Summer 2016

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H ot weather is hard on a car, and, if past is prologue, British Columbia could be in for another blistering summer. Ken Cousin, BCAA's Vice-President of Automotive, advises summer travellers to approach road trips the same way they do winter expeditions: by properly prepping their wheels – and themselves – for all eventualities, including breakdowns. Here's how: Check the level and concentration of engine coolant, and top up as necessary. Check your owner's manual to find the correct coolant type and strength for your vehicle. Ensure the air conditioner is blowing cold air. If not, the system could be leaking. Change your oil regularly, in order to prolong your engine's life. Stesha Ho SUMMER 2016 BCA A .COM 33 drive smart ON THE ROAD Hot Wheels Your guide to safer summer driving BY IAN MacNEILL THE BURNING TRUTH ABOUT PARKED CARS It seems hard to believe, but BCAA gets one call a day, on average, to open a vehicle in which kids or pets are trapped. "We make it our highest priority because the temperature increase inside the car can be sudden and dramatic; it can happen in as few as 10 minutes," says BCAA Automotive Vice-President Ken Cousin. A dog can suffer organ damage in 10 minutes at high temperatures. He advises leaving pets at home if possible and never, ever leaving a child, or any living thing, in a parked vehicle, even in moderately warm weather. "Leaving windows partially open is not enough to counter the threat," he says. "If you do see it, by all means call Road Assist, but if the situation is desperate, call 911 immediately." At a Glance: Parked Cars and the Dangers of Heat Check the age and strength of the battery. Heat is harder on a tired cell than cold. A five-year-old battery is nearing retirement. Ensure tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Replace them if they're cracked or low on tread. Don't forget the spare. Keep the gas tank more than half full. This will keep the fuel cool. Use folding sun shades when parked, to lower the temperature inside the vehicle. Slow down on the road. This saves gas and reduces the likelihood of the engine overheating. Be prepared for a breakdown. Carry water, food, a fully charged phone and some type of portable shade, such as a hat or umbrella, in case you have to wait for help. Dial *222 for BCAA Road Assist. ■ Outside temperature: 23oC Interior temperature of a car after 10 minutes: Interior temperature of a car after 30 minutes: Interior temperature of a car after 1 hour: Temperature a dark dashboard can reach in direct sunlight: 90oC+ 32oC 40oC 45oC Body temperature at which a human or dog is likely to suffer heatstroke: 40oC 10 minutes in a hot car can seriously harm a dog Help!

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