It seems like summer arrived out of the blue and we completely skipped spring, with temperatures quickly exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in certain parts of South Africa.
Motus.cars advises that motorists take time to prepare both their cars and themselves for driving in high temperatures.
It is a good idea to use your car’s air conditioner when driving during hot weather, as it will drastically improve cabin comfort and ensure that you as the driver and your passengers remain comfortable despite the sweltering heat. Many motorists still believe that using an air conditioner has a big effect on fuel consumption. While it will have an effect, the air-conditioning systems of modern cars are extremely efficient and the effect on your car’s fuel consumption will be minimal.
Dehydration can have a large effect on your ability to drive safely and can happen quicker than you think. Symptoms include dizziness, lack of energy and even fainting. Remaining hydrated is thus important to your safety and well-being. Normal water is one of the best sources of hydration, and it is best to avoid caffeine and sugary energy drinks if you suspect that you might be starting to dehydrate. Keep some water in your car at all times, as you never know when you might need it.
Keeping your car cool starts with routine maintenance and servicing. A well-maintained car will run optimally despite high temperatures. Check your car's coolant levels in accordance with the owner's manual. Remember that this needs to be done when the car is cold, such as first thing in the morning.
Correctly inflated tyres are critical in reducing heat build-up, as underinflated tyres will generate heat at an increased rate. Once again be sure to check these pressures when the tyres are cool and inflate them to the manufacturer's recommended pressures for the load that you are carrying.
Many parts of South Africa experience summer rains, which are often in the form of short but violent thunderstorms. Inspect your car's windscreen wipers for any cracks, tears or hardening as this can severely affect their ability to clear your windscreen of water and ensure optimum visibility when driving in the rain.
The interior of a car can reach extreme temperatures when parked in the African sun. Try to park in the shade wherever possible. If there is no shade available, windscreen shade protectors are an inexpensive yet very effective way of reducing the interior temperatures of your car when parked in the sun.