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After what feels like an eternity of snow, sleet and sub-zero temperatures, it feels as if summer has finally arrived! And what better way to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather than to pack the family into the car and head off on a summer adventure. Whether you’re planning a few trips to a local beach or beauty spot, or a longer trip away, it’s important to make sure that your car is up the task and that you’re prepared to tackle any problems that summer driving can throw at you. Follow these five tips to ensure that you and your family stay safe and comfortable when you’re driving in the summer months.
Looking after the little people
Though we’re all praying for some sun this summer, it’s important to remember that while the temperature outside may be steady and comfortable, the heat inside the car can quickly climb. If your car’s equipped with air conditioning, then that’s great for regulating the temperature. But if you’re travelling with babies and small children, they’ll need to be shaded from the sunlight.
Mothercare offer a range of sunshades, starting from as little as £5.99, in a range of designs and styles that will keep little ones cool and comfortable in the back seat. It goes without saying that stocking up on bottled water and juices is a must when driving in hot weather, especially when travelling with children. Keep a damp flannel in the car to cool down anyone getting a little bit agitated from the heat, by holding it on the back of the neck or against the inside of the wrists.
An underinflated tyre in hot weather can be hazardous. No matter how long your journey is, always check your tyre pressures before setting off to ensure that you’re going to stay safe and in control of the vehicle.
Kwik Fit offer detailed advice on maintaining your tyres, based on your car make and model, specifying the pressures and treads that are going to keep you and your loved ones safe. Tyres with low tread are going to need replaced, and fast!
Not expecting rain? You still need to check your wipers
After the stresses of winter weather, you’re windscreen wipers can be in a bit of a sorry state. Freezing temperatures and frost can leave wipers damaged and broken, and ineffective at keeping your view of the road clear. Warmer weather can bring with it the occasional violent storm and heavy downpour. So making sure that your wipers are up to scratch is essential to a safe summer journey.
Halfords stock reasonably priced wipers, specific to the model of your car – their online service allows you to enter your car registration which will bring up suitable replacement blades and they offer fitting for just £2.99.
Making sure the radiator is in working order
Summer time is especially strenuous for the inner workings of your car. Long journeys and sitting in traffic in hot weather can quickly lead to an engine overheating. In hot weather, your car’s radiator is most at risk to damage. To see exactly what can go wrong with your car radiator click here.
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Companies like Advanced Radiators offer car radiator repair, which can rectify problems that can occur as a result of summer driving. Better still, this is much cheaper than replacing the entire radiator, which is not always necessary. Damaged and worn parts can be replaced to ensure that your car won’t leave you stranded at the side of the road.
Keeping an eye on the weather
Driving late at night or early in the morning, when the temperatures are going to be lower, is a clever move when you’re making a long journey. You’ll also beat the traffic, although you should always ensure that you’ve had a good night sleep, whatever time you’ll be setting off.
It’s also a good idea to check the weather before you leave. The Met Office is a good place to get detailed information about the weather for the day you’re travelling, and will provide you with the times of sunrise, sunset and the expected temperatures for the day.
Above all, take the time to ensure that your car is roadworthy, that any damage as a result of the winter months has been rectified and that you’re fully prepared for the unpredictability of the weather before embarking on any journey.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post but that doesn't stop it being fun to read