Preventing Heat-Related Auto Breakdowns

This summer, it seems like a heatwave has been passing through every state. Temperatures have been reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in cities all over the country. So, what can you do to prevent an overheated car? There are several actions you can take to help prevent heat-related auto breakdowns that will help keep you from ending up stranded on the side of the road.

Prevention Tips

1. Battery

A major issue that can occur during high temperatures is your car battery getting drained. This is especially common if your car battery is more than two years old. Too much heat can also cause faster evaporation of battery fluid, leading to corrosion. Be sure to clean any corrosive build up in the battery terminals and cable clamps before driving. This will help prevent you from dealing with an overheated car.

2. Engine

auto breakdownsYour vehicle’s engine works extra hard in the summer and without proper cooling-system maintenance, you could be risking permanent engine damage. It’s important that you have enough coolant. Coolant ensures that your engine, radiator and other internal engine components will be protected from overheating and corrosion. Also, remember not to remove that radiator cap when the engine is hot. Hot steam and boiling coolant can spray out and injure you. Always wait for the engine to cool down before you add coolant or water.

3. Fluids

Before driving outside in the heat, you should check all your vehicle’s fluids, not just the coolant. If your fluid levels are low, they will be less effective in carrying heat away from critical components, increasing the possibility of overheating parts. Be sure to check that all your car’s fluids are at the proper levels, including the motor oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid and transmission fluid.

4. Tires

Temperature changes can cause fluctuation in the air pressure of your vehicle’s tires. If the air pressure is too low and your tires overheat, you can have a blowout on the road. Make sure none of your car’s tires are under-inflated. Check the owner’s manual to see what the recommended tire pressure is for your vehicle’s tires. Some vehicles require different air pressure for the front and back tires.

5. Emergency Kit

In case you do have an auto breakdown this summer, make sure you always have a well-stocked emergency kit in your car. The kit should include water, non-perishable food items, a first-aid kit, basic hand tools, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries and road flares or another emergency beacon.

6. Reminders

Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Hot temperatures can quickly rise inside an overheated car and cause heatstroke or fatality. You should also try not to leave any groceries in your car, as you might come back to spoiled food. Other common items that can melt or be damaged by heat in the car include lip balms and other cosmetics, sunglasses, pens, cell phones and CDs.

Insurance Tips

1. Mechanical Breakdown Protection

AIS offers Mechanical Breakdown Protection coverage for your vehicle. It is available in four levels, including Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze, ranging from most inclusive to the most basic protection. This type of coverage will typically save you more money in the case of an overheated car or auto breakdown and is generally more affordable and beneficial than purchasing an extended warranty on your car.

2. Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance coverage is also offered by AIS. This policy will give you peace of mind when it comes to any roadside emergencies. Most Roadside Assistance policies will include 24-hour emergency road service, towing, tire changes, jump starts and fuel delivery in your time of need.

overheated carCarrying both Mechanical Breakdown Protection and Roadside Assistance is definitely a smart and relatively affordable move. Some Mechanical Breakdown Protection includes Roadside Assistance in the policy, giving you an added incentive to upgrade your auto insurance coverage. These policies will not only help you in situations of heat-related auto breakdowns, but during any unexpected automotive emergencies or accidents.

You can call 888.772.4247 and talk with an Insurance Specialist about adding Mechanical Breakdown Protection and Roadside Assistance to your auto insurance policy. It is the best way to ensure you and your car are protected from any heat mishaps this summer.


This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different from those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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