Drivers warned of common heatwave car problems – how to avoid them

BBC Weather: Brits get brief respite before heatwave returns

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Britain is bracing itself for yet another heatwave this week. The temperatures are expected to exceed 30 degrees in most parts of the country. With that in mind, motorists across the UK have been warned of common heatwave car problems such as engine overheating.

The heat is not a vehicle’s best friend, according to experts.

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 said: “Millions of Britons will be hitting the road in the coming weeks as record numbers of us prepare to head off on much needed holidays.

“But with weather forecasters predicting high temperatures it is essential that drivers understand the dangers they face in hot conditions.

“Heat waves 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.”

Engine overheating

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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 that the cooling fan is intact and the coolant levels are accurate to maintain a colder engine.

Tyre punctures

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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.

Dead battery

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 that 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 to buy a new one.

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 air con 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, rather than the middle of the day.

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