Stranded drivers have become more and more numerous since the extreme heat wave in Indiana began.
Mechanics tell RTV6's Tanya Spencer that the recent steady string of triple-digit temperatures affects everything from a car's tires to what's under the hood.
In fact, calls to "Hoosier Helper" -- a service sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation and State Farm Insurance -- have nearly doubled during the past couple of weeks or so.
"It just all of a sudden died," said Craig Conds, as he stood by his broken-down car on Interstate 465.
When it came to getting a tow truck, he had to wait in line.
"I've probably been here 20 minutes, and they said they've got someone on the way," Conds said. "As a matter of fact, there's one right down here that they're trying to get right now. So I'm second on the list."
Hoosier Helper drivers said they're getting to broken-down cars as fast as they can.
"I'm busy. I'm staying busy," said Hoosier Helper driver Chris Lowery. "I had 185-degree air temperature on the truck sensor a little earlier today. So it's usually about 30 to 40 degrees hotter on the interstate than it is outside."
Beck Service Center on the city's south side has been towing more cars, too.
Their garage is full of vehicles, old and new, needing heat-related repairs -- cracked radiators, blown tires and busted air conditioners, just to name a few.
"This heat destroys batteries," said Bill Amonett, a manager at Beck Service Center. "Make sure where the cables come out of the batteries that there's no fluid coming out, because a lot of these batteries will start seeping acid. And if that acid gets down into the cables, then you've got major electronic problems. So we're starting to see a lot of that in the heat."
Amonett said the best advice for all drivers is to get regular maintenance -- check belts and filters and top off fluids, especially coolant.
Also, make sure tire pressure is correct. And go by the rating inside the door -- not on the tire itself.
"As these tires heat up on the road, they'll expand, and that's causing blowouts," Amonett said.
And since the air conditioning is such a drain on the engine, resist the temptation to keep the blower set on high, he said. Once the car cools down after a minute or two, keep the blower at a lower setting.
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