How the Arizona Heat Can Affect Your Car

Phoenix-based Kelly Clark Automotive Understands the Desert Heat’s Impact on Your Automobile

Whether you’re a complete automotive novice or an experienced mechanic, every driver should know that when the temperature gauge lights up, alarm bells should start ringing. As automotive specialists in Phoenix, Arizona where summer temps hit over 110°F, we’re well aware that extreme heat can wreak havoc on cars. And we’re not talking about sunburn! From brakes and batteries to tires and fluids, high temperatures can be incredibly destructive. Ultimately, this translates to poor performance, compromised safety and of course, sky-high mechanic bills.

To help you keep your vehicle in top gear, we’ve put together a rundown of how heat affects various parts of your vehicle, and how to keep your wheels cool.

Wears down brakes

Despite its intrinsic importance, brake fluid is quite possibly the most neglected component of automobile maintenance. When brake fluid overheats it boils in the caliper, which creates gas bubbles within the liquid. This creates a “soft” brake pedal effect which compromises (and in some cases abolishes) a car’s stopping abilities.

Overheats batteries

Without a battery, your car won’t just kick into gear. High temperatures accelerate a battery’s chemical operations which triggers the evaporation of internal fluids. This fast-tracks burnout times, and leaves cars more or less useless. Avoid dead batteries by keeping components clean, and free of corrosion. If you live in the valley of the sun, regular checkups from a professional auto repair shop in Phoenix is also a good bet.

Chews up tires

When summer pavement temperatures soar, tires feel the heat. As well as warmth generated by rolling resistance, hot surfaces amplify stress on tread cracks, bald spots and sidewall bubbles, especially when cruising at highway speeds. The result is accelerated disintegration, or even immediate blowouts in a worst case scenario. High temperatures can also dry out rubber, which increases air pressure and causes the center of the tire to wear out faster than the outer edges. Pencilling in regular tire pressure and condition check ups is the best way to avoid heat damage during the hotter months.

Fires up fluids

We’ve already touched on the dangers of overheated brake fluid, but hot temperatures can also get other essential liquids simmering. If oil burns out, the engine is no longer able to lubricate its parts, which can cause a mechanical seizure. A dried up radiator fluid or coolant supply can get engines sizzling, while transmission fluid, power steering fluid and air conditioning coolant can also compromise overall performance.

Belts and hoses

Even the most sophisticated of modern vehicles still rely on traditional belt and hose systems to transport essential fluids throughout the engine. When these overheat due to temperature or friction, the vehicle’s ability to lubricate itself is compromised. The best way to avoid damage is to visually inspect belts and hoses for physical damage like cracks and tears. Pay particular attention to areas near clamps and connections, as these are the weakest links. In the long run, staying on top of belt and hose performance could save you serious headaches in the form of overheated radiators and engines.

The bottom line? Staying cool is a fundamental part keeping vehicles safe, and running. If you feel any of your car’s components have fallen victim to the Arizona heat, let Kelly Clark Automotive Specialists help. We’ll perform a complete check up on your car, inspecting any possible damage due to Phoenix’s high temperatures, and get you back on the road in no time.