Summer is upon us and whilst you might be ready to greet the heat, is your car? Your vehicle is invaluable in getting you from A-B in the scorching summer sun, so why not give it a helping hand to cope with toll that the hot weather takes on it. Read on as we reveal out top tips for managing your motor!

Hot and humid conditions mean hydration

It’s not only you that needs good hydration in the heat and travelling in a steamy vehicle really isn’t recommended not only for your comfort but also for your health! Check your car’s cooling system regularly, looking out for fluid levels, signs of leakage and quality of filters. Keep air-flow fins and radiator grilles debris-free. Blockages and lack of fluid can be the reason for an AC system failing to function so always do your health check first before taking to a repair shop. However, if you’re still having problems, go to an auto AC specialist. Modern systems are complicated and you could need a new part such as that all important compressor unit, so don’t be afraid to ask the experts.

Checking charge to avoid charges

Just like us, batteries don’t react well to intense heat and need just the right level of charge to keep going! Overheating caused by high temperatures cause changes in your car battery’s chemicals, with altered reactions leading it to overcharge and reduce its life span. Intense heat can also cause quicker evaporation of the car battery fluids, as well as creating corrosion in cable clamps, connections, and battery terminals. Problems with the terminals and connectivity also mean that your battery is likely to misfire or fail and could leave you stranded, so always make regular checks on your battery for fit and fluids and note that it doesn’t last forever, so check the date it was installed too!

Putting the brakes on

Batteries and ACs aren’t the only things that are affected by heat and lack of fluid. Crucially, the car’s braking system also needs an optimum temperature and fluid level to operate effectively so stop and check that you can always stop when you need to!

It’s a ‘tire-some’ business

Keep your cool under pressure and make sure that your tires are doing the same! Check your tire pressure with a suitable gauge and always follow the inflation pressure recommendation: you’ll find it in your car’s owner’s manual. Never under or over inflate as this increases the risk of grip failure or blow-out. Note that summer heat increases the tire’s temperature and pressure, so check weekly if you can. And if you drive a 4×4 and have been driving in the desert, chances have you reduced the pressure for extra grip? Remember, to re-inflate when you get back on the road as the pressures needed there differ.

When having a hot body isn’t a good thing!

Your car’s bodywork doesn’t only get admiring glances from other road users, it’s attractive to the sun too! Harsh sunlight can make your car’s looks fade by damaging the paintwork and humidity can have a direct effect on the integrity of the bodywork. Try to minimise exposure to direct sunlight for long periods by parking under the shade or in a carport/garage and use a car body cover if there is no shade parking available. And if you do want to treat your car to a refreshing shower, remember to wait till the sun goes down to minimise detergent damage.

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.