How can I look after my car in hot weather?

·4-min read

Large areas of the UK are currently experiencing hot weather, with even higher temperatures due over the coming weeks. Humans feel the effect of the hot weather, of course, but cars also need some extra attention when the mercury rises.

So here, we’re going to take a look at some of the measures you can take to ensure that your car sails through the warmer weather without fault.

Check your coolant

Engine shot
Coolant is key to maintaining an engine’s temperature


Your coolant is essential for keeping a car at a stable temperature. It’s a good idea to make sure that your car is topped up with the right amount – underneath the bonnet you’ll find a coolant reservoir with a gauge to see how much is there.

You should make sure that it sits between ‘maximum’ and ‘minimum’. You can top it up yourself using the appropriate coolant, but if you have any concerns then take it to a garage right away.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning
An air conditioning system might need recharging if it isn’t blowing cool


Air conditioning is almost essential when driving during the summertime. However, if your air conditioning isn’t blowing as cool as you’d like, then it may need some attention. There could be a number of reasons, but one of the main ones is that your air con system needs a re-gas. This process removes any old refrigerant and replaces it with a new refrigerant.

It’s your first port of call if your air-con isn’t blowing cold and, fortunately, it’s a relatively inexpensive process to get sorted. Even high street retailers will be able to professionally re-gas the system.

Convertible roof

BMW 4. Series Convertible
(BMW)


British drivers absolutely love convertibles and the summertime gives an opportunity to make the most of the wind-in-your-hair feeling. But with most convertible roofs staying closed for much of the year, the summer can actually prove to be a time when these systems come unstuck.

Any squeaking or groaning is well worth having professionally investigating, while it’s a good idea to ensure that any arms or brackets are clear of any muck that may have accumulated. If it’s a fabric top, then you could use this time to give it a deep clean with a professional cleaner, too.

Wipers

Though it might seem strange to think about your car’s wipers when the weather gets hot, it’s actually important to check that they’re operating just as they should. This is because any break in the weather – which is more than likely here in the UK – will see your wipers thrust into action, with heavier downpours meaning that you’ll be relying heavily on them.

So give them a visual inspection to check for any cracking and make sure that they’re clearing the windscreen properly when operated without any rubbing noises.

Washer fluid

Winter car checks
Top up your windscreen washer with the correct fluid


Even during warmer weather, your car’s windscreen can get covered with dust and pollen, so ensuring that you’ve got plenty of washer fluid is essential. It’s a breeze to top up, too, with a blue cap underneath the bonnet often highlighting the right filling point.

Just make sure to use an appropriate washer fluid and refrain from putting in solely water.

Tyres

Bentley Continental on winter tyres
(Bentley)


If you usually take shorter journeys in the car but plan to make the most of the warmer weather by travelling further afield, then it’s a good idea to give your tyres a once-over. Look out on the sidewalls for any cracking or cuts, as these could mean that a replacement is required.

Plus, check the depth of the tread. The legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm, but it’s advised that you replace your tyres once they get to 3mm of tread depth. One of the most accurate ways to check is by using a proper tread depth device, though you can use a 20p coin. Insert it into the tread and if the outer ring is obscured, then there’s enough tread. However, if you can see that outer band, then the tyres will need changing.

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