Oklahoma's Extreme Heat Brings Unexpected Car Problems

Sunday, July 24th 2011, 5:02 pm
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The heat wave is affecting nearly everything across the state and that includes our cars and trucks, with many of them overheating.

Danial Karnes of AAA says the summer heat can do a number on your vehicle, from cracked hoses and belts to evaporating the fluids in the engine. The sad reality is you typically don't have much of a warning; your engine just stops working.

"It's usually one of those things that when it happens it has happened," Karnes said.

The heat has AAA's emergency services team spending a lot of time on the road. Technicians say the number one problem they've seen are dead batteries. That's because the temperature under your hood is hotter than you think.

"If it's 90-degrees outside and you haven't driven your car, it's still going to be about 140-degrees underneath your hood, and the heat evaporates the chemical mixture inside the battery," said Felix Lee of AAA Emergency Services.

Mechanics at the Firestone Auto Care are also just as busy. They say besides battery problems, they're seeing a lot of vehicles with broken air conditioners. They're advice--don't blast your A/C when you first get in the car.

"It's gets hot in the car sitting out there locked up and then people trying to get back in them, wanting them to cool off faster. It's just hot, you got to roll down the windows let it cool off first, then roll up the windows and use the A/C," said Chuck Zachariae of Firestone Auto Care.

Bottom line--look out for the small things especially as the mercury rises. You don't want to be stuck on the side of the road in 100-plus degree temperatures.

The experts say it's important to check your hoses and belts before you leave your home. They also say it's a good idea to have an emergency contact number with you just in case something should go wrong.