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Summer driving tips!


Summer is here! Many motorists don't realise summer heat can be just as hard on cars as winter is. Here are some top tips on how to prevent common breakdowns, what to pack in case of emergencies and pre-journey checks to help keep you moving safely through out summer 


Many things can cause breakdowns, here are the most common causes and how to prevent them: 

  • Battery related problems - A warning sign that your battery is low is lethargic starting, replacing your battery could be the best option if you are going away for the summer holidays.

  • Tyres - Visual inspections will show any cracks or distortions on your tyres, if one tyre has a lower tyre pressure to the rest there could be a slow puncture that would need repairing. A check of the tyres and tyre pressure are vital before embarking on your journey's. 

  • Punctures with out a spare - Many callouts are due to drivers having a puncture but no spare in the vheicle. Always check if your vheicle has a spare before setting off.

  • Clutch - If driving in an unfamiliar area where there is altered terrain it can cause strain on your clutch. However one of the biggest reasons for clutch failure is towing incorrectly.  it is alway best ot familiarise you self with the route to be prepared for all terrain. Also if you are towing check your vheicle has the right towing capacity for your caravn or trailer.  If you have concerns whether your clutch is safe for the journey you should always get booked into a garage in advance. 

  • Alternator  - Excessive demand on the alternator can cause issues to arise. The drag from connecting more power-hungry devices, combined with hotter weather, will quickly highlight any weakness. A sign that the alternator is failing is the battery warning light on, if this is showing you should pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so.  Replacing an alternator is not a quick job and is expensive. it is best to get this checked before your travels.


Important Pre-Journey Checks:  

FUEL - Ensure you have enough fuel for your journey. Cars use more fuel in heavy traffic and start/stop conditions which can be regular occurrences, especially in warm weather.

OIL - To avoid engine damage and a potential breakdown, remember to check your oil level and top up when necessary to reduce the chances of overheating in traffic.

RUBBER - Your tyres can tell you a lot about how your car is performing. If they aren’t wearing evenly, then tyre pressures may be mismatched or there could be a fault with the steering. Check that all four tyres have at least 3mm of tread and are inflated to the correct pressure - this is vital to maintaining good grip in wet and even icy conditions.  Also take a look at your wiper blades to ensure they're clearing the screen effectively and that the rubber has not perished.

COOLANT - This does a vital job in ensuring the engine runs at the right temperature. If it’s not between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels, this could be the sign of a problem so contact a good garage without delay.

ELECTRICS - Your wipers will help keep your windscreen clear of bugs, and you’ll need your lights on during any heavy downpours. The electrics also control your indicators and windows, so check there are no problems.

SCREENWASH -Top-up your windscreen washer fluid by using a good quality screenwash, nobody wants bugs and seagull poo all over their windscreen!


Things to take with you:

  • A first aid kit
  • A warning triangle
  • A high visibility vest/jacket
  • A fire extinguisher
  • An empty fuel can
  • Additional engine oil and water (for topping up)
  • A light bulb kit
  • An up-to-date road map or sat-nav
  • A fully charged mobile phone and ideally an in-car mobile phone charger
  • Take plenty of water and refreshments and take regular breaks
  • Take sun cream in case you breakdown, especially abroad
  • If you have children, take some games you can play in the car for entertainment
  • Take extra supplies of medication, you may not be able to get them if you’re abroad

Enjoy the summer from all of us at  Image