Oppressive summer heat can take toll on vehicle - KCTV5

Oppressive summer heat can take toll on vehicle

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

This oppressive heat can take a toll not just on you - but also on your car.

And that could leave you stranded in this sweltering heat.

Experts say even in winter, your engine is running at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw in some seasonal stressors and it can just be too much.

Overheating alone isn't going to make your car go up in flames, but it can cause enough strain to leave you stranded.

Gina Urich handles car repairs at Hendricks Nissan and says summer brings a triple whammy.

“You’re using your AC compressor, it’s hot outside, you’re [in] stop and go traffic," she said. "You have all these factors working against you.”

The number one cause of overheating involves your coolant - if it gets dirty, your radiator can get clogged, so air’s not circulating well. A dirty filter can add to the problem.

Besides regular checks and maintenance it can't hurt to keep an eye on the heat gauge and don't wait to see smoke before you find a safe place to pull over.

As for fires, the biggest mechanical causes are exposed wires, sometimes from mice and squirrels chewing on them - oil leaks and fuel leaks - though that's a problem year round.

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