MACON, Ga. — With gas prices so high, lots of people are thinking about protecting their cars and improving gas mileage. However, this week's record-breaking temperatures may be a problem, too.
We talked to several auto repair shops who said they were especially busy this summer. A couple of mechanics talked about how to care for your car when the temperature climbs.
Alan Walker is the store manager at Precision Tune Auto Care in Macon. He says the heat affects your car in many ways.
"Your tires expand during the heat, you got your instrument clusters. Your electronics can be affected by the heat as well,” he says.
Walker says when the air in your tires expand due to heat, it could cause them to blow out.
"If you don't have the tires properly inflated then your tires are causing you car to slow down, causing your car to sway unevenly. It's gonna cause you to use more gas,” Walker says.
He says keeping your car idling in the heat can also cause the battery to overheat.
"If it's straining– even during the heat here– you're putting more strain, you're overheating that battery more which is going to cause it to wear out prematurely,” he says.
You can try to park in the shade and put up a sunshade to keep the heat out, but Walker says only one main thing will keep your car in tiptop shape.
“Maintenance is the best way to take care of your car. Take it to a shop that does care about the maintenance of the car, about the people driving the car, and how the car is serviced,” Walker explains.
"But it's better to check than not because of the heat,” Patty Peed says.
Peed is a regular at Precision Tune. She brought her car in because of problems with the heat.
"Smoke was coming out of the air conditioning unit. We drove with windows down because of the smoke and we panicked, so we came straight here,” she says. “Once he said it was OK, when we leave here, the windows are going to be up and the air conditioning is going to be on,” Peed says.
Donald Jones says he's already had to replace things in his family cars due to the heat.
"I had to go ahead and got the radiator replaced, plus the brake shoe. If it was cooler it wouldn't work that hard, but since the weather is so hot, you got to keep everything up,” Jones says.
Walker says now is the best time to get your coolant replaced and your car checked because it's going to be a long summer.
AAA also says using your AC less and rolling down the windows can save gas.