Car broken down in summer

Everyone loves a bit of summer (when the sunshine actually comes out, that is). It’s no secret that finally basking in the warm comfortable sunshine tends to make us a bit more cheerful as a nation, especially since we’re not exactly known for our climate here in the UK. 

However much we enjoy it on a personal level though, it can be easy to underestimate the toll that it takes on our cars. The high temperatures can put additional stress on various components, which can increase the chances of a breakdown. Thankfully, you’ll find no shortage of spare parts in our online car auctions here at RAW2K – but if you want to avoid the risk of an irritating breakdown in the first place, here’s what you need to know! 

Heat increases wear and tear

One of the main culprits behind summer breakdowns is the heat itself. High temperatures can exacerbate wear and tear on your vehicle's engine and other components. The engine tends to run hotter in particularly warm weather, which can cause parts to expand and contract more than usual, leading to increased wear. Over time, this added stress can lead to engine failure or other mechanical issues, until it potentially leaves you stranded on the side of the road. What’s more, the heat can also cause rubber components like belts and hoses to degrade faster, which can also lead to sudden failures.

Battery struggles under extreme temperatures

Your car's battery is particularly vulnerable to extreme temperatures, as you may have discovered back in the pandemic. While cold weather is often associated with battery problems, hot weather can be just as damaging – heat can cause the battery fluid to evaporate, leading to corrosion on terminals and connections. This can reduce the battery's ability to hold a charge and ultimately lead to failure. 

To avoid this, it's always a good idea to check your battery regularly and ensure it's in good condition before the summer heat sets in. Don’t forget to ensure that the battery is securely mounted, as vibrations from driving can exacerbate any existing issues.

Tyres are more prone to blowouts

The high temperatures of summer can have an especially major impact on your car's tyres. Hot weather can cause the air inside the tyres to expand, increasing the internal pressure. If your tyres are already worn or under-inflated, this added pressure can lead to blowouts. The hot tarmac can further degrade the rubber, making it more susceptible to damage. Regularly checking your tyre pressure and ensuring your tyres are in good condition can help prevent blowouts and keep you safe on the road. It's also a good idea to rotate your tyres regularly to ensure even wear and extend their lifespan.

Cooling system works overtime

Your car's cooling system is crucial for keeping the engine at a safe operating temperature, and during the summer, the cooling system has to work much harder to prevent the engine from overheating. If your cooling system is not functioning correctly, the increased demand can lead to overheating and potentially severe engine damage. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure your cooling system can handle the summer heat, including checking the coolant levels and inspecting hoses and belts for wear. It’s also wise to flush and refill the coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, to maintain its effectiveness.

Fluids can degrade faster

In addition to the cooling system, various fluids in your car can degrade faster in high temperatures, such as oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. Heat can cause these fluids to break down or evaporate more quickly, reducing their effectiveness. For example, engine oil can become less viscous, making it less effective at lubricating engine components. This can lead to increased friction and wear, potentially causing engine damage. 

Now, you might be spotting a pattern here, but regularly checking and changing your car's fluids can help maintain their effectiveness and prevent breakdowns. Also, keep an eye on the fluid levels to ensure they are within the recommended range, as low fluid levels can exacerbate overheating issues.

Those are just a couple of our top tips, but it’s far from an exhaustive list, so make sure to keep an eye on your dashboard warning lights! If anything goes wrong, don’t forget that the salvage cars we supply here at RAW2K can be an excellent source of spare parts, or you can even find a car that’s still in decent working order – one that won’t take too much to bring back on the roads! Here at RAW2K, we update our online car auctions daily and weekly. We also include makes and models available from some of the world's leading manufacturers and, as we know now, firm public favourites like Volkswagen, Ford, Renault and many more. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?