I know I have absolutely no desire to work outside right now, and likely won't for at least another month. All over Texas, cities are seeing long stretches of 100+ days; El Paso just hit a record-breaking 45 days in a row. It's extremely hot, and we still have plenty of hot days to endure.

We are not alone in our desire to not work outside- our cars and trucks are beginning to "give up" too, with mechanical, part, and electrical failures happening as the direct result of heat. Some of these failures are to be expected, and some are downright "unusual," according to Texas mechanics.

Photo by Stephanie Valencia on Unsplash
Photo by Stephanie Valencia on Unsplash

Dead car batteries and flattening tires are to be expected in extreme, prolonged heat. You can mitigate these issues by parking in the shade or in garages whenever possible, and by maintaining your battery and tires as you should in any weather.

But what about the "weird" problems mechanics are seeing?

Mechanics in Texas are now finding unusual ways that the hot weather has affected cars, including broken wipers scratching windshields, and mushy brakes.

The rubber and plastic in your windshield wiper could be melting, because it's getting additional heat from being next to a reflective surface (your windshield). This could cause the metal part of the wiper blade to scratch your windshield. This will be worse for folks who live in more humid areas of Texas, as that will make rubber and plastic break down even faster. Check those blades- they are much cheaper to replace than a windshield.

What is causing "mushy brakes"? That seems extremely dangerous, and its the result of "brake fade":

Brake fluid within the master cylinder sitting under the hood can trap moisture, and the dangerously high heat in Texas may cause the moisture to expand. This results in a loss of brake feel, or brake fade.

Again, it's a good idea to park in the shade or in the garage when you can, because the heat under your hood can get up to 230 degrees. It's also very important to keep an eye on your levels- coolant and oil- to help avoid problems. Checking these- and your tires, are something you really should be doing anyway, but now is an important time to stay vigilant.

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