Summer car care could mean less fires on Interstate

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Summer car care is in full swing. From overheating to general leaks, your car could overheat, catch on fire or just simply break down without proper care.

Here are a few tips from local mechanics:

Paul Hartman, Precision Tune Auto Care, says:

"One thing to watch for is a fuel leak. If you have a fuel leak it is easy to make a car catch on fire. Keep your oil full. Make sure your tire pressures are always checked. Always recheck your tire pressure in the summertime. In the summer your tire pressures will go higher. In the winter time your tire pressures will go lower. So you have to have your tire pressures rechecked during this time.  Low tire pressure causes more drag so there is more resistance creates lower fuel mileage. High pressure in your tire can cause your car to drift on the highway and makes your tires wear out faster.

"If your car breaks down on the interstate and you pull off onto the shoulder onto the grass, parking your car in high dry grass will definitely cause a fire. Hot exhaust system will catch the grass on fire. So if you are on the interstate don't pull onto the grass, stay on the concrete area."

Michael Rougeau, Mark's Master Mechanics says:

"If you have a bad enough oil leak and the engine is hot enough, the oil will keep burning for a little while and it may keep it smoking. It is actually hot antifreeze. If you had a coolant leak and antifreeze is leaking out, it is going to look like smoke. It is not. It is just steam. So although it isn't a car fire, you must have it fixed."

"A lot of things on the vehicle are subject to more stress because of hotter temperatures. During winter you worry about having enough antifreeze. You could have any problems with your engine freezing up if the temperature does get that low."

"Now during the summer you want to make sure you, all your sensors for your coolant systems are operating. You want to make sure your coolant fans are working. Thermostat is working correctly."

"A belt stretch can cause shaking when driving. These shaking can make you think your alignment is off."

"Belts and hoses tend to dry rot over time. Belts usually on the surface of the belt. But with hoses, you will have to not only look at the surface but at the underside to notice dry rot and cracks.  Remember dry rot and cracks are usually NOT visible unless looking INSIDE of the hose."

Mark Perkins, Mark's Master Mechanics says:

"If your car's hose bursts on a highway and you have not been paying attention to your gauges or your lights to know that it is overheating, you will burn the engine up. And an engine in a car is $3000, $5000, $10000 i.e. depending on what vehicle you are driving and what kind of car it is."