How to Stay Safe on the Road During Phoenix's Scorching Summers
As the temperature rises, your car's A/C works harder to keep the car cool. Before going on a trip, check your A/C's performance. Lack of air conditioning on a hot summer day can be dangerous, especially for children and older adults who are especially sensitive to heat.
Summer months are especially dangerous for children when it comes to vehicular heatstroke. Never leave children alone in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Heatstroke in vehicles can occur rapidly and are fatal. Additionally, children's body temperature rises faster than adults, increasing the risk of heatstroke. To learn more about how to prevent heatstroke, visit NHTSA.gov/Heatstroke for more tips and reminders.
Belts and Hoses
High summer temperatures cause rubber belts and hoses to degrade quickly. Inspect all belts and hoses under the hood to ensure there are no signs of bulges, blisters, cracks, or cuts in the rubber. Replace them if they show obvious wear, and check all hose connections to ensure they are secure.
Check for Vehicle Recalls
You can easily check to see whether your vehicle has any safety issues that need to be repaired pursuant to a manufacturer’s recall through the NHTSA’s Recalls Look-up Tool [https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls]
Check each tire's inflation pressure meets the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can find this information in the owner's manual or sometimes on the driver's side door frame. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself.
Additionally, check the tread and replace tires with uneven wear or insufficient tread. Use the penny test to determine when it's time to replace your tires. Insert a penny into the tread of your tire with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you are in need of new tires. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check your spare tire.
Ensure your vehicle has enough coolant that meets the manufacturer's specifications. Check the cooling system for leaks, test the coolant, and replace the old coolant as needed.
Periodically check your vehicle's oil level and other fluid levels, such as brake, automatic transmission or clutch, power steering, and windshield washer. If you see any signs of fluid leakage, take your vehicle in to be serviced.
Have a mechanic check your battery, charging system, and replace any necessary parts. For hybrid-electric vehicles, keep gasoline in the tank to support the gasoline engine.
Check all lights, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights. Remember to check your trailer’s brake lights and turn signals, if necessary.
Check your wiper blades for signs of wear and tear on both sides. Replace them if necessary before traveling. This is especially important towards the end of summer when monsoon season promises to drop lots of rain on the Phoenix Valley!
Ensure that floor mats are installed correctly and fit your vehicle. Use retention clips to secure the mat and prevent it from interfering with the accelerator or brake pedal.