WITH temperatures set to hit record levels this weekend, drivers are being warned of an increased risk of breaking down on the road.
The RAC predicts breakdown callouts could rise by as much as 50 per cent in some areas as the mercury soars.
During similarly hot temperatures last summer, the RAC attended twice the expected number of breakdowns in places like North Devon and North Wales, Pembrokeshire, Canterbury and the North York Moors in the final weekend of the month.
Roads leading to popular tourist destinations are most likely to be breakdown hotspots as drivers look to make the most of the weather.
Typical causes of hot weather breakdowns include more tyre blow-outs, engines overhearing, people running out of fuel mid-journey, and even an increase in misfuels as drivers get flustered by the heat at the pumps.
The RAC offered advice for drivers on how to prepare their car for a day trip in the heat.
Preparing your car for the heat
The RAC recommends drivers remember ‘FORCES’:
- (F)uel: Don’t risk running out of fuel – top up before you set out. More people heading onto the roads in the good weather can lead to traffic jams, especially on routes to the beaches.
- (O)il: Check it’s at the right level
- (R)ubber: Tyres need to be properly inflated and in good condition to give your car a safe, sure grip on the road
- (C)oolant: This does a vital job in the warmer weather, in ensuring the engine runs at the right temperature. If it’s not between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels, this could be the sign of a problem so contact a good garage without delay
- (E)lectrics: You’ll need your lights on during any heavy downpours
- (S)creenwash: Helps keep your windscreen clear
Ben Aldous, RAC patrol of the year, said: “This week’s soaring temperatures will also be a recipe for a soaring number of breakdowns in certain parts of the country, and it’s a sad reality that some drivers will likely encounter an unwelcome and unscheduled stop at the side of the road – they will have to hope they can find some safe shelter from the sun, but it could still mean they suffer some daytrip distress.
“Vehicles can suffer all sorts of problems when the mercury climbs, but it’s really those that are older or haven’t been as well looked after that run the risk of getting into the most trouble.
your guide to car maintenance
“We also know from previous years that it’s roads to the beaches and other beauty spots like the moors, Lake District and highlands that see the largest numbers of stranded drivers.
“Yet checking simple things like coolant and oil levels, as well as tyre tread and pressure, can stack the odds of a smooth journey in every driver’s favour and prevent a breakdown happening in the first place.
“Put simply – spending just moments checking things before you drive off could save you hours stuck in the heat at the roadside not doing what you set out to do.”