Summertime sadness- Heat related car problems

Ah the summertime, a time when we sing lyrics like “when the living is easy”, “when the weather is high” and “Time to sit back and unwind”. Well, that’s all well and good, but what about those heat related vehicle problems, do we have a song for that? Sadly there is very little demand for a songs compelling us to check our tyres and cooling system, so we suppose a blog post will have to do. Jokes aside, heat related vehicle problems really do have the capacity to turn a laid back summer day into a total nightmare. With this in mind we decided to take a look at some of the most common problems and what you can do to avoid the dreaded “summertime sadness”.

The problems

Battery failure - Heat can cause the evaporation of battery fluid; this can result in internal damage to the battery. The best tip here is to look for dry fluid residue and specifically ask your mechanic to look into the battery charging mechanism during a service.

Cooling system - keeping this topped up with the right mix of water and coolant is essential to maintaining the vehicle over the hotter months. Watch out for coolant leaks and the temperature gauge to ensure the vehicle cooling system is running ok.

Belts and hoses - like with most materials, these are worn down by the constant heating and cooling and can crack or tear causing problems for the radiator. You can check these by looking under the hood, however for a more comprehensive check you may need a more experienced eye to spot faults.

Tires - pressure levels in tyres do change with the outside temperature, so to avoid inflation problems you do need to hit the air section of your local service station. Its best to check these every month or so, especially in times of high temperatures.

Air conditioning - this could be a problem with the gas level, the compressor or the condenser. Many servicing centres will check for this in a minor or major service so as long as you remember to have this included in your service you shouldn’t be caught out.


Over the Christmas period most cars transform from the usual office to home work horse to a general run-around machine. This includes the all-important collection of family and friends along with an occasional road trip. For these trips, reliability is all important. This is especially pointed when you think of how embarrassing it can be if you have car trouble. While you can get over embarrassment having car trouble on a road trip can cause real upset and can have very real and dangerous consequences. All in all its simpler, cheaper and actually very satisfying to keep a close eye on your vehicle during those heated summer month.

Have a look at our article on servicing for more info

Have you ever had a summertime car nightmare?

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