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Driving in a heatwave: Chelsea Truck Company’s guide to stay safe

Jul 19, 2022

By Mo Bhana

The Met Office have issued several warnings as a heatwave brings temperatures of over 40 degrees to the UK this week.



Therefore, those who own Chelsea Truck Company or Project Kahn vehicles are being urged to make sure they are prepared for the heat.



Spiralling temperatures lead to an increased risk of vehicle breakdowns as well as making car journeys unpleasant for drivers and passengers, so follow our guidance to make sure you and your car can cope with the heatwave.



High temperatures can play mayhem with your car so checking key elements before you drive away could prevent a breakdown or difficult journey later.



The AA has even suggested that owners of older cars which are due to be serviced, should seriously consider avoiding travel to avoid the risk of a heat-related breakdown.



It is imperative that fluid levels are checked with particular attention required towards the car’s coolant level – this will ensure your engine will not overheat. In addition, check your oil level and screen wash - a dirty windscreen and bright sunlight can seriously impede your vision - and check your windscreen wipers for the same reason.



Checking tyre pressure is also a must. Under- or over-inflated tyres are more susceptible to injury in high temperatures and the high temperature can also suddenly make active problems worse, hypothetically leading to a hazardous blow-out.



Damaged or floundering air conditioning can also make long journeys unpleasant so ensure it is working beforehand.



Even though the temperature is very high, it would be prudent to open the windows for a few minutes in order to let trapped hot air escape before you set off.



We would advise against travelling during the middle of the day, whilst the temperatures I rather high. If possible, aim for early in the morning or later in the evening when the air and road temperatures will be lower, and traffic is likely to be quieter.



Before you set off, ensure you have a basic travel kit along with enough fresh water to keep you all hydrated. Sunglasses would also help along with a mobile phone and a charger, just in case you break down. If you do break down you could be stuck outside in hot temperatures so sun cream, hats and long-sleeved tops to protect you from the sun would also be ideal.



Ensure you take a break every so often in order to avoid heat-induced drowsiness and when you stop, park in the shade. Not only does this keep the interior of the car cooler for when you return but it can also help protect your car against overheating elements. It would also be wise to Invest in a windscreen shield in order to reflect some of the heat away from your car.



Please ensure children are never left alone in a car as the temperature in a parked cars can reach very dangerous levels in just a matter of minutes, thus creating the risk of life-threatening heatstroke for passengers.



Basic checks will help reduce the chances of your car breaking down but if your vehicle does develop a problem you should try to get off the road and stop somewhere with plenty of shade where you can wait for a recovery service.



AA president Edmund King has the following advice: “The extreme temperatures could be dangerous if you break down or get stuck in congestion. Ensure you have enough fuel or electric charge to keep your air conditioning running.



“If your car breaks down when temperatures are high, it’s even more important than usual that [breakdown services] get to you as quickly as we can. Knowing your exact location is vital, so downloading the what3words app and reporting your unique location can help us to reach you faster. Try to wait in the shade in a safe place.



“Carry plenty of water – at least one litre per person travelling. If the worst should happen, you can keep yourself and those with you topped up with cool water while waiting for help to arrive.”



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