An amber alert has been issued ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend - as millions of motorists are expected to head out onto the roads for a leisure trip.
Nearly half of all car drivers are thought to be planning a journey between Friday and Bank Holiday Monday.
Motoring experts from LeaseCar.uk have named the seven most common hot weather car problems and how to avoid any of these issues.
The warmer months mean summer road trips for many motorists, and it is important to look after the car so fun days out do not lead to disappointments.
The heat makes cars vulnerable to overheating, dead batteries, and external damage, so it is essential to ensure cars are kept in top condition throughout the summer months.
A spokesperson for LeaseCar.uk said: “Millions of Britons are hitting the road this summer as record numbers of us head off on much-needed holidays.
“It is essential that drivers understand the dangers they face in hot conditions.
“Heataves can cause a whole host of problems to our cars but luckily drivers can minimise the risks by carrying out some simple procedures. By following our advice motorists can ensure they enjoy the sunshine without having their holiday ruined by a breakdown.
“For a safe trip to be enjoyed throughout the rising summer temperatures, it is crucial for drivers to follow these easy preventative measures to avoid any potential problems.”
The hot temperatures may be pleasant throughout the summer months, but it is important to be wary of car engines overheating, as the heat can make this happen easily. Keep a look on the engine temperature, especially when driving on particularly hot days. Ensure the cooling fan is intact and the coolant levels are accurate to maintain a colder engine.
Hot roads put pressure on car tyres, making punctures a common feature during the warmer temperatures. It is important to regularly inspect car tyre pressures as a preventative measure for punctures, and ensure that the tyre tread does not fall below the 1.6mm legal limit. For those summer road trips, carrying a spare tyre is highly advisable. This is especially given the combination of a weighted car with luggage and passengers, and the summer heat on the roads.
The lovely weather during summer months gives road maintenance workers a good opportunity to carry out roadworks and resurfacing. Yet, this poses a potential danger to road users, with debris on the road. To prevent any damage to cars, drive carefully within the speed limit. Additionally, it is important to stay on top of the car maintenance, and to see a mechanic if necessary for any concerns or issues of body damage to the car.
Despite common conceptions, it is not just the colder winter months which cause car battery issues. Hot temperatures have an impact on the battery too. During the heat, the battery works hard to maintain cooler temperatures in the car. Ensure there are no plastic components obstructing the airflow over the car battery. Importantly, know how old the battery is and when it needs replacing – a mechanic can help with advice for this, but a slow engine crank start is usually a sign for a new one.
Clutch wear and tear
During the hot weather and summer months, pressure develops on the clutch from using it more: holiday traffic, towing caravans, and driving unknown routes. There are warning signs before a clutch breaks down; watch out for a high clutch bite or a heavy clutch pedal. It is important to get a mechanic to take a look at the car’s clutch once this occurs.
Broken air conditioning
When the heat rises, drivers want air conditioning to cool down the temperature for a pleasant journey. To ensure that the car’s A/C is in working order for hot days, check that the electrical components which fuel the air conditioning are in working order, and that the car fluids are at the correct level. It is also advisable to get air conditioning serviced if any concerns occur. To reduce pressure on the A/C, consider driving with the windows down instead, and travelling during cooler times such as the morning and evening.
Worn out wiper blades
Summer showers may relieve the hot temperatures for a short while, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential issues too. Using the car’s wiper blades during these summer showers can lead to damaged blades from overuse. This makes removing water tricky without leaving streaking on the window, potentially leading to reduced visibility. Once the wiper blades begin to wear out, debris could build up and scratch the windshield. It is key to check the wiper blades are fully functioning and replace them when necessary.