Expert advice: prevent overheating when driving in summer

small people carrier driving through sand dunes, with blue sky and a few thin clouds on the horizon

It’s important to prevent overheating when driving. It’s as much of a pain for the driver as it is for the vehicle.

So, as temperatures increase, here are five tips to help keep your vehicle cool this summer.

Keep water in your car

For you and your vehicle.

When you leave the house and check that you have your keys, phone, and whatever else you need, add water to that list. If the worst situation happens and you break down, you must have water on hot days.

This is particularly important for long journeys. Water can help with concentration and body heat regulation – it’s a must-have for any drive.

Water can also be used to top up your coolant in an emergency if your engine overheats. Make sure you check in for a service ASAP afterwards, as you’ll need to get the anti-freeze balance corrected.

Check your vehicle’s fluids

Regularly, too.

In summer, one of the best ways to prevent overheating when driving is to check your vehicle’s fluids. Your engine oil helps things move smoothly, your screen wash clears your view of dust and bugs, and your coolant… well, cools.

All of the fluids help your vehicle function to its best capacity. Higher temperatures will put increased strain on the engine, but keeping these fluids topped up will help.

If you’re unsure how to check your vehicle’s fluids, here’s some advice from our technical support team.

Get your vehicle serviced

It’s good to get professionals to look over your vehicle before the hot weather sets in. And again when it starts to get cold, but we’ll remind you of that just before winter.

They’ll check your vehicle’s fluids, tyres, battery, and more. It’s a good overall check-up. This will make sure your vehicle’s in the best state to cope with the heat.

It also flags any issues, so you can get them fixed before they cause any harm.

If you’re looking for a trusted local garage, our friends at Who Can Fix My Car can help.

Turn off the AC

If your car is beginning to overheat, turn off the air conditioning. We know, it sounds counterintuitive. But, the AC uses a lot of engine power, so by turning it off your vehicle doesn’t have to work as hard.

Cool the interior on the go by opening all the windows. If it’s safe, take a break from driving and try to find somewhere in the shade. Open all the doors to get the air circulating.

If your vehicle’s overheating, we’ve got expert advice on what to do here.

Pack for pets

Humans are pretty good at regulating our body temperature. Pets, not so much.

If you’re driving in warm weather with pets, pack extra water, take extra breaks, and invest in some appropriate cooling devices. That may be cooling mats, ice blocks, or even a wet towel.

The BBC put together some tips on keeping pets cool in the heat. As a bonus, they included lots of adorable pet pictures. You can read the tips (and see the pics) here.

By following these tips, you can help prevent overheating when driving. Keep your cool out there.

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