Health & Safety

June 5, 2014

Avoid being stranded with these vehicle maintenance tips

Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski
355th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

With temperatures hovering in the triple digits, it is increasingly important to check the operational status of your vehicle. This includes checking fluids and drive belts.

Ensuring you have a safe amount of motor oil in your engine should be your first priority. Motor oil can thin out and break down faster in hot climates resulting in sludge and engine depostits. Higher grade oils are optimal for climates like Tucson’s because of their increased thicknesses.

Checking your engine coolant level is equally as important as checking oil levels. Your engine can reach extreme temperatures during the summer months, so it is vital that the proper level of coolant is maintained to avoid overheating.

Other than fluids, it is also imperative to check your vehicle’s serpentine belt for wear and cracks in the rubber compound. The serpentine belt is used on most engines to turn the water pump, alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. If the belt snaps, those entities will not work. Older vehicles use individual V-belts for their accessories. If there are any tears that look like they may affect the integrity of the belt, replace it immediately to avoid being stranded.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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