Consumerwatch: Cars and heat
Published Monday, July 2, 2012 12:50PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, July 3, 2012 9:57AM CST
Winnipeg is in the grip of a heat wave this week, with temperatures forecast to hold strong around 30 C all week.
Winnipeggers get constant reminders to keep pets, children and seniors safe from the heat – but at least one auto expert says that’s not the only thing you should be keeping your eye on.
A recent survey found more than 60 per cent of Canadians plan to take a road trip this summer – and safety on that road trip may start with heat-proofing your car.
David Budge is the shop foreman at Landau Ford. He says the number one mistake made by drivers is not providing the engine with enough coolant.
“An overheated engine can fail the head gaskets – a minimum $2,500 bill,” said Budge.
Budge said drivers should check under the hood or in their owner’s manual to determine which type of coolant to buy.
“A long life coolant could go as long as 160,000 kilometres. A standared coolant could be 50,000 kilometres,” said Budge.
And while you’re under the hood, don’t forget about your air filters, said Budge.
“If that filter becomes plugged, it may degrade your air conditioning performance,” Budge said.
Often people will go to a shop to find out what’s wrong with their air conditioner.
“You go to an air conditioner repair shop, and they will charge you $100 to test it, where all you need to do is buy a $50 filter,” said Budge. And often, he said, you can change it yourself.
Another quick fix for keeping your car in optimal condition during the heat wave? Ensure your tires are properly inflated.
“A low tire will run hot especially since the road is so hot and that’s how you end up with tire blow outs,” said Budge.
Last, and perhaps most important, said Budge, is checking your oil. Failing to check it can ruin your car’s engine – and a fix for that doesn’t come cheap.
“A new engine installed is at least $5,000 and an oil change is $50,” said Budge.