During an excessive heat advisory, the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) members who patrol 6,000 miles of local, state and federal roads are gearing up to respond to heat related calls. AHPA is offering these helpful tips to help motorists prepare for the desert heat.
· Never leave a pet or a child unattended in a car – it can be deadly!
- Temper the heat in your car’s interior. Drivers can try to park in shady areas, and use sun shades in windshields to keep parked vehicles cooler. Hot seats, seat belts and steering wheels can scald, so consider using towels, light gloves to prevent burns. Crack windows to let heat escape.
- Water, water, water! Water not only can cool body temperature, but also your car. Make sure you have a healthy stock in your car or grab cold water for all passengers before leaving to a destination.
- Check engine cooling systems. Summer vehicle breakdowns happen because a cooling system failed. Check parts under the hood, like hoses for cracking or excessive wear. Remove foreign items, like debris, to avoid overheating. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct coolant type and your vehicle has the appropriate amount.
- Change your oil. Heat can make your car work overtime, and poor oil maintenance can result in vehicle issues and breakdowns. Check your owner’s manual as to what type of oil and how often your vehicle should receive an oil change.
- Inflate tires properly. Tire pressure can be found in the driver’s door or owner’s manual to ensure proper inflation. When possible, travel when temperatures are cooler to prevent a blowout. Also check the condition of your tires such as excessive wear and sidewall cracking.
- Wiper blades. Wiper blades can deteriorate from heat. With Arizona’s sometimes unpredictable weather, be sure to check and make sure they work effectively.
- Battery and battery cables. If your battery warranty is close to expiration, have it tested or get it replaced. Check battery cables for corrosion and cracks.
- Emergency kit. Put together an emergency kit with items like a first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, jack and ground mat for changing tires, water, non-perishable food, boots, extra cell phone charger/batter booster, kitty litter/sand for traction and whistle.
The AHPA reminds drivers and passengers that are stuck or stranded to stay in the car, turn on the flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives. Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) and AHPA members will be there to assist you.