Beat the heat with cool car tips

By: Eric Czarnik | Troy Times | Published June 21, 2017


METRO DETROIT — It’s time to deal with summer heat while in the driver’s seat, and auto experts have several recommendations for what to do when the temperatures creep above 90 degrees. 

More than 170,000 drivers in the state could receive a AAA-aided rescue during the summer driving months, according to the auto agency’s predictions.

AAA Michigan Public Affairs Specialist Gary Bubar said one of the biggest troubles that hot weather can impose is battery problems. Batteries older than three years should be tested for longevity, and the heat itself can also wear down battery life, he said. 

Bubar said AAA is monitoring battery-related complaints.

“We haven’t seen a dramatic increase in numbers yet, but we would anticipate that, if it is a hot summer,” he said. “Since heat is more damaging to batteries than cold, we would see an increase in road service calls for battery service problems, which is generally our No. 1 problem anyway.”

Battery problems can pop up both during short or long car trips, he added.

 “It has to do with the age of the battery, the cranking power of the battery, and how long it’s been sitting out in the heat,” he said. 

Besides batteries, AAA says the vehicle owner’s manual should be consulted on the recommended levels for topping off fluids, inflating tires and periods for flushing out the engine coolant. 

Steve Hough, service director at Suburban Toyota in Troy, said it’s also important to take care of the vehicle’s cooling system in the summer. He encouraged people to use a premium antifreeze and get their radiators flushed at least once every two years. 

 “This will ensure that your engine continues to operate within the correct temperature range,” he added.

As for summer drivers, when it comes to keeping cool in hot weather, Bubar said it’s a good idea to bring extra water, or drinks with electrolytes. He said it’s up to driver preference on whether to crank up the air conditioning or roll down the windows.

“They used to say that you were better off with the windows down than using your air conditioning,” he said. “Now they found with engineering improvements and aerodynamics of the newer vehicles, it’s about 50/50.” 

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For more information about Suburban Toyota in Troy, visit or call (248) 643-8500.