Don't let the heat put the brakes on your car - Tucson News Now

Don't let the heat put the brakes on your car

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Nothing like the first 100-degree day of the year to get everyone thinking about our cars.

Here in the desert, it's a good idea to check your car before summer starts.

Jason Quirk is the service manager at MPG Automotive.

Here's how he put it.

"Well, when it gets this hot, cars really start breaking," he said. "We find the weak points in cooling systems, air conditions, tires."

The one thing most of us care about inside the car is the air conditioning.

"You want to be between 50 and 55 degrees. That pretty normal for a new vehicle," Quirk said. "Older vehicles not so much--around 60 degrees is going to be about as good as it's going to get."

Outside the car, there's a lot to consider.

Why do you want to use a sunshade?

Just feel your windshield.

"The thing that I can say that you can maintain in the summer would be windshield wiper blades because we're going to have our monsoon," he said.   

Checking under the hood is important too.

There are lots of things there that don't really like the heat.

"Make sure you check your belts, your hoses," he said. "Check your air pressure in your tires, your spare. The spare tire is a big important thing because during the summer months everybody's going on vacation and nobody's going to to realize that their spare doesn't have any air in it until they're on the side of the road between here and San Diego."

"Check all your fluids, oil, coolant,"he said. "If you're going long distance, check your washer fluid. It might not seem like an important thing, but if you're driving through Yuma and you got bugs all over your windshield, you're going to need it."

He said batteries last only a few years here in the desert, not because of the heat, but because of the extreme temperature swings we can have from day to day.

As Quirk said, you want to sure your tires are properly inflated to save gas and the tires.

Just open the driver's side door and look at the label there.

"It's going to give you the front, the rear and also the spare," said Quirk.

Older tires don't do well in the desert because of the dry climate.

Quirk said the damage is called dry-cracking.

"No matter the brand of the tire it's going to happen whether you have an RV, a trailer, a car or a truck. Tires typically last in Tucson, Arizona, 3 to 4 years."

When you buy your tires for the desert, Quirk said to go for the "A" temperature rating.

"They have different temperature ratings. You have "A" and "B" and for here in the state of Arizona, you always want to run an "A" temperature rating," Quirk said.

Quirk advised we should check our tire pressure at least once a month.

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