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Can your car handle the heat?

Routine maintenance and awareness of the condition of your vehicle could help prevent a breakdown during season high temperatures.

TYLER, Texas — With school set to return during the hot days of August, mechanics recommend drivers should make sure their vehicles are safe to drive.

“As hot as it is, when a problem does occur, you have very little time to address the problem,” Engines Express owner Randy Russell said.

 Russell says it should be common practice to have your vehicle checked regularly. However, during extreme temperatures, the need is even more important.

“Having periodic inspections, taking it to a technician to let them look at it, put it up in the air, see if there's any potential warning signs,” Russell said.

 For owners of older vehicles whose parts may be at their end, it is even more important to make sure your vehicle is safe and to save money for possible repairs.

“Just because of the age, you could have a cooling fan that decides it doesn't want to come on. And so when that happens, then of course the temperature rises, the pressures increase, the hose can bust," Russell said. "And so we recommend just watching all the warning signs, keeping an eye on the gauges, if there's an unfamiliar odor that you haven't smelled before, get it checked out. It could be the difference of spending, you know, $20 on a hose versus $2,000 to have a cylinder head gasket before."

While older cars certainly have a higher risk, newer cars are also vulnerable to heat-related problems.

“We're just seeing pattern failures on certain things. For example, a certain make and model may have a particular issue with something to do with the cooling system,” Russell said.

Russell says if you know your way around your car, check your oil, coolant, brake and transmission fluids.

If not, drivers should bring their vehicle into their mechanic or dealer for a fluid check.

To make sure you are not only safe, but not throwing away money by making a problem worse, Russell says drivers should pay close attention to their gauges and warning systems.

“Don't ignore them. Pay attention to them," Russell said. "Get it looked at, see what's going on. And when you notice that you need to have a heightened sense of awareness that something potentially could be developing."