Service King’s Ask the Technician series is a monthly Q&A platform with experienced Service King teammates. Service King technicians encompass the most highly trained and certified experts in the industry responsible for the restoration of vehicles at more than 235 locations in 21 states across the country. This month, The Service Advisor spoke with Wael Bichara, a 14-year Service Technician and current Service King DFW Quality Control Manager about the dangers of extreme summer heat.
The Service Advisor: What about the summer heat poses a significant danger to vehicles on the road?
Wael Bichara: As far as the mechanics of the vehicle, it’s important that drivers check on the fluids, because the heat is very cruel to the engine. We also recommend drivers check the air conditioning to make sure it is working properly, and to check the belts. The summer heat can cause a lot of distortion on the belts.
SA: What steps can drivers take to ensure their air conditioning unit is working properly before the peak summer months?
WB: We recommend checking to make sure there is enough fluid. If a vehicle is low on Freon that means it is going to be harder to cool down. Keeping the fluids at the right level helps the compressor to stay in better shape and in the long run will be much more cost-effective for the driver. We encourage a frequent check up to make sure the levels are correct.
SA: Are there any other areas on the vehicle that drivers should be cognizant of heading into the summer season?
WB: One thing that we always notice in vehicles that have been involved in an accident is that their tires are in bad shape. Staying aware of tire condition is very important because it is the only part of the vehicle that is in contact with the road. It’s extremely important to have tires that are in good shape. I’d say almost 70-percent of vehicles we see in the shop have bad tires on them.
SA: How does extreme heat affect tires on the road?
WB: The heat and sun can cause the tire to break down and crack. There is a lifespan on every tire. If a tire cracks enough, eventually it can split and cause an accident.
SA: At what temperature should drivers be concerned about the dangers of heat inside their vehicle?
WB: Anything over 90 degrees can bring the vehicle over 120 degrees inside. I have seen some vehicles reach as high as 150 to 160 degrees. Especially when then sun is hitting on the dash inside the car; it can get very hot very fast.