cold weather can affect the performance of your car
But hot weather can cause quite a few problems too.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that your car is most at risk from the weather during the winter months, but there are plenty of things to look out for during the summer too. 2018 was a rarity in the UK, with prolonged periods of hot, dry weather and these can affect various parts of your vehicle; here's how to avoid expensive car repairs in the summer months.
It's usually man-made objects being left on the road such as nails or other sharp objects that result in a punctured tyre. However, the hot weather can also pose some issues. Temperature fluctuations between night and day can alter tyre pressure and cause under or over-inflation, in some cases resulting in a blowout, which is a scary experience especially if you are travelling at speed.
The solution? Buying a tyre pressure gauge is a great long-term investment. It's usually advisable to check your pressures once a month, but more regular checks are required during the summer months.
Leaking/cracked hose in fuel line
When temperatures rise, fuel can vaporise and build up pressure. If this results in damage to your fuel line, the fuel can escape through the cracks of the hose and result in extremely low gas mileage. The engine light will come on to alert you to this but you can avoid it happening completely.
To check that everything is working as it should, always make sure your fuel cap is tightly fixed — if it still smells of fuel and you're burning through fuel quicker, get an engine light service.
Broken drive belt
The drive belt can last anything up to 60k-100k miles, but does break more easily in hotter temperatures. If this happens, the alternator, power steering and air conditioning are all likely to suffer.
If you're thinking of heading out on a long summer road trip with the family, it's best to have the drive belt checked at your local garage before you set off – particularly if you haven't had it changed in a while.
The car battery has to withstand extreme heat on a daily basis but when it gets hotter outside, this makes the battery work even harder, reducing lifespan and efficiency. You can keep it cooler by ensuring that your plastic battery covers are in good condition — if it still doesn't feel right get a check over at a garage.
It is important that you change your battery fairly regularly, ideally every 3-5 years. Old batteries are harder to charge and put extra strain on your alternator/generator, which could lead to serious and costly damage to the car's electrical system. If you're buying a second hand car, then always remember to ask the age of the battery as it could affect the purchase cost.
If you think your car may have a major fault (especially if the engine light comes on), then it's always best practice to seek the advice of your local trusted garage or breakdown service as soon as possible.