How to protect your vehicle as temperatures rise in Central California

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) – To ensure your vehicle is prepared for the heat, there are several steps you should take.

Knowing the signs of overheating and what to look for can also help you avoid breakdowns.

“The most important thing is the gauges. They're in your car for a reason. Make sure they work,” says AJ Rivie, who has worked at Miller's Automotive in Visalia for four years.

He says that in summer the number of tourists increases because cars overheat and there are other problems due to the heat.

However, there are measures to prevent this.

“Check your belts, check your hoses, make sure you have the right amount of coolant, oil and transmission fluid. Check it regularly. Check it once a week because that 30 seconds you held out could save you thousands of dollars,” AJ explained.

Leaving electronic devices in the car can also be dangerous.

Water bottles left in direct sunlight can also pose a fire hazard, as the magnifying effect can set upholstered furniture or a piece of plastic on fire within minutes.

But the most important thing is: never leave your pets or children in the car – not even for a short time.

'Oh, it's OK, the AC is on.' No, it doesn't work that way. Because if something were to happen and the AC was turned off, the kid would boil and that's not something a parent wants to experience. So be careful when your kids are in your car and it's 100 degrees,” AJ mentions.

When exposed to direct sunlight, vehicles can heat up to over 40 degrees and reach life-threatening temperatures within minutes.

Anthony Riojas travels about 160 kilometers every day for work.

He says that, among other things, he keeps water handy, uses a windshield sunshade and parks in the shade to protect his car from the heat.

“Make sure you get in, turn on the air conditioning and roll down the windows. This will allow fresh air to circulate, as opposed to the air that has been heating up in your car all this time,” Anthony said.

“It's very important to do the maintenance, double check these things beforehand and try to avoid a crisis where you either lose your vehicle or your life.”

Experts also point out that you should make sure that whatever you install in your vehicle is suitable for the make and type.

It is also best not to leave anything, such as food or makeup, in a hot car.

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