The state of Illinois is a great place to live, but it is also subject to some pretty steep temperature extremes. While winter temps can reach subzero levels, in the summer the mercury often rises into the 90s and above.
With all that heat beating down, you need to protect your engine any way you can. When the temperature rises, your car may begin to overheat, and you should watch out for signs of trouble. If the temperature gauge starts creeping toward the red, it is time to pull off to the side of the road and let your vehicle cool down for awhile. Driving for even a few minutes with an overheating engine could result in serious damage – and a major repair bill. Here are some tips to help your car keep its cool in the Illinois heat.
Pay Attention to Your Route
As a resident of Illinois, you have a head start on summer visitors. You know where the hot spots are on area roadways, and you know the alternate routes to take when the roads get crazy.
Whether you are driving to work or running errands on the weekend, pay attention to the route you plan to take. If you expect congestion ahead, look for alternative ways to get where you are going – your engine will thank you.
Avoid the Warm-Up
With summer temperatures in the 90s and beyond, the last thing your car needs is an extended warm-up period. While older vehicles needed to warm up for 10 or 15 minutes, modern engines do not need a warm-up period at all.
So feel free to start the car and go – your vehicle does not need to warm up, especially when temperatures are already in the triple digits. Be sure to keep an eye on your temperature gauge as you drive and be ready to pull over if things get too hot.
Change Your Coolant
Flushing the coolant is a vital part of preventative maintenance, and something you should be doing on a regular basis. If you cannot remember the last time you changed your coolant, it is time to take care of it.
Having your coolant tank flushed and new fluid installed can protect your engine from the summer heat this year. Ask your mechanic to flush the tank now, before the Illinois summer starts to heat up.
Driving an overheating car is bad for you and the engine, so keep a close watch on your heat gauge as you drive this summer. If the car starts to overheat, do not wait. Pull over immediately and call for a tow truck. Prompt action can prevent severe engine damage and keep you protected.