SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many families in KELOLAND will soon start packing the car ahead of that final getaway for the summer. But a trip to the auto shop might be in order first because of the triple-digit temperatures forecast for the long Labor Day weekend. You also may want to check what’s inside your front grille for some long-legged invaders.
Service shops like Airway Auto have been busy in the days leading up to the Labor Day holiday weekend.
“Oh, we’re booked, yeah. We’re booked for the next two weeks,” Airway Auto Service owner Tom Broadbent said.
Customers are coming in with overheated engines.
“Yeah, we’re working on one today for that very reason,” Broadbent said.
It’s also important to check your tire pressure because the air inside expands in the heat.
“And that’s why a lot of tires blow. You’re going down the highway, it’s 100-degrees out, you’re building too much pressure in your car and it will blow out,” Broadbent said.
But there’s another late-summer culprit that’s keeping service shops hopping at this time of year. The grasshopper!
“Seeing a lot of grasshoppers and other bugs from just driving that aren’t getting cleaned out at all and then it starts plugging off the radiator,” Chris Broadbent of Airway Auto Service said.
“We were looking at a radiator yesterday and like the bottom third of it was completely plugged with grasshoppers,” Tom Broadbent said.
Your air conditioner has to work a lot harder when the bugs plastered on the front of your car get too thick.
“And then if you get enough of them on there, it can cause your engine to overheat if it completely blocks off airflow, but that’s kind of an extreme case,” Chris Broadbent said.
A thorough power washing can flush out the grasshoppers. A bug collection belongs in your kid’s science class, not in your car.
Airway Auto Service says lower-profile vehicles are most vulnerable when it comes to run-ins with bugs on the highway. Driving at night, when the bugs are more active, will also put more grasshoppers on your front bumper.
Triple-A has a checklist for preparing your car for a road trip in the heat.