Burning questions: How to deal with 157-degree dashboards, dead batteries and blowouts

The shredded remains of destroyed tires languish in the sun at an Arizona Department of Transportation facility in Phoenix. (Photo by Tim Royan/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Drivers are donning oven mitts to grip steering wheels, wildfires are burning and all the winter visitors have flown away for greener, possibly Canadian, pastures. Yes, it’s summertime in the inferno Arizonans call home.

Whether you’ve lived here forever or are a recent transplant, you’ve probably noticed the effects of the heat on other things, too – especially on our cars. Wonder why your car needs a new battery every couple of years? Why tire stores thrive here? Why every car seems to be white?

Click on the car’s plus signs to find out what happens to vehicles under the Phoenix sun – and what you can do about it.


No matter what you do, never leave a child or a pet in the car, as the temperature can reach lethal levels within a matter of minutes, even on a mild day.

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