There is nothing better on hot days like we have been having lately then to hop in the car, wind down the windows and go for a drive.
Trips to the coast or just a nice drive through country lanes is something that we all look forward to when the sun is shining; however, we are all too familiar with the problems of a nation all taking to the road in the heat at the same time can bring.
We have out together a list of the most common complaints that we hear about from customers and friends to do with summer driving and some advice on how to avoid them happening to you!
The dreaded breakdown – There is nothing worse than planning a day out with family or friends, getting half way there and the car starts to stutter. No one wants to be stranded at the side of the road at the best of times, but in high temperatures it can seem even worse.
The number one cause of breakdowns in summer weather is overheating. Not topping up your coolant, leaking hoses or broken cooling fans in your engine are the culprits, so before you start your journey, make sure that your car is prepared for the heat.
How to check your coolant system:
- Ensure that you check the level on your coolant reservoir regularly and especially before a long trip
- If your coolant hoses are showing wet patches, you probably have a leak, so a trip to your local garage may be needed.
- It’s easy to check your fans yourself. Turn on your engine and leave it to idle. After about 5-10 minutes, you should hear the fan start. Listen out for it and if you hear nothing or it sounds like it is having problems, take it to get it checked before you go
Punctures and flat tyres- As rubber expands when it gets hot, summer can be a little more taxing on your tyres than normal, especially when it gets to record highs like what we have seen lately. The road is already hot and when you add to that the friction between the tyre and the road surface and you are looking at some serious expansion. This can aggravate existing weaknesses in your tyres which can lead to punctures and even blow outs; not something you want to happen on a busy motorway or an isolated back road.
How to check your car tyres:
- Look for any signs of wear and tear that may cause your tyres to blow out. Bubbling of the rubber is a sure sign that you need to change it as soon as you can, but deep cracks and stones in the tread will need to be inspected as well.
- Check your tyre pressure. Remember, if you are going to be carrying a heavier load than normal, you will need to adjust your tyre pressure to compensate. Best to check your car models manufacturer handbook for the correct levels.
Visibility and Glare- We all love the sunshine; however it can play havoc on our ability to see the road ahead of us. Another feature of summer driving is the amount of bug suicide we see on the front of our cars and, more importantly, our windscreens. Too much build up and you can struggle to see, especially if the sun shines off the smears causing blind spots.
How to keep your visibility clear:
- Make sure that you have plenty of water and windscreen clear fluid in your window washer so that you can keep your screen clean as you go. Depending on how far your journey is, it is always a good idea to have another bottle in your boot, so if you run out you already have a premix ready to go.
- Sunglasses are a great idea as they not only protect your eyes, but they help reduce glare from the road surface and other cars.
- Remember, bug debris can also affect your car headlamps and their function if you allow it to build up, so a quick wipe of the glass before you head off again is always a good idea.
We can help you make sure that your car is ready for the road; from checking your fluid levels and window wipers, to filling up your air conditioning and looking at your tyres for you. Just call our team today on 01553 765 211 to book your car in or shop online for any parts you may need to do the job yourself!