CAR experts have issued an urgent warning about common causes of breakdowns in hot weather – as Brits enjoy 32C sunshine this week.
The RAC has identified the five most common reasons for engine problems in summer conditions – don’t be surprised.
Rod Dennis, spokesman for RAC Breakdown, told The Sun Online: “Since the hot weather took hold we have seen a corresponding increase in the number of breakdowns our patrols are out on – around 10% per day, which equates to hundreds more vehicle breakdowns .”
“However, the good news is that drivers can do a lot to prevent this from happening in the first place, and checking coolant and oil levels should be the first thing you do before every trip.”
“It’s also important that drivers are prepared in the heat – no one expects a breakdown to happen, but if they do, it’s important they have taken steps to stay safe.”
The expert explained that stockpiling water, food and emergency medicines is “critically important.”
Sun protection in the form of hats, sunscreen and parasols is also important.
Vehicle batteries may experience problems in hot weather due to a change in driving activity.
Many Brits undertake long journeys on the way to a holiday destination, which can put a strain on vital components.
These trips often involve sitting in slow-moving traffic and using multiple devices such as phones, tablets and navigation devices, all of which put a strain on the battery.
RAC experts advise checking the battery or replacing it if it is not new.
A three-year replacement cycle is recommended, with problems becoming more common after four or five years.
As caravans and trailers hit the roads amid heatwaves and beach days, the RAC warned Brits to check their tires before setting off on a long journey.
Check the condition of the tires and look for worn threads or signs of wear.
It is also advisable to check the tire pressure, as too little air in the wheels can lead to poor vehicle control and braking.
Pack a spare
Speaking of tires: The RAC gurus urged every driver to pack spare tires.
An expert wrote: “A flat tire can happen at any time – but since many drivers drive more miles on a wider variety of roads in the summer, it is more likely to happen during the holidays.”
“Especially when cars are heavily loaded with passengers and luggage, the rubber is subjected to additional stress.”
Although some drivers pack a tire repair kit instead, you shouldn’t rely on it.
“These can work if it’s a small puncture, but if the tire is cracked, torn or shredded, a tire repair kit is of no use,” the expert added.
As heatwaves and glorious weather sweep across the UK, the streets are getting busier as more people make their way to the coast.
But being stuck in traffic can be a nightmare for the clutch.
And loading vehicles with more luggage or towing trailers can increase the load.
RAC experts recommend that you be clear about your car’s towing capacity and familiarize yourself with the route beforehand.
If the alternator fails, the vehicle’s red battery warning light should illuminate on the dashboard.
“Alternator problems are related to battery-related problems; this time it is excessive stress on the alternator that can cause problems,” wrote an RAC expert.
“The stress of connecting more power-hungry devices combined with hotter weather quickly makes any vulnerabilities apparent.”
According to the RAC, it is an expensive repair that may take some time. Therefore, it is important that you repair your engine carefully.