Are you planning to travel during the July 4 holiday? According to AAA, there are some steps you should take to make sure the extreme heat doesn't do a number on your car and your travel plans.
According to AAA Carolinas, you should get your battery, air conditioning and other components checked before leaving on a long trip over the July 4 holiday, as extreme heat causes the water and sulfuric acid fluid mixture in car batteries to evaporate. That evaporation damages the battery's internal connectivity and ability to hold an electric charge.
AAA officials say heat waves over the last two years have caused a jump in roadside assistance calls, battery installations and air conditioner repairs.
Motorists should be aware of just how quickly a car with no air conditioning can heat up when the windows are rolled up. Temperatures inside a car under such conditions can rise more than 25 degrees in fifteen minutes of less.
AAA also recommends you check your windshield wipers for cracked or hardened rubber before setting out. Summer thunderstorms can be fierce and sudden. You don't want damaged windshield wipers limiting visibility in a driving rain.
Check your tires' air pressure while tires are still cold. Look for bubbles, blisters, worn tread or any other weak spots. Take care of these problems before you leave. As heat increases, tires expand. Weak spots can cause tires to blow out.
Be mindful of your car's engine overheating. Check your coolant and anti-freeze levels, as well as your car's transmission, brake and power steering fluid levels.
If you notice your car's temperature gauge rising, turn off the AC, open the windows and turn on the heat. Sure, you'll be uncomfortable, but taking those steps forces heat away from the overworked engine and will buy you more time to find a service station. This is especially important if you're stuck in stalled traffic.
Keep in mind the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Before setting out on a trip, put together a summer emergency car kit. This kit should include non-perishable food, a first aid kit, a supply of water (at least a gallon) and other items. HowStuffWorks has a step by step guide on putting together an emergency kit and what the kit should include.