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Triple-digit temperatures cause car breakdowns this summer

Have you noticed car trouble amid the record-breaking heat? If so, you're not the only one.

SAN ANTONIO — If your car could complain about the heat, it would. We’ve been suffering through triple-digit temperatures for months and our vehicles have been too. 

Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas said they’ve seen a 10% increase in roadside emergencies this summer compared to this time last year. 

“The top calls that we're seeing for roadside rescues this summer are flat tires, dead batteries and engine problems and the heat can impact all of those,” Armbruster said. “In fact, extreme heat can cause significant damage to various vehicle parts over time. And when you look at batteries, for instance, heat and vibration are a battery’s worst enemy.” 

To avoid a summer breakdown, Armbruster said to check your battery to make sure it’s tightly fastened to your car. You should also look for corrosion on the battery terminals. He said heat can cause the fluids inside your battery to evaporate. 

“So, if you pop open your hood and take a look at your battery and if it has any corrosion, you want to remove your battery,” Armbruster said. “Disconnect it, take some baking soda and water, mix that up and then just wipe that corrosion off of the battery.” 

He added that most batteries only last between three to five years. 

“If your battery’s over three years old, you definitely want to have a trusted mechanic take a look at it,” Armbruster said. 

If you need help finding a reputable auto shop, AAA offers a community program called ‘Approved Auto Repair.’

“Here you can find all of the facilities that have passed a stringent test by AAA, checking to make sure that their staff is certified and that they have the right equipment,” Armbruster said. “And we have many locations in San Antonio that have passed that certification for approved auto repair.” 

After you take a look under the hood, you should pack a bag. Armbruster said your emergency kit should include jumper cables, flares, flashlights, batteries, water, food and a first aid kit. 

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