COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The prolonged hot weather in the Chattahoochee Valley has been hard on cars and other vehicles, but a little preventive maintenance can go a long way to make sure drivers don't wind up stranded on the side of the road withering in the heat while waiting for a tow truck.
All drivers and car owners need to keep some helpful tips in mind to keep their cars safe this summer.
With the temperatures in the upper 90's throughout the week, people in the Valley are feeling the heat. However, the summer heat can also harm the cars as well.
"Cars definitely work harder in summer, so it's going to create a little bit of more heat related problems," said Josh Pfeiffer with Epperly Tires in Columbus.
Pfeiffer said the high temperature brought many customers into the auto shop this week, and majority of the customers were struggling with air conditioning problems.
"Many people end up putting their air conditioning problems off during the winter and spring," Pfeiffer said. "And when it gets really hot outside, people start bringing them in to get their air conditioning checked out."
Drivers also need to get their tire pressure checked at least once a month.
"I know people worry about deflated tires in winter time," Pfeiffer said. "But the heat also has the tendency to contrast. Tires will expand during the summer and this can be dangerous."
People should also take time to protect their cars' interiors from the sun as well. Use sun visors to protect your wheels and seats from discoloration.
"Every year, you should always clean the leather seats and condition them," Pfeiffer said. "It's important to keep your leather seats clean and prevent them from drying out in summer. Even if you don't have leather seats, use the visors to protect your wheels from changing colors. It can also help some items you keep in your car, like air fresheners from melting too."
Car owners need to wash and wax their vehicles at least one a month to protect their cars' paint from peeling.
"We have lot of trees here in Columbus," Pfeiffer said. "When berries or tree saps fall on our cars, it's important for people to clean them up quickly. Otherwise, it will end up peeling the paint and damaging the vehicle. It's important to keep the vehicles clean."
Epperly Tires said the auto center sees more customers in Summer and Winter than Spring and fall. It is important for drivers to get their coolant system, air conditioning system, battery and tire pressures checked whenever people take their cars to get their oil changed.