How to keep your vehicle working safely during extreme heat

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We all know the heat can take a toll on us if we spend long hours outdoors, but it also can impact our cars.

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As temperatures near triple digits in the Mid-South this week, the heat can really do a number on your vehicle, especially if you have not kept up with the maintenance.

“It’s been really busy here lately,” Chris Mayor, a lead mechanic at Raleigh Tire and Auto Service Center in Collierville, said. “We have a lot of A/C work to do.”

As the weather warms up, Mayo said the risk for blown tires, dead batteries, and faulty air conditioners is much higher.

“Radiators are made of plastic,” he said. “The plastic expands during the heat, and all that stuff breaks.”

If your A/C is going out, Mayo suggests cleaning out your car’s A/C condenser, located between the car’s grille and radiator.

He said you should also check your car’s coolant level.

“Take it somewhere you trust and make sure you check all your fluids,” Mayo said. “When you wash your car, you want to wash the radiator and the grille area and keep that area clean.”

RELATED: Summer safety: Tips on how to prevent hot car deaths

FOX13 talked to drivers who said they’ve noticed their A/C working overtime.

“It worked so hard, it just went out and is not working,” Harvey with Harvey’s Lawn Service said. “I have to let the window down and just go until I have time to get it fixed.”

Mayo said the heat can dry out and deteriorate your tires and recommends checking your air pressure frequently.

The most important thing you can do is have a plan should you break down on the road.

“It’s good to have a safety kit. Maybe have some water, a couple of umbrellas,” Mayor said. “If you end up having to walk along 385 or somewhere, you’re going to wish you had some shade.”

The sun can also cause your car’s paint to peel and fade over time. The easiest way to avoid this is to park in the shade and use a windshield sun protector.