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Photo: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Summer’s here. Can your car take the heat?

Five checks that could save you a breakdown when the temperature rises.

Now that we’re experiencing higher temperatures, you might find that your body is behaving differently – swollen ankles, fatigue, and lower blood pressure are just some of the changes you might notice. Your car also responds to heat, which is why it’s important to conduct a series of checks as soon as the temperature rises:

  • Coolant protects the engine from corrosion, aids heat transfer, prevents rust and scales from building up and, importantly, stops the engine from overheating when it gets hot, by raising the boiling point of the water in the cooling system. It’s therefore vital to keep coolant levels topped up.
  • The summer heat can affect a battery’s ability to generate power while rising temperatures under the bonnet can cause engine failure. It’s a good idea to check the condition of your battery and its terminals, make sure it is securely mounted in the engine bay, and replace it if necessary.
  • Change the air filter on your car’s air con to ensure its efficient functioning. You should also run it on the coldest setting for 10 minutes once a week, to ensure that the gas pressure is maintained. Finally, cleaning the car regularly will prevent dust and bacteria from settling in the air conditioning system
  • Replace oil, because fresh oil offers better lubrication to reduce friction between engine parts and therefore staves off potential damage – important because the engine must work harder to maintain optimal performance when it gets hot.
  • When the rainy season starts, it becomes important to check tyre tread and ensure that tyres are properly inflated to prevent hydroplaning.