure before you head out.


3. Interior Car Preparation   

There are many items you need to carry with you in your car in order to protect yourself and your car when driving in extremely hot conditions.  

  • Emergency Kit or First Aid Kit: This should not only include first aid supplies like bandages, antiseptics, and painkillers also but enough drinking water for everyone in the car and nonperishable food items.

  • Spare Tire and a Complete Jack Set: Before leaving, check the condition of your spare and make sure you have all of the necessary pieces of the jack. It would also be helpful for you to take the time to learn how to use the jack and change the tire if the need arises.

  • Coolant or Water for the Engine: A few gallons of water or some extra coolant can prevent you from being stranded if your car overheats.

  • Window Shades: Having shades to block out the sun’s rays can keep the interior temperature of your car significantly cooler.

  • A Blanket: On hot days a tent made out of a blanket may prevent you from getting heat stroke. Once the sun goes down, the desert quickly cools off. You can use the blanket to keep warm.


Dealing with Hot Cars and Hot Weather in Your Liv Community   

We, the proprietors of your Liv community, know just how dangerous the hot weather can be. We ensure that our landscaped grounds provide ample shade as well as maintain a beautiful pool which is always a good way to beat the heat. Of course, you could always stay indoors and enjoy the central air conditioning system. If you must travel during the heat of the desert summer, we encourage you to follow the above-mentioned tips to keep yourself safe.

To learn more about the advantages of living in a Liv community, contact us today.

Man with sunglasses driving a car in the heat