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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A heatwave had AAA hopping on Wednesday, as several hundred vehicles across Oklahoma experienced problems brought on by high temperatures.

AAA roadside rescue crews responded to 664 member calls for assistance as of 5 p.m. Wednesday – a 50 percent increase in calls in less than a 24-hour period.

The heat was especially problematic for car batteries and tires, according to AAA Oklahoma.

AAA Oklahoma personnel urge Oklahomans to get their car batteries and tires checked ahead of June 20, the official start of summer, especially because many motorists put off routine vehicle maintenance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The effect this kind of weather can have on your car is cumulative,” says Kevin Lynch, AAA Oklahoma Car Care Manager. “Even if your vehicle survives the first heat wave of the season, you may not be so lucky as the summer rolls on, especially since many neglected routine vehicle maintenance last year due to the pandemic. AAA urges motorists to have car batteries and tires checked to ensure safety and prevent unexpected breakdowns.”

Motorists are advised to prepare their vehicles for intense summer heat.

AAA Oklahoma provided the following list of heat-related vehicle problems and what motorists can do to prevent those problems:

  • Batteries – Heat kills batteries. Make sure you have a strong battery that is up to the challenge by having your battery tested.
  • Tires – Keep your tires at normal pressure. Soft tires generate heat, which can lead to a blowout.
  • Fluids – Check all fluids including the coolant level in the overflow tank and top off as needed. If the engine is cool, check the level in the radiator as well. Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, you can be seriously scalded.
  • Coolant – Motorists should have the cooling system flushed and new coolant installed when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Depending on the type of coolant used, this is typically necessary every two to five years.

AAA Oklahoma Car Care Centers across the Oklahoma City metro area provide free car battery and tire pressure checks, but appointments are recommended. Those Car Care Centers and their locations are as follows:

  • Edmond: 1701 S. Broadway Ave., (405) 348-8281
  • Norman: 2520 W. Main St., (405) 360-7771
  • Northwest OKC: 6163 N. May Ave., (405) 717-8200
  • Quail Springs: 13225 N. Pennsylvania Ave., (405) 753-9777

The heatwave hit some parts of Oklahoma with temperatures in the mid-90s.

EMSA officials issued the first Heat Alert of 2021 on Wednesday.

The 4Warn Weather team has a heat advisory in effect through Friday evening.