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Staying safe on the scorching roads | Weather

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Staying safe on the scorching roads

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - With summer temperatures bearing down, taking care of your vehicle can be the difference between a safe drive and broken down on the side of the road.

How do you protect your car from overheating? What does extreme heat do to your tires?

THV's Dustin Wilson will explore measures to ensure your safety on the roads tonight on "Today's THV at 6:00".

Here's a to-do list from compiled by automotive consumer website Edmunds.com 

- Check the battery

Extreme heat tends to drain battery life, so have your battery tested at a certified automotive repair shop-especially if the battery is more than 3 years old. "If you have no idea how old the battery is, consider getting it tested at the dealership," says Ron Montoya, consumer advice associate at Edmunds. "They have equipment that can tell you whether or not it needs to be recharged or replaced. If it checks out fine, you've bought yourself more time."

- Stay on top of fluid levels

Today's oils are multi-viscous, so they get thinner in the heat, which could result in a lack of needed lubrication for your vehicle. Based upon the advice of a trusted service shop, you might consider switching to a slightly thicker compound if you're driving in extreme heat. Meanwhile, maintain a 50/50 ratio of coolant to water to optimize your vehicle's temperature. You can track this with a simple antifreeze tester from your local auto-parts store.

- Ditch the winter wheels

If you use snow or ice tires in the winter, switch to summer or all-season tires now. Winter tires are especially vulnerable to wear from dry, hot pavement. Also, make sure tires are properly inflated, as higher temperatures cause air pressure to rise. If your tires are properly inflated, they'll last longer-and you'll get better gas mileage.

- Replace the wiper blades

If you've had your wipers for a year or longer or if they aren't making full contact with the windshield, it's time to buy a new set. You don't want to be caught with poor visibility in a surprise downpour.

- Keep an emergency kit in the trunk

Pack a flashlight, flares, first-aid kit, jumper cables, paper towels, extra washer fluid, a jug of water and basic tools such as wrenches, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, pliers and grips.

- Do your homework before hitching that boat

Check your owner's manual before you hitch a boat trailer to your vehicle. Make sure your car or truck is equipped to handle both a trailer hitch and the estimated load.