WVIT - It's never a good time to be a broken down motorist on the side of the road, but in the heat, it's practically unbearable.

And rising temperatures could be causing some problems for your car.

Business is booming at Reno's auto body shop.

Dennis Serra manages the shop. He says the extreme temperatures are causing cars to overheat.

So, how can you help your car beat the heat and keep from breaking down?

AAA says that regular maintenance checks are key because the heat can affect your battery life and tires.

"When you have an underinflated tire, the sidewalls flex more, that generates more heat. Now you add a 95-100 degree day, the hot asphalt and that could be enough to cause the tire to fail," said Jim MacPherson, an auto expert.

Auto shop manager Dennis Serra says that folks should also monitor coolant.

"Make sure their coolant is up to level and that they're watching what they're doing with their temperature gauges," said Serra.

Macpherson says older vehicles are vulnerable in really high temperatures.

"There may have been enough reserve cooling capacity for example to get them through an 80 degree day but it won't work on a 95 degree day, especially if you're trying to run the air conditioning," MacPherson said.

Bottom line: prevention is key in protecting your car and your bank account.

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