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Driving in the Summer Heat: Keep Cool on the Roads

road trip in summer

Summer driving tips to stay cool this season.

The sun is shining and summer is here! There’s nothing ahead but miles and miles of enjoyment. Even though you may love being behind the wheel on a nice warm day, trouble can occur when the temperatures increase. To help keep you on the go, check out these tips to handle the heat of the season while behind the wheel.

Before you hit the road when it’s hot outside:

  • Check your cooling system (or have a professional do it). Make sure you have enough coolant in the tank. If you haven’t had the system checked in a while, consider having your system flushed and refilled.
  • Inspect your tires, looking for signs of excessive wear and tear, cracks, and any nails in the tread.
  • Top up your tires to the correct psi.
  • Test your air conditioning. You don’t want your A/C to fail during a warm-weather drive, so have a mechanic take a look if it’s not operating at full-blast.
  • Stock up your emergency supply kit, complete with water, non-perishable food, flashlight, a first aid kit, and any other essential supplies.

On the road:

  • Remember that it gets hot inside. When it’s 90 degrees outside, it can take just 10 minutes for a car’s interior to hit 110 or higher. Never leave children or pets inside the parked car (even if it’s in the shade) when it is warm outside.
  • It is typically warmer in the back seat and cargo areas of SUVs and minivans, so make sure passengers, pets, and children are getting some fresh air.
  • Keep your gas tank full or close to it. Hot weather can sometimes bring power outages, which could prevent you from filling up when you really need it.

What to do if your car overheats:

  • Turn off your A/C and turn on the heat – this helps to takes some stress off your engine.
  • Pull over if it is safe to do so. If the temperature dial shoots up or you see steam coming from underneath the hood, stop the car and call a tow truck.
  • Take extra care when examining the engine. Don’t open the radiator cap when your car has overheated.
  • Add coolant or water only when the car is cool. You may have to wait a while, but adding coolant or water to a hot engine can do significant damage.

Regular car maintenance can help keep you on the road instead of stalled on the side of it. Fortunately, if you do end up stranded over the summer, you may be able to rely on your roadside assistance coverage in your auto insurance policy. To discuss adding this to your policy, contact Unisource Insurance Associates to get started.