How To Keep Your Car Healthy In The Heat

Fri 29th Jun 2018

The UK heatwave is testing even the most reliable of cars, so what can you do to keep your car ticking over in the hottest of weather?

Breakdown recovery companies estimate that there will be at least a 10 per cent rise in the number of drivers requiring assistance as their cars keel over in the heat, with Green Flag predicting an extra 134,800 call outs.

Simon Henrick, Head of News at Green Flag said: “With the UK experiencing its hottest spell of the year so far, it’s vital that motorists are aware of the effects that the heat can have on a number of the vehicles key components, as well as the effect it can have on the roads themselves.

"We’re expecting a 10 per cent increase in callouts due to the hot weather, however, many of the problems that drivers are likely to encounter are avoidable if motorists ensure that their vehicles are inspected before embarking on any long journeys.”

Many of the checks can be performed by the driver themselves rather than taking the car to a garage. Ensure your oil and engine coolant are topped up, and be careful with your brakes as overheating can lead to increased stopping distances. Do check your tyre pressure also, as an under-inflated tyre can accelerate the chances of a blow-out by 60 per cent.

In order to help drivers, reach their destinations safely, Green Flag has issued a number of common sense tips to stay safe in the hot weather:

- Make sure you have lots of coolant. A common cause of engine overheating is low coolant. To avoid this, drivers should make sure the radiator is full of coolant, and that it has the correct mix of antifreeze and water

- Make sure your coolant isn’t past its sell-by date. Coolant has a lifespan, and once it’s over it it’s not any use. Coolant that is past its sell by date will cause more harm than good. It may leave deposits in the car’s engine and radiator that can lead to poor coolant flow

- Turn off air con when driving at slower speeds. When driving at slower speeds drivers are advised to turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows. When driving below 50MPH, engines have to work harder to pump out cool air and could run the risk of burning excess fuel

- Don’t overload your vehicle. When heading out in hot weather, cars often get overloaded with luggage and other items, but to help avoid breakdowns, drivers should limit the amount they pack. Overloading the car boot means the car has to work harder and will use more fuel