Driving fun in summer - How to drive cool through the summer
The temperatures reach and exceed the 30 °C mark, the nights get longer and it stays mostly dry - high summer is here! We are delighted with the high temperatures. Finally we can enjoy the weather to the full again, go on road trips or spontaneously go on a short holiday. But it mustn't get too hot, otherwise we quickly feel tired and can't do much - and the same goes for the car. The enormous temperatures also have an impact on our vehicle. What do you have to watch out for and how can you really stay cool through the summer?
Danger of overheating
Everyone knows the feeling when you open the car door in summer and all you get is hot, stale air. When you get right into the car, you notice that there is hardly any oxygen. To counteract this problem, we recommend that you first open the doors and windows and ventilate well. Even if you have air conditioning, this should be your first step. Only after opening the doors and windows is it advisable to switch the air conditioner on to recirculate air. When using the system, always make sure that the air outlet glands are only directed towards clothed parts of the body, otherwise you risk catching a cold. Also, don't cool your car down too much, because if the difference between the inside and outside temperatures is too great, you may experience heat shock or other circulatory problems when you leave the car.
If you are not parking in the shade, protect your vehicle with a sunshade that reflects the sun's rays and thus keeps the interior cooler. To prevent your beloved vehicle from running too hot, you should also keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If it is in the red zone, you must stop immediately and take a break. Also, check your coolant regularly and look out for any leaking fluids.
Do not fill up the tank
Are you going on a long drive and need to refuel beforehand? Then it is better not to fill up the tank. The high temperatures cause diesel and petrol to expand in the tank. If the tank is already completely full, there is a risk of overflowing, which increases the risk of fire. If the automatic shut-off system of the petrol pump intervenes, you should not refill the tank any further, especially in summer.
Avoid dry meadows for parking
If you want to put your car in a nice spot, some people resort to meadows, woods or fields, but these are usually dried out in summer. Most people are probably not aware that components such as the catalytic converter or the exhaust system reach temperatures of around 600 °C after just a short drive. The fire risk is therefore enormously high, especially during hot spells. The insurance companies don't like it either: motor vehicle liability covers damage to other people's vehicles, but comprehensive insurance can reduce the coverage due to gross negligence. If the fire brigade is needed, it is very likely that they will also send you a bill.
Heat damage on the road
Approximately 30% of German motorways have a concrete surface. However, this is not able to withstand the heat. Sudden and prolonged high temperatures cause the surface to bulge and, in the worst case, crack. These so-called "blow-ups" are extremely dangerous, which is why motorcyclists should avoid concrete surfaces altogether in summer.
On an asphalt surface, there is no danger of blow-ups due to the soft tar. However, the tar deforms due to the high heat load, which can lead to deep ruts. This also increases the risk of aquaplaning in the event of a summer thunderstorm.
Important for you as a (fellow) driver
With the temperatures, clothes become light and airy. This is also allowed when driving. Whether bikini or swimming trunks - only completely naked (or torso-free as a woman) is not allowed. Also be aware that the car's interior has also taken on a high temperature and the seats as well as the seat belts can be extremely hot. Even if it is tempting: refrain from wearing flip-flops or driving barefoot. Unexpected braking manoeuvres are more than complicated to perform with them. In the event of an accident, you will be partly to blame.
Also, always take enough water with you for the journey. The air from the air-conditioning and the warm weather will dehydrate you. At best, really reach for water or mineral water to prevent headaches and concentration problems.
Of course, you should also protect your eyes optimally from direct sunlight. To do this, choose sunglasses that absorb a maximum of 92% of the light; anything above this is no longer suitable for road traffic. The colour of the tint also plays an important role, because blue lenses can make the perception of the colours red and yellow more difficult and blur them. Also make sure that the glasses fit as tightly as possible to your forehead and also block some side light, so that you have as few places as possible where the sun could bother you.
Now you are ready for your next summer trip by car. We wish you a safe journey!
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