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Summer is just over the horizon, and according to Environment Canada, Ontario’s summer is going to be a scorcher this year. One of the most important places to keep cool and stay safe is on the road, so check out our five tips for driving in hot and sunny weather.

1. Maintaining your car

Most of us are trying to get summer ready during this time of year, so why not also get your car summer ready by taking it in for maintenance? Have these fluids checked to ensure you’re at the recommended levels:

  • Engine oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid

While you’re at it, get your belts and hoses inspected, replace your battery and be sure to always monitor your tire pressure.

2. Try the faster way

It’s always best to think of a road’s surface like chocolate — it softens when it's hot and hardens when it’s cold. But not all road surfaces are made of the same type of asphalt or tarmac, which means the temperature at which roads melt can greatly vary. Highways are usually better maintained than other streets and are better prepared to manage extreme heat, so consider taking the highway instead of lower-capacity roads.

3. Keep cool on the road

Your A/C can increase fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent due to the extra load on the engine. Save on energy by having your cabin air filter regularly inspected, hitting that little re-circulation button, opening your windows or sunroof and parking in shaded spots. Don’t overuse your car’s A/C and be sure to give it a break by turning it off occasionally.

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4. Keep your passengers comfortable

Within just 10 minutes of parking your car on a 30ºC day, the interior temperature can hit over 43ºC! Never leave kids or pets in a parked car, even for a short time. Keep an emergency kit in your car stocked with jumper cables, road flares, a first aid kit, flashlight, water and some non-perishable food, so you’re prepared for the worst.

5. Be ready for overheating

When your car’s temperature climbs above the halfway mark on your temperature gauge, turn off the air conditioning or pull over when it’s safe to do so in order to give the engine a break. If you see steam or smoke, exit the vehicle and call for roadside assistance. Always exercise caution when opening the hood of an overheated car, and don’t insert coolant or water until the car’s temperature decreases.

Different seasons bring different car maintenance essentials in Ontario, so enjoy the gorgeous weather this summer, but remember to stay cool and stay safe. Before you know it, we’ll all be complaining about the cold again.

Want to join in on the conversation? Let us know what you do to stay cool on the road and tweet us @OnliaCA #OnliaCA

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