As the summer approaches many of you will be gearing up for long drives across the UK and abroad, which means it’s vital that your car is in the best condition possible.
On average, there is a 20% increase in breakdown call outs in the UK during the hot weather and up to 30% in coastal areas!
It proves that the hot weather can cause a variety of issues for drivers which is why you should do your best to carry out the following checks to ensure your car has the best chance of avoiding breakdown.
1. Oil Levels
Check Oil levels – Oil is absolutely crucial for lubricating the parts in your car which prevents breakages and heat build-up. In the hot weather, low oil can be even more dangerous as the heat build-up will be intensified. That is why you should make sure you have plenty in the reservoir which you can locate using your user’s manual.
Fluids are the lifeblood of your radiator. You should check your coolant levels to ensure that you have the proper amount of fluid in the radiator. This will help to keep the car from overheating in hot weather and keeps the water from freezing in colder climates.
3. Air Conditioning
You will know if you have a problem with the cooling system if you can smell something unpleasant when the air con is on. A mechanic will be able to perform a very simple yet highly effective service called an air con re-gas or refresh.
This will not be costly and can completely restore your cooling system. You should be having this carried out every two years anyway so if you haven’t, get it done before your big trip.
4. Windscreen Wipers
Living in the UK, we all know how unpredictable the weather is ALL OF THE TIME, which is why your car needs to be ready for any situation. Heavy rainfall is common in the UK summer and so it is vital that your windscreen wipers are able to handle a sudden deluge.
Ensure that the blades on your wipers are not broken and the washer fluid level is correct as you may need to clear dirt from your windscreen.
It sounds simple but make sure to check that all of your indicators and lights are fully working as the last thing you want is to be pulled over and fined half way through a long drive!
All of the lights inside the car and on the dashboard should be in full working order. If they are not, your battery may be struggling or you may have an electrical fault.
If this is the case, you cannot leave for your journey without fixing the issue and should contact a mechanic.
Tyre pressure is one of the most important things to check before you leave for a long journey as tyres will deflate even without a puncture. Tyre pressure can be checked and topped up easily at any petrol station for a few pence.
The tread of all four of your tyres should also be checked as it will degrade over time. If the tread is less than 1.6mm, you will need to have a new tyre fitted as this is the legal requirement for cars in the UK. Carry out the same check on your spare tyre as the same regulation applies.
• Keep a spare set of keys for your vehicle somewhere safe just in case you get locked out and are a long way from home.
• Distribute your luggage and passengers evenly in the car. If you overload on one side there will be much more pressure on the suspension and tyres
• Pack plenty of water as being stuck in traffic in hot weather is thirsty work
Hopefully the advice in this guide will help to keep you safe this summer and beyond. Remember that if you need a professional to carry out a quick fix or full service all you have to do is enter your registration plate in the form above and we will send you quotes from the best local garages for the work!