Summer may be a great time for traveling and spending time outdoors, but it can cause some problems with your vehicle. Since you’ll likely be using your car more this season to travel, making sure you know how to avoid issues is essential. As a leading name in auto repair in Houston, Texas, Santa Ana Auto Care understands that no driver wants to deal with car troubles this season, so we’ve laid out the 4 most common summer car troubles and how you can avoid them:
- Broken Drive Belt
Your drive belt, also called a serpentine belt, helps your car run by powering your engine’s accessories. The summer heat can make it more likely for this vital component to break. If the drive belt is broken, it could cause the power steering, alternator, and air conditioning to fail. Typically, drive belts last anywhere from 60,000-100,000 miles. If it’s been a while since your last belt change, you may want to consider seeing a Houston, Texas, auto mechanic to avoid any serious issues.
- Evaporative Leaks
During the heat of summer, your fuel can turn into a vapor which increases the pressure in the fuel tank. This excess pressure is released through the system of hoses and is contained in a holding tank until it is used by your car’s engine. However, when temperatures rise, an increased amount of pressure builds up inside, meaning the pressure-relieving system of hoses is even more important to keep your car running properly. If you have a leaking or cracked hose in your fuel line, the vaporized fuel will escape through the cracks and result in extremely low gas mileage. When this happens, the check engine light will appear. To avoid this common summertime car problem, be sure to bring your car to a Houston auto shop for a check engine light service.
- A Weak Battery
You may know that extremely low temperatures can weaken your battery, but did you know that extremely high temperatures can too? Summer heat causes your battery to work harder, making weak batteries a common occurrence during this time of the year. To avoid this problem, check the battery and make sure all pieces are in good condition. A malfunction in these pieces can hinder air flow over your battery and reduce its efficiency. Additionally, be sure to pay attention to the engine crank on your vehicle. A slow engine crank can be an indicator that your battery is on its way out. If you notice any problems with the battery, it may be a good idea to consider purchasing a new car battery to get you through the season.
- Tire Blowouts
Summer temperature fluctuations between night and day can alter the pressure of your tires and cause under or over-inflation. Tires that aren’t inflated properly are more likely to become damaged or worn, meaning they’re more likely to cause a blowout as well. This problem comes with an easy solution – simply check your tire pressure at least once every other week during the hotter months. To do this, simply purchase a tire pressure gauge, attach it to the valve stem, and compare the reading with the recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual.
These car problems may be common this time of year, but that doesn’t mean they are unavoidable. To help keep your car in top shape at any time of year, give Santa Ana Auto Care a call at (713) 956-1145.