Don’t Sweat It: Helping Your Fleet Recover from the Heat

As we approach the end of a hot summer, your sweeper fleet and other commercial vehicles may have sustained wear and tear caused by sun exposure, high outdoor temperatures, and hot pavement. Depending on your regional climate, vehicle deterioration may also have occurred due to humidity, wind, or heavy summer storms. To help you recover from a tough season and keep things running their best, here are some essential maintenance tips.
Thoroughly Inspect All Vehicles
At this time of year, there are some especially important issues to watch for in your routine vehicle inspections. Heat can be taxing on virtually every vehicle component, so ensure that all fluids are topped off and change oil where necessary. Coolant systems obviously work over time in the summer, and in addition to topping off fluid levels, it may be advisable to flush the entire system. Be aware that extreme weather can also shorten battery life. Finally, check the tread on all tires, which likely thinned from frequent contact with hot pavement. Tire pressure may also have gone up due to heat. Consider tire rotations to ensure safe driving through the fall, up until you switch over to winter tires.
Beware Fuel System Damage
It is possible your vehicles’ fuel systems sustained damage in the summer season. There are a few reasons for this. First, Americans consume the most gasoline in the summer months. As they head out on road trips and fill up their boats, jet skis, and RVs, they drive up prices and demand, which means fuel quality declines. Additionally, federal regulations require refiners to produce special summer blends of gasoline. Summer blend gasoline has more volatility, meaning a higher evaporation temperature, which prevents damage to fuel chambers and decreases pollution caused by evaporating chemicals. Though there are clearly advantages, the summer fuel blends are made with expensive additives (which also contributes to price spikes) that decrease quality. For all of these reasons, you may want to consider a fuel system flush or the use of cleaning additives on your vehicles.
Looking Ahead
Though we hopefully have a few months of moderate weather in store, no one wants to be caught off guard by early winter storms, so make sure you are prepared. Switch out old or damaged windshield wipers. Check all bulbs and clean off any road grime obstructing light. Remind employees about the risks of driving in inclement weather, and ensure they have the training and emergency equipment they need to be safe.
From everyone at NiteHawk, we wish you a pleasant and safe rest of your summer!
Atiyeh, Clifford. 13 Oct, 2017. The vapor rub: summer versus winter gasoline explained. Car and Driver. Available at