Motorists need to watch the heat

By Allison C. Gallagher -

MIAMI COUNTY — Mid-summer is now here, and with it comes a high heat index. The heat can affect cars, which motorists need to keep an eye on.

Area Supervisor for Grismer Tire and Auto Service Center Scott Mullinger said car batteries need to be paid attention to avoid any corrosive build-up.

“Clean any corrosive build up from the battery terminals and cable clamps, and make sure the clamps are tight enough that they won’t move,” he said.

Over time, engine coolant can become contaminated and its protective additives are depleted, which is why the system should be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

“Older coolants used to require changing every two years or 24,000 miles, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles,” he said. “The owner’s manual or maintenance booklet can help you determine the best time to change the coolant.”

Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper levels by checking the overflow reservoir.

Driving on under-inflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high.

Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer—not the number molded into the tire sidewall.

“The recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb,” he said. “Some vehicles use different pressures for the front and rear tires.”

Mullinger said air conditioner usage increases because of the necessity in using them. Maintaining a comfortable driving environment reduces fatigue, which can play an important part in driver alertness and vehicle safety.

“If a car’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it did in the past, it may mean the refrigerant level is low or there is another problem,” he said. “Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician.”

By Allison C. Gallagher

Reach Allison C. Gallagher at or on Twitter @Troydailynews.

Reach Allison C. Gallagher at or on Twitter @Troydailynews.