Drivers urged to carry out these vital checks before travelling this summer

The M4 near Newport
-Credit: (Image: John Myers)

When the mercury rises, it's the ideal time to load up the vehicle for a delightful staycation with your nearest and dearest. But, if you're facing a lengthy drive, ensuring your car is in tip-top shape is crucial.

Warm weather can bring its own set of challenges, particularly for your engine. To help motorists, Which? consumer specialists have highlighted an essential check to perform before hitting the road.

The summer heat puts this critical component at greater risk of overheating, which can lead to both expensive and frustrating repairs. Yet, by checking your engine coolant levels, you could avoid a host of problems later on, reports Bristol Live.

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Even during warmer periods, topping up requires using antifreeze. Which? automotive authority Daljinder Nagra advised: "If there's not the correct dilution of antifreeze in your car's coolant tank, it could cause engine damage when the weather starts to turn."

A 50/50 blend of water and antifreeze is recommended for this task, but never attempt to open the coolant tank immediately after driving. The built-up pressure could result in scalding water spraying out. Instead, let the engine cool completely before carefully opening the lid.

In addition, always verify that your air conditioning is functioning properly before embarking on a summer journey, particularly if it hasn't been used recently.

Air-con units that haven't been used for some time can develop mould or suffer from cracked seals, leading to an unpleasant musty odour or a system that doesn't work effectively. As a result, it's advisable to use your air-con frequently throughout the year and test it thoroughly well before embarking on a long journey.

If it's not performing as expected, have it inspected by your local garage. It might simply require a quick re-gas - which typically costs between £50-£100.