Top Five Reasons Cars Break Down in Hot Climates

By Dale Bertram - July 6th 2012

I just read a report listing the top reasons for car breakdowns in Arizona, which happen to be the same exact problems we see when cars are towed to our Phoenix shop.

The Fuel Pump
With the high cost of fuel these days, people are waiting until they hear the “beep” to add gasoline. This is causing a lot of fuel pumps to fail. When you go below a quarter of a tank, the fuel pump is not completely submerged in fuel. This causes undue heat to be generated since the fuel acts as a coolant. We recommend keeping more than a quarter of the tank full and changing the fuel filter about every 30,000 miles to keep your pump healthy.

Our heat in Phoenix absolutely destroys batteries, so we always recommend testing your battery twice a year. When you have it tested, you have a better chance of replacing it when it is weak instead of having it break down and completely fail. When we service vehicles, we also clean the terminals because buildup on the terminals weakens their strength.

Radiators and Transmissions
The desert heat will wipe them out. The engine has a gauge in the dash so you can monitor its temperature, but most cars and trucks do not have a transmission temperature gauge. Fluids are literally the life blood of your vehicle and we recommend fluid exchanges to give your radiator and transmission a long life. Using the correct fluid at the correct levels is vitally important.

Hoses and Belts
We inspect hoses and belts to make sure they don’t feel brittle or mushy or are cracked, frayed, or bulging. We also recommend replacing them according the manufacturer’s suggestion.

Keeping tires rotated and replacing them when they lose tread is very important safety concern. Keeping them properly inflated extends their life!

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