Under The Hood

The ambient is becoming extremely scorcher and once again, with heat waves hitting almost every region in Nigeria, your car is doing a lot of work under that sun. If you don’t treat it properly and know how to handle an overheating engine your car can quickly turn from a prized possession and daily commuter into elaborate paperweight.

1. If your battery is three years old, consider replacing it as a matter of preventive maintenance. Batteries get stressed in extreme temperatures, and the older they get, the more stressed they get.

2. Have your cooling service checked by a mechanic or the dealer if it has not been looked at in two years. This system is critical to keeping the engine cool and the air conditioning system working right. Let it break for lack of simple maintenance, and it is not cheap to fix or replace.

3. If you are driving, stuck in traffic, the temperature light goes on and you are in the danger zone, turn off the air conditioner immediately and open the windows. If the light stays on, turn the temperature selector to the hottest setting. This will redirect some of the heat that is trapped in the cooling system. If the light stays on, pull over and call road-side assistance. Stop driving. If the light goes off, you should be okay to drive the car to a mechanic.

4. Make sure you have fresh coolant in your radiator to start the summer, not just water. Have the radiator checked specifically for corrosion.

5. Look at your tires. If you have worn or cracked tires, you are asking for big trouble in very hot weather. Not only could you blow the tires, but a blow-out at high speeds could cause you to crash, rollover and possibly hit another vehicle.

6. If you drive long stretches of road on a summer trip, keep a gallon jug of water somewhere in the car. It could come in handy if you have a radiator leak, or you get stuck waiting for help and need water yourself to feel cool and comfortable.


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