Summer is here, apparently. And along with the usual invasion of wasps, bees and flies to annoy us, we also, very occasionally, get blessed with high temperatures and a nice bit of sun. Unfortunately the sun isn’t too kind to our cars and drivers, so here are a few tips to help you cope with the heat this summer:
Tyres – Check the tread and wear of the tyres making sure there are no cracks, bald patches or uneven surfaces. High summer temperatures can cause damage to the rubber causing punctures, so ensure the spare tyre is in good condition too. Always check tyre pressures before heading out on a journey.
Fluid Levels – Check the coolant level regularly, and top up if necessary, to avoid overheating. Check the coolant fan is working properly to ensure the engine temperature doesn’t get too hot. It’s also wise to check the brake, clutch and power steering fluids as well as the oil before a long journey.
Once you’ve set off on your journey, be careful to avoid driving fatigue, which can be accelerated by high temperatures. Fresh air or turning up the radio can help in the short term, but it’s important to take a 20 minute break from driving every 2 hours.
Turning on the air conditioning can help in the heat, most new cars now come with air conditioning either as standard or as an option, such as the new Mini Cooper and Vauxhall Corsa, however it will also use more fuel so don’t leave it on for too long. Ensure all windows are shut before you switch the air conditioning on, and once the car has been cooled, turn it down or switch it off to avoid wasting fuel. Ensuring the air conditioning system is serviced regularly will help to keep it efficient and hygienic.
If you park in the sun, try to find a shady spot, or use a windscreen shade to help keep temperatures down within the car. Open the doors as soon as you return to the car to help lower the temperature inside the car. This will help to cool the interior so that you are not so reliant on the air conditioning.
Another problem faced by many motorists in the summer is glare from the sun. To avoid glare, try to keep a pair of sunglasses in the car, and if you need glasses to drive, make sure they are prescription sunglasses. Cleaning the windscreen regularly inside and out to remove smears, which can catch the sunlight, can also help to reduce glare. Renewing worn or damaged wiper blades will also help to improve vision in the summer.