Guide to owning and driving cars in summer
After a long, usually wet winter in the UK many people crave the summer months with extended daylight hours, warmer temperatures and dryer weather.
In this article we offer some tips on making sure your car is safe, how to care for your car during the summer months and also how to keep all occupants cool and comfortable on those scorching sunny days.
Prepare your car for summer
Whether your car has been in storage for the winter or has been used on a daily basis, there are a few important checks you should perform on your car before entering the summer months, especially if you plan on heading out on a summer road trip.
- Battery - the winter months can be tough on your car's battery but so can the heat in the summer months. Consider visiting your nearest Stratstone retailer to have it tested, especially if it is over three years old.
- Tyres - time to swap them winter tyres to improve efficiency and handling during the summer months, it is also important to check your tyre pressure as it can rise and fall when temperatures fluctuate.
- Fluids - make sure your car is well lubricated with oil to prevent putting extra strain on your engine in the warmer weather. Other fluid levels you should check are the coolant and screenwash.
How to wash a car in summer
There are a couple of issues involved when cleaning your car during the summer months. Firstly, the water evaporates a lot quicker in the heat, which can leave undesirable watermarks.
Stubborn residue marks can also be left by certain shampoos so it is important to use a car wash product that is PH neutral, mild and gentle; as it would be better suited for using in the heat and direct sunlight.
Avoiding both of the above problems is possible if you are able to wash your car undercover or complete the task during the hours where the sun is not at its strongest, such as early in the morning or later in the evening.
How to keep your baby cool
Fortunately the majority of modern premium and luxury cars feature air conditioning as standard, even with the lower specification models. This is the most effective way of keeping your little ones cool.
However, if you are driving an older classic or your car is not equipped with air conditioning the logical solution is to open the windows. Still, some 3-door cars only have operating windows in the front of the vehicle, which can pose an issue for children riding in the back.
One way of keeping your babies or children cool is to get the car's windows tinted as they will repel heat from entering the car.
Did you know the car's interior colour can also impact how hot the inside of the vehicle gets? Lighter colours such as white and cream will stay much cooler than black interiors. This also applies to car seats, dark-coloured car seats will absorb more heat than paler alternatives.
How to keep dogs cool
Once the summer arrives it is likely you may be heading off on your holidays and many UK households own a pet dog, who is likely to join the trip.
Dogs do not possess the ability of sweating through all of their skin, which is what cools us humans down, but they do rely on panting to control their temperature regulation.
Hot summer days can be tough on dogs when they are being transported in a car as they are more susceptible to dehydration or heatstroke compared to people.
You can keep your dogs more comfortable by avoiding travelling at the hottest part of the day and scheduling breaks for your dog to rehydrate and relax in the shade.
It is important to not leave your dog in the car whilst you visit the motorway services as unventilated cars can heat up very quickly compared to the outside temperature.
Driving in the summer months
Swapping boots for sandals and woolly hats for caps, the summer sun and heat causes for a change in attire.
Although it is not considered illegal to drive in flip flops, it can be dangerous and lead to more accidents. Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that clothing and footwear should not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.
Sunglasses can help prevent dazzle from the sun and it is important to make sure your car has plenty of screenwash as a dirty windscreen and glare from the sun can be a recipe for disaster.
Pleasant weather also brings out a lot of other road users such as horse riders, cyclists and walkers so make sure you stay alert and keep an eye out for any potential hazards.
Make sure you and your car are ready for summer
Following our tips above you can easily make sure you are fully prepared for driving and caring for your car in the summer months.
When it comes to making sure your car is safe and ready to tackle some summer road trips we have friendly associates on hand to assist you at your nearest Stratstone retailer.
Book in for a free vehicle health check so you can rest assured your car is safe and prepared to hit the open road.