WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — As many parts of Kansas are dealing with excessive heat, with temperatures almost daily in triple digits, AAA said they have responded to almost 1,000 roadside assistance calls since Sunday.

According to a release from AAA, from Sunday, July 17 to Tuesday, July 19, they responded to nearly 1,000 calls. 17% of those were for battery-related problems, 14% for tire-related issues, and more than 500 calls were for towing due to engine failure and other issues.

Those numbers were up 24% compared to the same dates in 2021.

Current temperatures are expected to stay high, according to the National Weather Service. As a result, here are some precautions you can take to prepare your vehicle:

  • Batteries – Heat kills batteries. Car batteries rarely give advance notice before they fail. Batteries three-to-five years old are most likely to succumb to extreme temperatures.           
  • Tires – Keep your tires at normal pressure. Driving on under-inflated tires can cause them to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. Tires should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer – not the number molded into the tire sidewall. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb or the inside of the glove compartment door.
  • Fluids – When fluid levels are low, the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids, including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid, to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels. 
  • Coolant – Motorists should check the coolant level in the overflow tank and top off as needed. If the engine is cool, check the level in the radiator as well. Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, you can be seriously scalded. Have the cooling system flushed and new coolant installed when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

“As temperatures continue to spike across the region, commuters and travelers need to be aware of the added stress high temperatures place not only on the human body but on vehicles, as well,” said Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas.

While high temperatures can cause problems for your car, they can also be dangerous to humans. According to AAA, on a 95°F day, a car can heat up to over 180°F in the cabin. Nationwide, more than 1,000 children have died in hot cars since 1990.

“In the summer heat, a vehicle’s interior can reach lethal temperatures very quickly. In fact, a car can heat up by 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes and become deadly, causing a child’s internal organs to shut down if left unattended inside,” Steward said.