Auto, tire maintenance a must in AZ heat

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Unfortunately, for many of us, the only time we really think about automobile maintenance is when something goes wrong with our car.

But we're here today to try to prevent that from happening.

And we'll start by taking a look under the hood.

First of all, we're going to want to make sure all debris is clear of your intake and your radiator.

This is important because dry vegetation can spark up and lead to a fire.

You're also going to want to check your coolant. Make sure it's topped off and ready to take on those two to three hundred degree conditions under your hood.

But be careful, you never want to do this when your motor is hot.

Third, take a look at your battery.

Are the terminals properly maintained? And if not, do you know the last time your battery was replaced?

Next are your belts and hoses.

In the Midwest, belts and hoses last at least five to seven years.

But in the desert they can dry out and deteriorate within three years.

If that happens, you could find yourself stranded in a very bad place.

"It's expensive to have a vehicle towed," says Ryan LaBlue, manager of Jack Furrier's Tire and Auto on Ina Road near Old Father. "It's hot out, especially if you have an animal in the car, kids in the car, a little baby in the car, Lord forbid and you're stuck on the freeway on the side of the road and your A/C may not work if your belt snaps like that. It's 110, 115 know it could cause some serious injury."

Last but not least are your tires, arguably the most important heat-related concern for your car.

In addition to maintaining proper inflation, you want to take a close look at your tread-wear.

The best way to gauge that, believe it or not, is with a penny.

Using the face of the penny, turn it upside down and place it in your tread.

If you see most of Abraham Lincoln's head that means it probably time for new tires.

A 20-point inspection covering each of these heat-related concerns is included with every oil change at every Jack Furrier's Tire and Auto Care location.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.