We all know about the challenges of winter driving, but summer can also present problems to UK drivers.
In this article we look at how to prepare your vehicle for the summer season – from what checks to carry out on your car, to essential items to carry with you.
What’s different about driving in summer?
Summer weather is often changeable with hot sunny spells giving way to heavy showers, and even the odd thunderstorm.
It’s also a time when people plan long journeys to enjoy holidays or events – roads can be busy with traffic jams, caravans and cyclists.
It’s worth taking a bit of time to make sure your car is ready for whatever the summer season can throw at it.
How can I get my car ready for summer?
Get your vehicle ready for summer with a few simple checks:
Tyres play a big part in safe, fuel-efficient driving. Check them regularly for cracks and bulges, and make sure all four tyres have at least 3mm of tread.
If you fitted winter tyres, change them for all-rounders as the weather warms up.
Warmer weather can also affect tyre pressure, so check it with a gauge* and set it in line with your owner’s manual.
A driving essential for every season. The fluids in your engine all contribute to a smooth summer drive.
- Oil* – check your oil to keep your engine running efficiently.
- Coolant* – keep coolant at the right level to avoid overheating in summer traffic.
- Screenwash* – get rid of dust and insects for a clear view.
Vehicles vary by model – you’ll find full details on how to check and top-up engine fluids in your vehicle manual or handbook. If you’re not sure, book your car into the garage for a regular health check.
It might be a while since you last turned on the air-con. Test it to make sure it’s still blowing cool air into the vehicle.
Your owner’s manual will have more information on how to service your air-conditioning system. If it’s not working, book in to a repair centre to find and solve the issue.
Wiper blades* get plenty of use through the winter! If yours leave streaks on the windscreen, think about replacing them.
New blades are reasonably cheap, easy to fit, and you’ll appreciate them in a summer shower.
Summer travel essentials
What should you carry in your car in summer? This handy kit will keep you safe and comfortable when driving in warm weather.
Keep these items in the car all year in case of emergencies:
- First aid kit*
- Warning triangle*
- Hi-vis vest*
- A-Z (in case your sat-nav lets you down)
- In-car phone charger
Whatever your plans, this kit will keep you summer-ready:
- Snacks – pick something that won’t melt if it gets warm!
- Any emergency medication you need
In summary: Summer driving in the UK
Summer is a time when many drivers plan long trips, meaning roads can be busy with traffic.
The weather in summer is generally warmer but it can be changeable, so it’s worth preparing for a range of weather conditions.
Get your vehicle ready for summer by completing these basic checks:
- Engine fluid levels
- Air conditioning
Pack your car with a summer-essentials kit including sun protection, rainwear, and food and drink to make sure you’re well prepared for the season.