LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — A long-awaited return to the roads for droves of Americans, combined with record heat, is leading to a staple of the great American road trip: car trouble.
From overworked batteries to underinflated tires, auto experts agree it’s time for motorists to have their cars checked in post-pandemic times.
“Heat can really wreak havoc on the internal parts of the vehicle, especially the battery heat is just very difficult on batteries,” said AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe.
Underused vehicles are also more susceptible to problems from scorching temperatures as well. Tires lose pressure when vehicles are idle — and also in the extreme summer heat.
“During the pandemic, a lot of people have been leaving their cars sitting idle,” said Shupe. “And that’s why it’s really important before you take that summer road trip to inspect your vehicle.”
Shupe says to also pay attention to your vehicle’s fluid levels.
“Fluid levels in the vehicle are vital to keeping the vehicle cool while it’s operating,” he said. “So make sure that you’re topping off all of those fluid levels — especially the engine coolant.”
And obviously, heat can be devastating to more than just your car.
Amber Rollins with Kansas-based KidsAndCars.org is warning about the dangers of children being left in cars.
“Every year, on average in the United States, we lost 39 children in hot cars,” she said. “A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult…you’ve got a recipe for disaster in a very short amount of time.”