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CAA Expecting Jump in Calls Due to Heat Wave

June 30, 2011 11:31 AM | News

With scorching temperatures in the forecast this long weekend, it’s not only important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, but your car, too.

CAA Manitoba is expecting a surge in service calls this weekend as the province welcomes its first summer heat wave.

“When the temperature spikes, CAA always sees a jump in our calls for help,” said CAA spokesperson Liz Peters, noting overheated motors, defective batteries and lock outs are the most common summer service calls. “After another grueling Manitoba winter, it’s easy to forget the heat takes a toll on your vehicle, too.”

CAA says prevention is key to making sure your vehicle doesn’t interrupt your long weekend plans.

Don’t let the engine overheat: Because a car’s cooling system works harder in hot weather, it’s important to check all the components: hoses, water pump, fan blades, radiator condition, etc. The level and quality of cooling fluid should be checked and fluid should be a mix of antifreeze and water, according to the manufacturer’s instructions – normally half and half.

Check your battery life: While heat boosts the power of the battery, it reduces battery life by accelerating wear. It increases degradation of the battery grid and separators, as well as increasing the risk of overcharging, which can lead to premature aging of all battery parts. Get your battery tested at least once a year to ensure it can withstand the elements.

“Just like warming up your car in the winter, people tend to leave their car running with the air conditioning on so it’s cool when they get in,” Peters added. “Not only is it bad for the environment and your fuel consumption, but it’s when the most lock outs happen, too.”