How the Oklahoma Heat Affects Your Vehicle
While most Oklahomans typically focus most of their maintenance energy on their home air conditioning unit during summertime, your vehicle is even more likely to become the heat's next victim.
Before your warning lights toss a christmas tree on your dash, here's what you should be keeping an eye on with little heat relief until October.
Things most affected by the brutal Oklahoma heat.
While most people believe it's the brutal cold to blame for failed batteries, it's the heat that actually destroys them.
In our somewhat southern region of America, you're extremely lucky to get more than about two and a half years of service out of your vehicle's battery. It's just the nature of the beast. In contrast, those living up north in the coldest states average about 5 years on their automotive batteries.
Your tires are the second most at-risk part of your vehicle during the summer months. If you've ever walked barefoot to the edge of the pool before, you already know it. This is where the real value of higher-priced/higher-quality tires comes into play. They may cost more, but you'll have lower odds of an explosive blowout.
The oil in your vehicle is quite literally the lifeblood of your motor. As it heats up, it thins out. That's not a bad thing, it's by design...
Many people think they need to add thicker oil or oil stabilizers to their engines during summer, but that hasn't been necessary since the 1970s. In fact, adding stabilizers or thicker oil to your engine could actually be slowly killing it.
As manufacturing tolerances have tightened up with modern precision machining, thicker oil has trouble getting through those passages. Ask any Ford 5.4 Triton V8 owner. They burned oil by design, and a vast majority of them burned up due to owners trying to fix the issue themselves with thicker oils. Just stay on top of your regular oil change maintenance and you'll be fine.
Your vehicle's AC unit.
Of course, the thing we should most worry about in our vehicle this time of year is the air conditioner, but give little thought to it if it's working fine. It's only when they struggle or stop that we start to let the intrusive thoughts in.
Odds are, if your AC hisses at you and stops working at the stop signs and lights, it could be as simple a fix as recharging your system or spraying out your radiators. If it doesn't work or struggles really hard while you're traveling at speed, the problem could be much bigger.
While they look goofy but windshield sun shades actually do quite a bit to slow the interior heating of your car in the hot sun. It's the same principle as window tint, but for the one window you're not allowed to tint in Oklahoma.
They won't keep your vehicle from getting hot, but they'll keep your dash a lot cooler, which will help your air conditioner cool off more efficiently.