Sizzling SA weather brings risk of cars overheating

23 January, 2024

Drivers are being urged to show their cars some TLC during this week’s hot spell, as RAA data shows the risk of cars overheating jumps significantly in the summer months.

RAA Road Service data showsthe number of call-outs for problems with car cooling systems rise by 45% in the summer months when compared to winter.

RAA Technology Expert Simon Halford recommended motorists perform some simple checks on their vehicle to reduce its risk of overheating and prevent costly repairs.

“Clearly the hot weather like we’re experiencing now can exacerbate any problems with car cooling systems, so motorists should be wary and perform some simple checks before hitting the road this week,” Mr Halford said.

“When systems overheat and fail it can be quite expensive to replace or repair, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to check your car ahead of a heat spell.

“We recommend regularly checking there is adequate coolant in your radiator, as well as checking your car’s oil level, before setting off when the weather’s warm.

“When you’re driving, monitor your temperature gauge and be aware of other signs of distress from your vehicle, such as sluggish performance or engines unexpectedly cutting out, which can all be signs of overheating.

“If it’s been a while since your last service, now is a good time to book it in with an RAA Approved Repairer to give it a once over and check your cooling system is in working order.”

Mr Halford said with car air conditioners set to get a workout this week, some tips and tricks would help ensure they operate effectively.

“When you first get into a hot car and turn on your air conditioner, using the fresh air setting rather than the recirculating one will cool the cabin quicker.

“Using your floor vents initially will also help to push hot air out of your vehicle at a faster rate.

“And when it’s really hot, don’t set the temperature to the coolest setting, as that may risk over-working your air conditioner.

“We also see a lot of batteries needing to be replaced at this time of year, as they may have been sitting idle over the holiday period, so check your battery now so you can address any potential issues as soon as possible.”

Mr Halford also reminded drivers to keep track of their keys at all times to avoid accidentally locking a child or pet in the vehicle, as cabin temperatures could heat up to more than double the outside temperature within minutes.