AAA’s Heat Advisory: Vehicle Break Downs Soar in Extreme Heat

acsc tow truck and driver hitching up car

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (July 17, 2019) – With temperatures soaring close to 100 degrees in Virginia over the week, AAA Tidewater Virginia is sending a heat advisory to motorists regarding the threat that extreme temperatures pose on motor vehicles.

“High heat can cause auto parts to fail and leave motorists stranded. AAA advises motorists to take preventive measures during extended periods of very high heat expected this week,” said Georjeane Blumling, vice president of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “With each day of high heat, the number of calls to AAA for emergency roadside assistance increases dramatically. Requests for AAA motorist assistance can increase to almost 15%, averaging 630 calls per day when the thermometer rises 10-15 degrees.”

 AAA offers the following tips for motorists traveling during high heat:

·         Run errands during early morning and evening hours and try to carpool whenever possible.

·         Do not run your car’s air conditioning system in continuous stop-and-go traffic conditions. Roll down the windows and give it a break periodically.

·         Leave extra space between your car and the vehicle in front of you, so that your engine is not drawing in hot exhaust.

·         Keep an eye on your car’s temperature gauge. If the gauge starts to reach the ‘hot’ mark, turn the air conditioner off, roll down the windows and run the heater at full blast until the gauge returns to the ‘cool’ end.

·         Heat kills batteries. Make sure you have a strong battery that is up to the challenge by having your battery tested. If your car’s battery needs a jump-start, have the battery recharged to full power as soon as possible, or have a power output tester applied to the battery to determine if it needs replacing.

·         Check your oil to make sure its level is at the ‘full’ mark. Oil serves as both a lubricant and as a coolant for your car’s engine.

·         Check your car’s coolant levels before leaving home. When adding coolant to your car’s radiator, supply a 50-50 mix of water and anti-freeze.

·         Make sure your tires are in good condition. Hot pavement can test tires that are under-inflated or on the edge of wearing thin.

·         Keep a fully-charged cell phone with you in case of an emergency, but don’t leave it in your car, especially during the hottest part of the day. Heat will cause the phone’s battery to lose power. Also remember to remove all electronics which can be damaged due to heat including laptops.

 Because even properly maintained vehicles can break down, AAA Tidewater Virginia urges motorists to equip their vehicle with an emergency kit containing a minimum of the following items: Flashlight with extra batteries, warning devices, such as flares or reflective triangles, first aid kit, a fully charged cellular phone to summon emergency assistance, and some extra bottles of water to fight dehydration.

 As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at or Facebook at

CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Tidewater Automobile Association of Virginia, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).