Don’t Let the Hot Weather Damage Your Car This Summer
Summertime means travel time in the car. But extreme heat and long drives can be demanding on your car.
With June confirmed as the hottest on record for the UK since 1884, did you know that persistent exposure to hot weather can damage your car? So, to avoid a potential breakdown or accident, here's what you can do.
Check your battery
As the most common reason for car breakdowns, high temperatures can cut short your car battery life. You should check the fluid level in your car’s battery and top it up with distilled water if necessary and make sure there’s no corrosion or leaking battery acid.
Check your fluids
When you’re under the bonnet, take the time to check your coolant levels and engine oil, at least once a week. For your brake, clutch and power steering fluid, check those once a month. That’s because in the hot weather, fluids evaporate more quickly.
Check your brakes
As the single most important safety feature on your car, don't put yourself at risk by driving around with worn down or faulty brakes. Your brakes should be checked if the brake pedal becomes soft, is hard or resistant, rests too low or too high, the warning light flashes up on the dashboard or you hear a grinding noise.
Check your headlights
With the heat placing more strain on your car electrical system, including your headlights, make sure to check that your bulbs are working before you head out for the day, especially if you’re going to be driving at night.
As hot weather increases the air pressure in your tyres, they’re more prone to the risk of a puncture and wear more quickly. Checking the tyre pressure regularly when they’re cold will help to minimise the chances of any defects.
As the third on the list for breakdowns to people who have a puncture but don’t have a spare tyre, check that your car has a spare tyre and that it’s in full working order before you set off or the temporary inflation kit is in the vehicle. Another tip is to check the expiry date on these as they can become unusable over time.
With manufacturers recommending that air-con systems are re-gassed every two years, the chances are your system may be due a check. Regularly using air-con helps to lubricate the washers and seals, otherwise the gas can leak if you only use it once in a while. It is advisable to use the vehicle throughout the year not just the summer, with the AC on it will demist your windows a lot quicker!
We can all hope that there isn’t much rain over the summer, but checking your wipers is important as poor visibility leads to accidents. If they’re cracked, split, or any other damage, it’s time to replace them. When washing your vehicle, it’s a nifty tip to also wash the wiper rubbers to avoid any foreign bodies scratching your windscreen.
Make sure to pack essential repair items as they’re just as important in the summer months as they are in winter. These include wheel-replacement jack, a spanner to remove wheel nuts, a spare bulb kit and a small fire extinguisher.
With the RAC and AA expecting the number of callouts to stranded motorists to increase during hotter weather, it pays to be protected in advance as it’s cheaper and much less stressful.
At Vehicle Concepts, we want to make sure you enjoy a safe driving experience this summer. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, but our team is here to help you with our specialist accident aftercare and accident management services.