This extreme heat can be every bit as harmful to your car as extreme cold, if the vehicle is not properly maintained, according to AAA.

AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble said by noon Monday, the company had received more than a thousand calls in New Jersey for roadside assistance because of the heat. That's nearly as many people as the company would usually expect to help in a full day.

"Monday mornings typically tend to be our busy days anyway," she said. "But when we have extreme heat, we see those numbers skyrocket even higher."

And a lot of the calls are for dead batteries, something Noble said people usually associate with winter. But she says a neglected battery can also let you down on hot days.

"If you have not had your battery tested recently, we recommend doing so before you are one of those stranded motorists," she said.

Noble said a vehicle without enough oil or coolant can also spell trouble — "unfortunately, when fluid levels are low, the possibility of overheating increases."

"Drivers need to check all fluid levels, including the oil, their transmission fluid, power steering fluid and the brake fluid, to ensure everything is at the appropriate levels. If you are unsure about what those levels need to be, you can reference your vehicle owner's manual, or take it to a reputable repair shop," she said.

She says the simple lesson is whatever the weather, take care of your vehicle and it will take care of you.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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