Kansas heat impacting vehicles, AAA Kansas and local auto shop see increase in calls
The excessive heat isn't only dangerous to us and our pets, but also to our vehicles.
AAA says the auto club responded to nearly 1,000 calls for roadside service in Kansas from Sunday, July 17 through Tuesday, July 19. The number of calls were up 24 percent compared to the same dates in 2021.
According to AAA Kansas, 17 percent of the calls were for battery-related problems, 14% for tire-related issues and more than 500 calls (55 percent of all calls) were for towing due to engine failures and other issues.
"Most of the calls were related to tire problems, flat tires, dead batteries, and then just general engine failures that required a tow. The heat is a major factor in these and other issues in vehicles this time of year," Shawn Steward, a spokesperson with AAA Kansas said.
The owner of Yost Auto Service in Wichita, Bryan Yost, says heat-related repairs are keeping his shop busy right now.
"Over the last week or so since the heat has picked up, I started noticing that one of my tires was deflating, so I brought it in for a check," Austin Kinzle, a customer at Yost Auto Service said Friday.
Austin Kinzle is a long-time customer of Yost Auto Service in Wichita.
"There has been a significant increase probably since late May to June, but with this heat, it's been quite a bit more," Bryan Yost, the owner of Yost Auto Service said Friday.
From coolant leaks to cooling fans going bad, the heat doesn't discriminate on what it wants to take out.
"We see a lot of batteries dying. We see a lot of tire punctures happen a lot more often. We see a lot of overheating issues and antifreeze leaks and a lot of AC work, whether it was broken because of the heat or if they just didn't use it until now,” Yost added.
Yost says a 20-30 percent increase in business, this week, is related to this unrelenting heat and its impact on area vehicles.
"It seems like when we get these extremely high temperatures, it exposes weaknesses in vehicles. Not exactly sure why, but it does, in my case, it was tires. I would definitely get your car in for a check. This heat is extreme." Kinzle added.
Steward with AAA says the increase in assistance calls shows the impact of these extreme temperatures.
"We strongly recommend that you get your car checked out. The battery. Make sure your tires are in good shape and are properly inflated. Especially get your engine coolant checked. If it hasn't been flushed in the last couple of years, it's probably an important thing to do," Steward added.