It looks like summer has come early as much of the country enjoys glorious sunshine and 20c temperatures this week. As more of us are expected to hit the roads, more breakdowns are likely. But does the warmer weather really affect your vehicle? And what checks should you be making before heading off on a getaway?
With warmer temperatures the nature of breakdowns changes, as overheating and other issues become more prevalent. It’s also an important time to make sure your car is in a good state to take you where you need to go, especially if you’re going to be going on a longer journey.
Of course as the weather is known to affect vehicles it’s good to be more mindful, we’ll get to some checks you should be making, but first let’s look at some of the common summer breakdowns in the UK.
Common Summer Breakdowns
According to one major breakdown provider, these are some of the causes for breakdown we see more of in the warmer months:
- Water leak – Possible a sign that you have a problem with your cooling system, which is a potential cause for overheating.
- Break/clutch problems – In hot temperatures the heat can begin to affect the surface of your brakes and clutch,
affecting the way they grip. Obviously the more warn your brakes or clutch is already the more likely you are to notice this.
- Alternator belt pressure – If you already have a deteriorating belt, the heat can cause it to finally snap. The belt which powers the alternator gives power to your lights, electrics and often A/C and water pump.
- Overheating – In hotter temperatures, your cooling system becomes ever more important. It will also use more coolant to keep the engine from overheating.
Checks to make
- Coolant level – Your car uses more coolant in the hot weather, check you have an adequate level.
- Coolant expiry – Remember that coolant has an best before date, if you are adding coolant to your engine be sure to check the date on it if not new. Older coolant can be bad for the radiator and less effective.
- Tire pressure – If your tires are under inflated they will retain more heat. This can mean that they are more likely to blow. There are lots of factors that affect your tire pressure, and they can change frequently. As a general rule, tire pressures should be checked every 2 weeks.
- Emergency breakdown kit – Make sure you have the right supplies in your car should you need them: water, non-perishable snacks, first aid kit, phone charger etc..
Be aware that when the weather’s as nice as it is now, there may well be more drivers on the road. We hope you enjoy this fine weather while it lasts. Of course if you do find you need breakdown recovery in Kent don’t hesitate to give us a call!