Driving in Hot Weather
With the summer in full force, it’s important to stay safe during long car journeys in warm weather conditions. Aside from the small problem of sticking to your leather car seat, there can be a variety of problems that the heat can cause when driving.
Check your tyres
Hot temperatures can increase your tyre pressure. Whilst you should check your tyre pressure every time you go to a petrol station, it is important you check them when the weather is hot. Low tyre pressure coupled with extreme heat can cause burst tyres – not the ideal scenario that you want to experience when you’re on the road.
If the overheating symbol appears on your car’s dashboard, you need to pull over when you can and let your engine cool down. This symbol is a warning that your car is getting too hot, and it can seriously damage your car’s engine if it is ignored.
If you can’t pull over, switching off your air conditioning and putting on your heater will help as it takes the hot air from your engine, which will help cool your engine down. Although this won’t make you feel any cooler, it could save your car from needing expensive repairs.
Bear in mind that if you’re stuck in traffic you will need to switch the engine off to try and let the engine cool down as the radiator is dependent on air flow and the car moving in order for it to be able to function.
Before you set off, make sure that your air conditioning is in tip top working condition and is blowing cold air. If the air coming out of it isn’t cold, the refrigerant charge may be low. Also ensure that the electric cooling fan is working when the air conditioner is on its highest setting.
Make sure you check your car’s fluids, these include:
● Coolant – this helps to prevent your engine from overheating. A weak coolant isn’t effective against overheating, so choose a strong one.
● Oil – both lubricates your engine and keeps it cool
● Brake fluid
● Transmission fluid
● Windscreen fluid
Don’t forget to store a big bottle of water in your car for you to stay hydrated with too! Dehydration from the heat can affect your driving as it makes you tired. Allow extra time for comfort breaks too to ease with driving.
Check the battery
Car batteries only have a 4-5 year lifespan, so if your battery is more than 5 years old it may need to be replaced. An old battery plus hot weather is a disaster as it makes the liquid electrolyte inside the battery evaporate faster (this does not apply to gel type batteries).
Do you have any hot weather driving advice that you’d like to share? Join in on the conversation by tweeting us @RoadRunnerIns