How Does Hot Weather Affect Your Car?


Summer is finally here, and while many of us look forward to the hot weather that BC brings, some of us are dreading it. Why? Because if you’re driving an older vehicle, or one with a high number of kilometres, you may be at higher risk for a breakdown during the summer months.

So many things can happen to an older vehicle when the temperature rises, and the Lower Mainland is notorious for having 40 degrees Celsius + temperatures. Combine that with thick smoke brought in through the valley from forest fires, and you have a recipe for something to clog, overheat, or simply seize.

This blogpost describes some of the hot weather car issues you might encounter over the course of the summer. And if you do encounter these problems, and if it results in catastrophic repairs needed, More Cash For Scrap will be happy to buy your scrap car for MORE cash than anyone in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, or Vancouver Island.

What Makes Hot Weather So Bad for Your Car?

One of the most common problems vehicle owners incur during the hot summer weather is a breakdown due to their vehicle overheating. No matter how much we maintain our car, and check our fluids, something unexpected can always happen. An unexpected leak, a malfunctioning component, or damage caused to engine parts after an accident that goes unseen.


That’s why it’s so critical that you have routine maintenance performed by a professional at the start of the summer season. Did you know that it’s 50% more likely that your vehicle will overheat in warm weather?

While most newer vehicles are built to withstand extreme temperatures, the exposure to excessive hot or cold weather takes its toll on vehicles.

And when your vehicle is older, you’re asking for problems if you don’t take proactive measures to ensure your car is ready for the heat.

What Parts of Your Car Are at Highest Risk for Issues in the Summer?

The Engine:


If you’re Canadian, you know that winter has always been famous for being rough on us. However, over the past few years, wildfires have taken their toll on our province, and many of them have started due to sweltering weather temperatures. If you’re wondering what signs and symptoms you should be on the lookout for, read on.

Signs Your Car Is Overheating:

Hot Hood – Your vehicle is always warmer after running. However, if the hood is especially hot and after running for only a short time, it could be a sign that your engine is overheating.

Smoke or Steam – This one is kind of obvious, but still, we felt it important to put it on the list. If your vehicle has any kind of smoke, steam, or vapors billowing out from under your hood, your car is overheating.

Poor Performance in Hot Weather – If you notice that your gas mileage is getting worse during the summer months, along with slow or sluggish acceleration, or any kind of hesitation when shifting, it could be that your engine is overheating.

Smells Hot – Did we just say, “smells hot”? Yes, yes, we did. You wouldn’t think something could “smell hot” as heat is a temperature, not an odor, but you can. There are certain smells associated with an engine overheating, and if you smell them, it’s something you need to address. The smells may resemble burning plastic or rubber, hot grease, or a distinctive burning oil smell. If you notice any unusual scents coming from under your hood in hot weather, your engine overheating may be the culprit.

Loud Thumping or Other Engine Noises – This one is a bit tricky because engine noises don’t specifically distinguish cooling problems. However, if you’re noticing new sounds alongside of some of the other mentioned symptoms above, it could mean trouble for your cooling system.

Your Check Engine Light is on – Another obvious indicator is that your check engine light is on. Also, much like the unusual engine noises, it isn’t a symptom just by itself. However, if it’s coupled with any of the other signs and symptoms, your engine is likely overheating.

Watch for Indicators of Your Car Overheating

An overheating engine can give subtle indications prior to overheating, or it can simply hit suddenly and without warning, right out of the blue. The important thing is to know what to do when you vehicle overheats, so that you can help contain any potential fire.

The great news is that if you panic when it happens, and your vehicle suffers fire damage as a result (it happens to the best of us), More Cash For Scrap will buy your car. We buy scrap cars, trucks, SUV’s, and vans with fire or flood damage, no matter how extensive it is.

What Do I Do If My Engine Overheats?


If you’re driving when you notice that your vehicle is overheating, find a safe place to pull over and shut your car off immediately.

Since most engines overheat in hot weather, many people have the air conditioning running when it does. If your A/C is on, shut it off.

In addition to shutting the car off, make sure that you leave it turned completely off for at least 15 minutes. Even though it may be hot, and you’ll be tempted to have it turned on to auxiliary while waiting, don’t. The car must be completely powered down to cool it efficiently to its maximum level.

Carefully and slowly, open your hood. Then, check your coolant levels (do this carefully as your engine is burning hot presently) and if they are low, add some. If you don’t have any coolant on hand, using water will suffice.

The Battery:

Do you notice that starting your car in the winter months is usually harder than in warmer months? That’s because the battery’s chemicals are altered by extreme temperatures.

Canadians know that our cars go through a lot with our drastic and sudden weather changes. From harsh winters at –20 degrees Celsius, to smoldering hot summer months where temperatures climb above 42 degrees Celsius. While your car may be harder to start in the winter, it can also have other issues due to temperature changes in the summer.


Why? Because warm weather causes changes to how the chemical within your battery operates. Not only that, but the load applied to your battery is greatly increased due to the use of air conditioning, fans, using power windows, etc. Make sure your battery is in good working order before the summer weather hits.

The Tires:


Rubber and heat have historically never been a good combination. When you heat up rubber, it gets softer and more pliable. This can cause a host of problems when you’re driving on hot pavement, in hot weather, during the summer months.

For those of us who spend weekends traversing logging roads and bumpy dirt roads to get to a campsite, we are at a higher risk of having a blow-out. The best thing you can do is simply make sure that your tires are properly inflated, and that there is no visible damage.

The Fluids:


One thing in particular that is one of the most important things to keep your vehicle running at its best during hot weather, is one that often gets overlooked; checking your fluids.

If you don’t have your car serviced at the start of the summer by a professional, like our friends at 128 Auto Service Centre then your fluids will likely not even be thought about, let alone topped up or changed, if needed.

It’s important to have your oil changed and topped up, your coolant checked, and ensure you have washer fluid to keep your windshield free and clear of dried-up dead bugs. The last one may not impact your vehicle’s performance, but it does make for an unpleasant view on the many road trips you’ll be taking this summer.

Air Conditioning:


You may think that having your air conditioning serviced is simply for your own comfort throughout the summer months, but there’s more to it than that.

Air conditioners require minimal but regular maintenance to keep them performing at their best. When you don’t tend to your A/C system, it can get clogged which hinders how well it operates, and in turn, affects the amount of drain on your battery. So, ultimately, you could be hot, AND stranded on the side of the road if you don’t take care of it beforehand.

What You Should Do to Protect Your Car from Summer Weather

  1. Get Your Oil Changed – The best thing you can do to help protect your vehicle from extreme summer temperatures is to perform routine seasonal maintenance. The first thing on that list is to ensure that you’ve had a recent oil change and aren’t due for one. Oil is an integral part of how your engine performs, and lubrication prevents friction. Preventing friction lowers your risk for engine malfunctions and fires.
  2. Check Your Tires – Many of us drive on all season tires down here in the Lower Mainland. But if you live in places like the Fraser Valley or up in the mountains where winter weather can be harsh, you may drive on winter tires in the winter months. Make sure to change your tires at the start of the warmer weather as hot temperatures increase the risk for punctures and blow-outs. Also, make sure that your tires don’t suffer from any slow leaks, don’t have any blisters or bulging, and are properly inflated.
  3. Check Your Fluids – Fluids are an essential part of how your car performs at its best. This includes coolant. While most of us regularly check our oil, washer fluid, antifreeze, etc, we often forget the coolant. However, if you have your vehicle serviced regularly at the dealership or local mechanic, this is something they will check. That’s why getting your vehicle serviced at the start of the summer season is so vital. Nothing will make a vehicle overheat faster than a lack of coolant.
  4. Check Your Battery – Checking your batter isn’t as complicated as you might think. All that’s involved it looking at when you last purchased it. Most batteries only have a certain shelf life. Alternately, you can purchase a voltage meter to see how much voltage your vehicle is running. If there’s a discrepancy, it could either be because you need a new battery, or potentially have a faulty alternator.
  5. Air Conditioning – Every vehicle needs an air conditioning recharge every now and then. There’s only a specific amount of time your A/C will be effective if you don’t replace the gas that is responsible for providing the cooling capabilities. Take your vehicle to a professional mechanic to have your air conditioning serviced properly. There are quick fix replacements offered at local vehicle supply stores, but if you don’t know exactly how to replace it, you could end up with a bigger repair bill than anticipated.

What If My Vehicle is Already Dead or Damaged from Hot Weather Conditions?

If your vehicle has already been a victim to the hot weather that the Lower Mainland brings every summer, don’t worry. More Cash For Scrap offers MORE cash for dead and damaged cars.

  • Dead engine?
  • Transmission toast?
  • Head gasket blown?
  • Need an alternator replacement?
  • Interior/exterior/engine damaged due to a fire?
  • Air conditioner issues that are worth more than your car to fix?

No problem! More Cash For Scrap buys vehicles in ANY condition, with ANY issues. And we specialize in paying MORE cash for damaged cars, scrap cars with major engine problems, junk vehicles with catastrophic repair bills, and even vehicles with major collision damage.

How Can I Sell My Scrap Car for Cash?

Simply call, text, or email our scrap car removal team today. We’ll get some basic details about the vehicle you’re scrapping, then present you with an INSTANT cash offer right over the phone.

Let us know the make, model, year, and location of your car. If you can, also provide us with the number of kilometres it has on it, and the general condition its in. Then, our scrap car buying team will make you an offer right then and there.

If you accept our offer, we’ll arrange for our free junk car towing service to come collect your car. They’ll load up your vehicle and leave you with cash in hand before driving away with your junk car. It’s that simple!

Contact us today to find out why we are Metro Vancouver’s favourite scrap car removal company and have been since 2005. No other scrap car buyer will offer you MORE cash for scrap cars than More Cash For Scrap!

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About the Author: scrapcar

Since 2005, we've specialized in turning our customer's scrap cars into quick cash. We buy vehicles in ANY condition and with ANY issues. We pay MORE cash for scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island. If you want MORE cash, same day free junk car towing, and a reliable scrap car buying service, you want More Cash For Scrap.