Urgent warning issued to drivers before heading out in 34C scorcher today | The Sun
DRIVERS should beware of hitting the roads in today's scorching 34C heatwave, motor experts have warned.
The RAC predicted a "short sharp spike in breakdowns" as the mercury soars across the country today.
The motoring group urged drivers check their oil and coolant levels, especially before setting out on a long journey.
Temperatures today are set to hit the hottest day of the year for the third day in a row with sizzling highs of 34C on "Fiery Friday".
Studies on the "greenhouse effect" inside cars found that an outdoors temperature of 22C could heat up to 47C in your car in just the space of an hour – so Brits need to be extra careful as temperatures heat up.
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “With the temperature ramping up very rapidly this week we’re expecting a short, sharp spike in breakdowns, especially in central and southern parts of the UK.
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"It’s important drivers don’t get caught out, so we’re advising they check their cars’ oil and coolant levels as soon as they possibly can, particularly if they have a long trip planned in the hottest part of the day."
The motoring group also advised drivers to keep themselves and their passengers happy as well as their car.
Rod added: "Drivers should also stay hydrated which has been shown to have a positive effect on their concentration levels.
"Passengers should also be kept as cool and comfortable as possible so carry plenty of water and plan in sufficient breaks to avoid an already hot car becoming even more heated.”
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Luckily, the RAC issued advice on how to avoid a breakdown this summer.
Top checks to include before setting off on a long journey include inspecting the cooling system.
A leaking cooling system or faulty cooling fan could cause your car to overheat leading to expensive damage.
Check your electric cooling fan is working properly and the fan belt if your car has one.
If you've got a convertible roof, why not check you can operate it properly to avoid awkward delays later on – and make sure you know how to manually open or close it if you need to.
Double check your jack and wheel brace to make sure you can change a spare wheel if you need to do so – if locking wheel nuts are fitted, ensure the locking key is safely stowed away in the vehicle.
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Leaving certain objects inside your car could actually put your vehicle at risk, warned Select Car Leasing.
Plastic water bottles left inside a scorching car could act like a magnifying glass and actually psoe a fire risk.
Soft drinks cans could burst and spill, and deoderant could even explode.
The heat might also cause irrepairable damage to any gadgets you leave in your hot wheels, and the temperatures could also expire your suncream.
When driving, one sneaky rule could also catch motorists out as temperatures turn up today.
Forgetting this your sunglasses could land you in hot water when driving in hot weather – you could be slapped with a £1,000 fine or three points on your licence.
To keep yourself as safe as possible, make sure you have prepared yourself to drive a long way in the heat.
Make your car as cool as possible and avoid the temptation to drive bare-footed or wear flipflops.
Rail networks could even be affected by the hot weather too, as train services suffer in the heat.
Network Rail tweeted: "Temperatures are set to soar in parts of Britain this weekend.
"Very hot weather can severely impact train services."
FIVE MOST COMMON SUMMER BREAKDOWNS
Car batteries run down with stop-start activity like crawling along in traffic or if the whole family has plugged in lots of devices for a holiday trip.
If your car takes a long time to start or the lights appear a bit dimmer, these could be signs your battery is getting low.
Trips to the beach or a weekend getaway this summer could cause more tyre blowouts on long journeys.
Check your tyre pressure and condition before you set off to avoid this against your vehicle's manual.
Punctures without a spare
The third most common call outs to the RAC in the summer are punctures, which are more likely to occur on long journeys with more passengers and luggage in.
Always check you have a spare tyre in the event of a puncture so you can be back on the road again soon.
Slow-moving traffic on busy roads can take a toll on your clutch as people leave town in the heat, as can unfamiliar roads with unexpected hills or road surfaces.
Towing caravans and trailers are also a recipe for disaster if your clutch is already worn down, so look out for the warning signs it is about to go: a heavy or gritty pedal; a high clutch bite; or signs that your clutch is slipping when you accelerate hard in a high gear at low speed
Alternator issues go hand in hand with battery-related problems so can wear down from the drag of connecting more power-hungry devices.
The car's red battery warning light might flicker or fully light up on the dashboard if the alternator is failing, so pull over as soon as you see this.
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