How to protect your car from the heat

As Ireland gets its first taste of summer, millions of motorists could be risking breakdowns by failing to complete basic checks. Hotter temperatures won't just give you sunburn and melt roads, but they also risk causing severe damage to your car.

Engine failure, tyre-blowouts and brake fade can all be caused by extreme temperatures - so we’ve put together tips to help you maintain your car and avoid a breakdown. Here’s what you can do:

How to protect your car from the heat


An engine with no coolant is like a person with no water – it won’t survive and will die. The purpose of coolant is twofold just as the name of the product implies. It both keeps the water in your car from freezing in chilly weather and keeps it from boiling and overheating in hot weather. Either of these conditions can cause a breakdown and severe injury to your engine.


It’s widely believed winter is the peak season for car battery trouble, however it is hot weather that shortens the life of your battery more than cold. Your car battery is dangerous as it is composed of acid and water. The water within the battery will evaporate faster in soaring temperatures leaving lead plates exposed. When the weather turns cold again, your battery may no longer have the charge to start the car. Batteries don’t last forever but keeping your vehicle as cool as possible is a great way to extend the lifespan of your battery. Having your battery inspected as the seasons changes in recommended.


The rubber of a car tyre can seriously disintegrate in hot temperatures and even more so if the tyre is of the wrong pressure. Heat can cause them to dry out and lead to a blow-out. When possible, you should consider parking in the shade, so they absorb less heat.


An engine when fully running in heat needs all the lubrication it can get, so making sure you change the oil when necessary is important in the summer months. More frequent changes to your oil will be beneficial to a car’s engine and performance.


Fuel evaporates quicker in a hot car than it does in a cold one. Keeping your car in a shaded area and less used in hot temperatures will save on accelerated fuel consumption.


Car paint bears the brunt of the sun’s rays and gets very hot sitting on metal. The color can be stripped out by the sun’s light, eventually leading to the paint cracking and your car rusting. Keeping your car clean and using wax will not only see your car sparkling, you should also be protected against more of the sun’s heat.

Following these steps will help keep your vehicle healthy in the sun, however if car problems do get the best of you, we can help. Xtra policies come with 24/7 Roadside Assistance cover along with Home Start as standard. The breakdown cover is designed to assist you at the roadside if your vehicle has broken down. Our breakdown company will contact the nearest recovery agent to your location and send them to assist you. If they cannot repair the vehicle within 1 hour they will tow the vehicle to the nearest competent repairer, recovery yard or your home whichever is closer. If you have to make a claim our contact number from Ireland is: 01804 4328. Full terms and conditions of the cover is detailed by clicking HERE.

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