Car Care Tips

Hot Weather Travel Safety

From an article in GEICO Insurance Info Center  at

Tips To Protect Your Car And Yourself In Hot Weather Conditions

Driving in hot weather can be challenging. Whether you are going on an extended vacation or just for a day drive, here are a few simple suggestions that can help prepare you and your car for hot weather driving.

Prepare your vehicle for hot weather driving:

To prevent your vehicle from overheating, make sure your radiator is working properly and is filled with fluid—check fluid levels frequently.

Ensure that your tires are properly inflated.

Don’t forget your passengers—make sure your air conditioner is in good working order before you set out.

Call to make an appointment at Middletown Auto Tech for a “Trip Check” on your vehicle the week before you plan to take your trip. We will check those items mentioned above and more to make sure your vehicle is running safely for your travels.

If you are traveling a long distance, plan your trip for early in the morning or late in the evening. The weather is a bit cooler and will make it easier on your car’s engine.

Never leave children or pets unattended for any length of time in a car. A closed car can heat up to well over one hundred degrees in a very short period.

As always, it’s important to always wear your seat belt, drive the speed limit, and be alert.

Prepare yourself and your family for hot weather conditions:

  • Wear clothing appropriate for the heat by using light colored and natural fiber fabrics. If you will be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time, be sure to cover-up or to wear sunscreen.
  • Keep a cooler with chilled drinks on hand to ensure everyone remains hydrated. Water and tea are better options than sugary or heavy drinks.
  • Use window shades to protect small children in the back seat. Children are particularly sensitive to temperature extremes so take additional precautions to protect them. If you stop for any reason, never leave any child unattended in a vehicle, even if only for a few moments.

One Third Of Drivers Do not know what this light means

By Schrader

Such is the quandary faced by Schrader, a company that makes tire pressure monitoring systems, or TPMS for short. For the one out of three drivers that is, it’s the idiot light on your dashboard that looks like a little U with tire treads on the bottom. Oh.  That.

The TPMS icon illuminates when tire pressure in one or more of the vehicle’s tires is 25% below the manufacturer’s recommended amount. It became required by law in 2008, the direct result of the Ford Explorer debacle a decade ago in which rollover accidents were blamed on under-inflated Firestone tires. An outgrowth of the scandal was the finding that many people never check their tire pressure, putting their lives not to mention their gas mileage on the line because of under-inflation. Requiring a new idiot light seemed like an ideal solution.

Schrader says it conducted a survey at the start of the year that showed  46% of drivers couldn’t figure out that the little tire-tread icon was supposed to look like little tire treads. Whether they recognized the  icon or not, a third didn’t know what the tire-pressure monitoring  system is.

Another 14% thought the light was warning them that something else was  going wrong in their car but not tire  pressure.

Yet the survey found almost all, 96%, of drivers agree that driving with under-inflated tires is a serious safety issue, although only 44% said they regularly check their tire pressure.

Armed with its scary survey results, Schrader created a website:

The site,, is  designed to try to tell drivers about inflating their tires The  comprehensive site helps drivers understand the purpose and benefits of  TPMS, as well as what steps to take when the TPMS alert illuminates. The  site also explains the many economic and environmental benefits of  proper tire pressure.

Drivers can sometimes take it for granted that their vehicle’s four  tires are what keep them connected to the road,” says Carl Wacker,  a vice president for Schrader. “Just like seat belts and air bags, TPMS helps protect drivers when their safety is most at  risk.”

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