Here are a few tips as we don’t always look after our cars in the hot weather. Summers in the UK are definitely getting warmer, with temperatures hitting 30°C and more this is great news for sun-lovers and holiday-makers, but it’s not ideal for our cars which can be adversely affected by the heat.
Breakdown statistics for roadside callouts show that there is a 20% increase and those figures rise to 30% in coastal areas. One of the leading causes is that cars overheat despite modern vehicles being built to withstand more extreme temperature changes.
In the height of summer or, during heat waves, when cars have to work in these conditions for weeks at a time, there comes a time when this impacts on performance and safety.
What can you do to ensure your car remains safe and roadworthy and, how can you prevent future damage?
Cars are often overlooked in the summer, and it is easy to neglect them when the children or your garden need attention.
Did you know that you are 20% more likely to get a puncture in hot weather? Clutch problems also increase with heat causing added wear and tear.
Soaring temperatures? Then let’s give you a few tips to make you less hot under the collar!
Heat can take its toll on car batteries with the added use of air-conditioning, fans and electric convertible roofs. Heat can also affect the chemical process inside a battery. Our tip is, if you haven’t checked or replaced your battery in 2 or 3 years, now may be the ideal time to have it checked. Our free checks will give you an idea of the health of your battery and avoid any problems in the future. If you drive an old car, it might be a good idea to pop a set of jump leads in the boot if you’re planning a long journey.
Hot weather and tyres don’t mix well due to the air inside the tyre expanding in the heat with a possible cause of over-inflation. Over a year, there are around 300,000 tyre-related breakdowns each year, many of them in the summer. Tyres degrade naturally through sunlight (Ultraviolet/UV), exposure to heat and rain. Remember also that older tyres on caravans and trailers will also suffer in extreme weather.
Our tip is to check your tyre pressure every two weeks and preferably don’t do this in the middle of the day or when your tyres are hot from driving. It’s important to make sure your tyres are not a few PSIs over the recommended pressure as this will put you at an increased risk of a blowout.
Remember to check for any signs of cracking on the sidewalls, especially if your tyres are over four years old and if you park outside. Any tyre specialist will give you advice if you are not sure if your tyres are safe to drive.
A car’s cooling system has to work much harder in both cold and hot weather. These systems keep the engine working at the right temperature; therefore, when it’s hot, they have much more work to do.
Cooling systems rely on coolant/antifreeze to keep all parts of the engine cool. On a hot day, the coolant flows around the engine at a higher temperature, causing some parts of the engine to overheat and fail. Problems with cooling systems happen more frequently during low-speed driving when there is less air circulating through the fan which cools the radiator.
You can mitigate any problems by topping up your cooling system with a high-quality coolant/antifreeze recommended for summer driving. A car engine’s optimum running temperature is around 90°, but it can run hotter in warm weather, which is why our tip suggests using a coolant/antifreeze that offers boil protection.
We recommend first checking the current protection level of your coolant/antifreeze with a coolant tester which will show the concentration of the mix and indicate the level of protection your car currently has.
Be sure and, drive safely.