How does the warm weather affect your car?

Summer is on its way and the warm weather makes us dream of holidays and road trips! But have you ever thought about the effect of hot weather on our cars? Cars are 50% more likely to overheat in the summer, which is one of the leading causes of breakdowns and roadside assistance. Obviously, cars nowadays are built to withstand even the hottest of temperatures but there are many ways in which your car can be affected by the summer heat. UK Car Finance looks at the ways in which your car suffers and how to prevent it. Ultimately, your car needs to work harder in hot temperatures. Especially in the UK climate, your car may not be used to these sorts of temperatures and may struggle in a number of areas. So, how does the warm weather affect your car?

Battery

Hot weather increases fluid evaporation inside the battery which can ultimately shorten your battery’s life span and struggle to produce power. Using your car more often in hot weather car increase vibration on the battery which damages the battery itself. To prevent yourself from getting stuck while on the road, it’s a good idea to look after your battery. If you’re in for a summer full of travelling and you haven’t had a service in a while, it’s a good idea to book yourself in. Alternatively, you could keep a set of jump cables in your car just in case you get stranded!

Engine Oil

In higher temperatures, the oil in your engine can become thinner. The oil in your engine is there to protect key parts and without it the engine could be damaged. In hotter temperatures, your engine also has to work harder, and the combination of thin oil and exertion can take a serious toll on your engine. Your engine usually works at an optimum temperature of 90° and anything above this can affect the efficiency of it.

Fuel consumption

In hot weather you typically tend to use more fuel. Summer sun means road trips and keeping cool, both of which can affect your fuel consumption. To keep cool, you tend to either use the air conditioning or wind down your windows. However, they can both use a lot of fuel when used incorrectly. Typically, you should only use your a/c when travelling at higher speeds and roll down your windows at lower speeds. When you drive on the motorway with your windows down it creates more drag on the car and makes it work harder, which ultimately uses more fuel.

Tyres

Your tyres are one of the main things that can be affected by heat. Increasing the amount of trips you make in the summer months increases the stress placed on your tyres. The heat also causes your tyres to expand which in the most severe of cases can cause the tyre wall to swell. You should always make sure your tyres are in the best condition possible. Get into the habit of checking your tyre condition, tread depth and also tyre pressure more regularly.

Air conditioning

As mentioned, drivers use air conditioning more often in the summer for obvious reasons. To make sure your air conditioning is working properly, you should have your air-conditioning unit serviced or checked. When used regularly, they can become clogged and make them work less efficiently. The cabin air filter is very important and having it replaced can improve the A/C and also prolong its life span.

About the author: UK Car Finance are a finance provider based in the UK who help people take back control of their car finance deal. With their car finance calculator, you can work out your monthly budget and how much you could borrow even before you apply for car finance! They also provide many thought leadership pieces across the internet on all things motoring and finance related.

Adam Torkildson