Summer Driving Advice
Fourways Self Drive July Blog – Summer Driving Advice
Even though we’re lucky to have a full week of sunshine, it’s just as important to take extra precaution with your car in the summer as it is during the winter months.
From traffic and high temperatures, to breakdowns and hay fever, the summer season can put a range of extra demands on cars and drivers. To help with these issues, we’ve put together a few tips for you to follow when necessary!
For your vehicle
The key won’t turn in the ignition
This is in fact quite common, particularly during the summer months. It can be both frustrating and time consuming and can often be due to high temperatures. Before you call your break down provider, try a few of these solutions.
- Apply pressure to the key and keep turning the steering wheel back and fourth to find a free spot where the key will turn
- Spray the lock cylinder with electrical contact cleaner to flush away dirt
- Lubricate the lock cylinder
- Firmly tap the lock cylinder
If these don’t work for you, contact your breakdown provider and wait in a safe place.
High temperatures can also have an effect on the cooling system of your vehicle. Problems such as leaking hoses, low coolant and broken cooling fans cannot only cause overheating, but expensive damage too! During high temperatures, make sure you:
- Check the coolant level on a regular basis
- Keep an eye out for wet or white staining on coolant hoses
- Check the coolant fan
During high temperatures, the rubber of the tyre can become aggravated, especially if there’s existing damage. As well as this, under-inflation can cause extra friction, adding additional heat that can lead to punctures and blowouts. You can help prevent this by:
- Checking the condition of your tyres and make any necessary adjustments
- Changing your tyres on a regular basis
- Looking into purchasing summer tyres
Sun glare can cause accidents and although there’s nothing you can do about the sun, you can take other precautions by:
- Keeping your windscreen clean on both the inside and outside. Remove all smears as this can significantly impair your vision
- Investing in a quality pair of sunglasses
- Checking your wiper blades and replacing them if worn or damaged
- Keeping your screen wash topped up to get rid of any outside smears
Summer fuel saving
Whether you’re out and about or embarking on a long journey, it’s always great to save money on fuel. The following tips can help you save a few pennies!
- If you have to carry excess luggage on the roof of your car, it’s beneficial to use a roof box to reduce drag
- Once you’ve arrived to your holiday destination, remember to take off the roof box to save fuel on day trips
- Although it’s lovely to feel the fresh air whilst driving, keep the windows closed to reduce extra drag
- Only use the air conditioning when necessary. Once the car has cooled, turn it down or off
- Increase your tyre pressure if you’re carrying extra passengers with you
For you, the driver
Although this can affect you all year round, during the heat it’s very easy to become tired whilst driving. Although fresh air and turning the radio up can help, they’re only short term solutions and are not as effective as the following:
- Take sufficient breaks during long journeys
- It is advised that shorter more frequent breaks are more beneficial
- Avoid heavy meals before driving
- If you’re tired before a long journey, try to postpone it if you can
Hay fever is a common allergy that affects up to one in five people. The symptoms – including sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes – can effect your driving.
- Make sure you stock up on tissues and keep them close to hand
- Slow down when you’re about to sneeze
- Ensure that the medication you’re taking is drowsiness free
- Reduce the pollen grains in your car by closing all windows and air vents
- You can also enquire about pollen filters for your car too
Keep your skin protected
People often don’t realise that the sunlight can penetrate through your windows making you susceptible to skin damage.
You should always apply sun cream to your face and pop some on wherever necessary, for example, your arms and legs.
At Fourways Self Drive we like to provide useful advice that drivers can find useful and take on. If you have any topics you’d like us to cover, feel free to get in touch!