Extreme Heat Alert: Travel Tips from the AA

With temperatures likely to top 35C early this week, the AA advises drivers to avoid the hottest part of the day and be well prepared before setting off in their cars.

Those traveling in older cars that have not been recently repaired, without air conditioning, are advised to consider whether they should travel.

The AA and the Northwest Ambulance Service have been warning that there is an increased danger of tire blowouts in extreme temperatures. Some local authorities have sent out spreaders to put sand on the roads to try to prevent the road surface from melting.

On a sunny 27°C day, the interior temperature of a car could reach 60°C, like in an oven, so it is important to keep your keys in your pocket if you put children or pets in the car. Last summer, AA handled an average of two cases per day in which children or pets had been accidentally locked in cars, along with their keys.

extreme heat alert: travel tips from the aaLeaving as early as possible in the morning can reduce the chances of your engine overheating, as air temperatures drop at this time of day. Road surfaces are also likely to be cooler, meaning your car’s tires are less likely to get hot enough for pressure to build.

Like oil and coolant levels, you should only check tire pressure when the tires are cold. ‘Cold’ means the car has not been driven for a couple of hours. The pressure inside the tires increases as they heat up. If you set your pressures when your tires are already hot, your pressure is probably too low.

Overheated engines are one of the most likely causes of a breakdown on the road in very hot weather. Make sure your vehicle’s cooling system is in good shape by having it checked by a mechanic. Radiator cooling fans are more likely to get stuck on older cars, meaning they won’t work when needed. An overheated engine can lead to a costly repair, so preventative maintenance could save you money in the long run.

Know your location

Edmund King, AA President, he said: “Extreme temperatures can be dangerous if you have a breakdown or get stuck in congestion. Make sure you have enough fuel or electrical charge to keep your air conditioner running. The heat wave could cause considerable problems for many older vehicles without air conditioning or recent maintenance, with both the car and the occupants overheating. It is recommended to drive outside during the hottest part of the day.

“If your car breaks down in hot temperatures, it’s even more important than usual that we get to you as quickly as possible. The fastest way for our members to report a bug is through the AA breakdown application.

“Knowing the location of your levy is vital to us, so downloading the what3words app (w3w) and reporting your unique w3w location can help us reach you faster. Try to wait in the shade in a safe place.

“Carry plenty of water, at least a liter per person traveling. Keeping yourself and other occupants hydrated can help lower body temperature in hot weather. Should the worst happen, you and your companions can fill up on cold water while you wait for help to arrive.

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