Volvo Car Leasing
Summer Driving Advice

The summer months can be just as challenging as winter months for drivers. This guide provides advice on how you can have a stress-free summer of driving and how to reduce the risk of breakdowns

Summer breakdowns

High temperatures can aggravate existing damage to the rubber. Under inflation adds to the problems – causing friction and more heat, which can prove too much for weak spots. This can cause punctures and blow-outs.

Checking your tyres’ condition and pressures regularly, particularly if you need to adjust them for extra loads, can help prevent problems. Caravan tyres should be checked for cracking and always renew damaged tyres before use.

High temperatures can increase cooling system problems. A low coolant level, leaking hoses and broken electric cooling fans can all result in overheating and expensive damage.

If your car’s fan is broken, it will soon become apparent when you meet slow-moving traffic and the engine temperature soars. Check your coolant reservoir level regularly and look out for wet or white staining on coolant hoses.

Drowned or lost key fobs
Forgetting that your car keys are in your pocket when you go for a swim or losing them in the sand are not uncommon. The salt in sea water can ruin electric circuits resulting in your keys not functioning. Most cars have an alternative method of entry if the remote key fails – so check your car’s handbook.

Summer fuel saving
Here are some tips on how to preserve fuel in the summer months:
• Carrying luggage on the roof of a car can cause drag. Use a roof box to reduce this
• Once you arrive at your destination, remove the roof rack or box This will save you fuel on day trips
• Open windows can cause extra drag. Use your air vents (particularly on a motorway)
• Once air conditioning has cooled the inside of your car, turn it off or down
• Don’t start the air conditioning if doors or windows are open
• Increase tyre pressures if you’re carrying extra passengers or heavy luggage. Check your handbook for more details
• Windscreen shades can help cool the insides of the car Opening windows while you drive out of a car park can also help lower the inside temperature before you start the air conditioning

Summer weather

Hay fever
Hay fever symptoms are worse in the summer months. And sneezing at 70mph can mean losing your vision for as much as 100 metres. Anyone that has tried to keep their eyes open when they sneeze will know it’s almost impossible.
Here are some tips:
• Only take medication that doesn’t cause drowsiness
• Ask about pollen filters for your make and model of car
• Keep tissues close to hand
• Slow down if you are about to sneeze
• Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight
• Close windows and air vents to reduce pollen grains in the car
• Vacuum car mats and carpets regularly during the summer to get rid of dust

Road users
Drivers should be more aware of motorcyclists, caravans and horse riders who are on the roads more commonly in the summer months.

Sun glare can cause many accidents, particularly at dawn or dusk.
• Keep a clean and unscratched pair of sunglasses handy
• Avoid lenses which darken in strong sunlight. The windscreen filters out UV light so the glasses will only change slowly
• Clean the windscreen regularly, inside and out, to remove smears which catch sunlight and impair vision
• Renew worn or damaged wiper blades 

To avoid fatigue while driving take the following steps:
• Break up a journey over three hours with a 20 minute break
• On longer journeys take a break every two hours
• Frequent short stops (of at least 20 minutes) are better than one long stop
• Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before driving
• Try to counter sleepiness by either taking a short nap or drinking strong coffee
• Remember that it’s illegal to stop on the motorway hard shoulder, except in an emergency

Country code
If you are driving in the country, you are likely to encounter tractors along the way. Tractor drivers often have soundproofed cabs or wear ear protectors, so they may not hear approaching cars. They also don’t have to be fitted with brake or indicator lights unless used at night. So in daylight, be prepared for them to stop or turn without warning.

Winter tyres
Winter tyres are not suited to year-round use. Summer tyres will give better performance - when temperatures are higher and roads are dry. So you’ll need two sets of tyres if you’re going to choose specialist tyres for winter.

If you are a caravan owner, be aware of the following:
• If your caravan has been parked for the winter months, make sure you check your tyres and wheel bearings before embarking on any trips
• Your caravan’s weight, loaded up with everything you are going to take on holiday, should not be more than 85% of the car’s weight with nothing loaded in the car, other than the driver Most car manufacturers tell you the maximum weight a car can tow
• To find out the amount you can carry in the caravan, look for the payload allowance in the handbook It’s very easy to accidentally exceed the weight allowance for a caravan This may cause premature tyre failure and damage the running gear (chassis, brakes, axles and so on), and it’s illegal too
• You’ll need extending mirrors attached to your tow car so you can see past the caravan you’re towing 
• Caravans may travel at up to 50 mph on single carriageway roads and 60 mph on dual carriageways and motorways
• The law says you can’t leave a vehicle or out-fit where it may cause an obstruction A trailer separated from the towing vehicle must be securely braked or chocked to prevent movement After dark, a trailer parked on a road must be illuminated, which normally means keeping the towing vehicle attached to supply power Because lay-bys are part of the highway, you can’t stop overnight

If you must drive, make sure you are prepared for the conditions
If you do get into trouble:
• Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Instead, stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call
• On a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, because it will help the breakdown/emergency services to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts positioned at the side of the hard shoulder
• Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowploughs, so to ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives
• If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you clearly

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