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Hot weather driving tips. 19/07/13

Taking car journeys in hot weather can sometimes cause problems if you if you and your vehicle are not properly prepared.

There are a few basic things you can do to minimise the chances of running into difficulties when driving in hot weather.

Tips for driving in hot weather

For your car:

  • Check that your car coolant is at the correct level to avoid your engine overheating

  • Keep a bottle of water in your vehicle, in case you have to top up your coolant

  • Check the temperature gauge of your vehicle frequently, especially in congested traffic

  • If your vehicle is beginning to overheat, find a safe place to stop and let it cool down for at least 30 minutes

  • If you have to top up your coolant, wait for at least half an hour before adding more coolant as the coolant may be hot enough to scald exposed skin

  • Your cooling system relies on air flow through the radiator in order to function, so if you are stationary for any length of time it is advisable to turn off the engine to avoid overheating

  • Opening windows and turning on your car heater should help dissipate excess heat from an overheating engine

  • If you are stuck in traffic, be aware that air conditioning systems can increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%

  • Check that your oil is topped up. Oil not only lubricates your engine but also helps keep your engine cool

For you and your passengers:

  • Making a long journey in a hot vehicle can make you both tired and irritable, it is advisable to take more rest breaks than you would normally

  • Ensure you have bottled water for you and your passengers to avoid dehydration

  • If you have young children in your car, ensure they have plenty of things to keep them amused if you are stuck in traffic

  • Remember air conditioning systems only work properly when your windows are closed!

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