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Keep cars in top shape to protect from Las Vegas’ summer heat

It’s not quite officially summer yet, but our vehicles are already taking a beating as Southern Nevada temperatures soar into the triple digits.

AAA Nevada is expected to respond to more than 78,000 calls for battery replacements, flat tires, overheated engines and other emergency roadside service between June 21 and Sept. 23, up from 76,641 calls during the same time last year.

“Summer in Las Vegas can be devastating to your car, especially one that’s not maintained properly,” AAA Nevada spokesman Michael Blasky said. “Nobody wants to be stuck on Interstate 15 in 100-degree heat waiting for AAA to jump their battery or to change a flat tire, so AAA recommends motorists get their vehicles checked out today to avoid a breakdown later.”

Flat tires are the most common call for service during the searing summer months, Blasky said.

Tires typically lose about one pound of pressure monthly through normal seepage, so proper inflation is the key to good maintenance — including that spare stored in your trunk. For an accurate reading, be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold and follow the recommendations listed in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Battery failure is the second-most-common reason motorists call for help during the summer because of heat, vibrations and the evaporation of battery fluid, Blasky said. Be sure the battery is securely mounted to your vehicle and clean up any signs of corrosion.

“If a battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last,” Blasky said.

AAA also recommends that drivers flush out the cooling systems to keep the engine from overheating, keep all vehicle fluids at appropriate levels and properly maintain the air conditioning system to keep from getting hot while driving.

“Air conditioning can reduce fatigue, which plays an important part in driver alertness and vehicle safety,” Blasky said.

In case the car does break down this summer, Blasky suggested that drivers should be prepared with an emergency kit stocked with water, nonperishable food, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares, basic hand tools and a first-aid kit.

Repairs slated for Eastern

Jerry from Henderson is concerned about the missing pavement and numerous potholes on Eastern Avenue between Coronado Center Drive and Richmar Avenue and wanted to know when city officials plan to make repairs.

“We have lived in Anthem for over 12 years, and the traffic is taking a toll on our streets,” Jerry said, adding that city officials were unresponsive to his questions.

Henderson city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said city officials are drafting a pavement repair contract to address the failing asphalt on Eastern between Coronado Center and Richmar. City officials also hired an engineering consultant to come up with ideas to improve a wider section of Eastern running between Horizon Ridge Parkway and the 215 Beltway.

Lights out at busy intersection

Richard from North Las Vegas noticed that the street lights at Pecos Road and Centennial Parkway have been out for several months, making this busy intersection pretty dark during the evening.

North Las Vegas city spokeswoman Delen Goldberg said city officials are working with NV Energy to resolve the issue by establishing a new electrical feed to the signals at this intersection.

“As soon as NV Energy completes that work, we’ll proceed on our end and have the lights back up and running,” Goldberg said.

Wider roads needed in southwest

As more houses are built in the southwest valley, Pete from Las Vegas has noticed that traffic is getting heavier on the north-south corridors of Fort Apache Road and Durango Drive.

Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said a repaving and widening project is scheduled for 2019 along Durango that will make it two lanes in each direction. There are also plans to repave Fort Apache, but Kulin said county officials have not yet scheduled a timeline to complete the work.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow @RJroadwarrior on Twitter.

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