Driving This Summer – Tips For Preparing Your Vehicle For Warmer Days

The summer season is about to take off, but whether you are planning holidays and days out or you use your car every day for commuting and shopping you need to make sure it is in tiptop condition. It’s especially important to ensure it is able to cope with the warmer weather to come.

Check Your Tyres

The last thing you need on any journey is a flat or damaged tyre. The fact is that hotter temperatures can affect road surfaces, which in turn affect tyres. This is specifically of concern because the air pressure in the tyres can increase with prolonged heat. This can compromise the vehicle’s road-holding ability, braking distances and even fuel economy. Check tyre pressures regularly in hot weather to avoid over-inflation.

Give Your Vehicle a Health Check

Broken down vehicles at the side of the road are a familiar sight during the summer months, so if you don’t want this to happen to you then book your vehicle in for a thorough check. A garage will be adept at checking things like brakes, fluid levels, water, oil and filters and air conditioning units. For hayfever sufferers there is nothing worse – or more dangerous – than trying to drive with eyes and nose streaming. Most modern vehicles have pollen filters and these normally require replacement annually or after a set mileage. They are relatively inexpensive to buy so make sure yours is replaced if necessary.

Clean the Windscreen

Warm, dry weather always seems to bring with it dry dust, dirt and pollen as well as an increase in insects. All of these can soon start to obscure your vision. Always keep front and rear screen wash reservoirs topped up and ensure windscreen wipers are clean and undamaged; replace these if necessary. The Highway Code states that windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions for optimum safety.

Spruce Up the Interior

A car which regularly resembles a dustbin is not only unpleasant to drive, but also presents a safety hazard on the road. If there are cans, bottles or other detritus rolling around on the floor this could become caught under the pedals and the consequences don’t bear thinking about. Make sure you clean the interior of your vehicle to stay safe.

Emergency Kit Checks

It is not a legal requirement in the UK to have an emergency kit in your vehicle but it makes good sense to have one if you’re going on a long drive. During hot weather it’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water, and if you have pets or children with you take suitable drinking receptacles alongside emergency snacks! You could also include in your emergency kit:

• First aid kit with plasters, antibacterial wipes, painkillers, sterile dressings, eyewash

• High-vis jacket

• Warning triangle in case of breakdown

• Basic tools

• Spare tyre (correctly inflated) or tyre inflation kit

• Jump start cables

• Vehicle-compatible phone charger

• Empty fuel can

The last thing you need is a breakdown but it helps to be fully prepared for every eventuality. By preparing your vehicle at the start of the summer season you stand the best chance of keeping yourself and your passengers safe.