Help your car stand the heat

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published July 6, 2015

When temperatures climb into the 90s and triple digits, prepared drivers with properly maintained cars are less likely to lose their cool.

According to Al Laity, service director at Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge, auto owners should make sure that they or a qualified mechanic check several car components in order to keep the vehicle humming through the summer.

First of all, to prevent the car engine from overheating, make sure the cooling system is in good shape. Check the condition of the engine’s belts and hoses.

“When it gets hot, it puts the car under a lot of stress,” Laity said.

A cooling system needs quality antifreeze and periodic flushes, Laity said. He said some vehicles require a flush once every 50,000 miles while others require one once every 100,000 miles.

“Take it to a trained professional,” he said. “Have them look at it and make a judgment call for you.”

Laity said an air conditioning system requires Freon to run as well as a cooling fan that should turn on when the system is activated.

When a car is being inspected, a drain that is supposed to remove condensation buildup should also be checked, he said. Sometimes, that drain can get plugged up with dirt and cause water to back up into the car, he said.

Rob Newman, owner of Car Guys Auto Center in Fraser, said there isn’t really much maintenance involved with air conditioning — it either works or it doesn’t. However, he said when the A/C is not functioning, the reasons could range from a very slow Freon leak to needing to replace an evaporator or an A/C compressor.

“It can get very costly,” he said.

Newman also suggested that people take good care of their cooling system since car engines can undergo “catastrophic damage” if something goes wrong and they overheat.

He added that the repair costs in such cases could reach thousands of dollars.
“It only takes one time,” he said.

Newman recommended that car owners get their vehicles inspected before going on any summer vacation.

Learn more about Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge by visiting www.rochesterhillschryslerjeep.net or by calling (248) 652-9650. Find out more about Car Guys Auto Center, 32639 Groesbeck Highway in Fraser, by visiting www.carguysautocenter.com or by calling (586) 285-4444.