Seven Summer Driving Myths Debunked

Summer has arrived in the UK and you can go about your day-to-day driving without worrying about these seven myths.

Consistently good weather is hard to come by in the British Isles, so many will be looking to take advantage of any upcoming good weather with road trips and holidays on the coast.

However, there's always a slight concern about how scorching weather can affect our vehicles, and there are myths surrounding paintwork and petrol, amongst others in hotter conditions.

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You'll be very pleased to know that this is all complete rubbish and contrary to some belief, we don't see temperatures high enough in this country to become problematic for your cars.

In this article, we look at seven common misconceptions so you can drive around in style this summer without worrying about any repercussions or dangers to your motor.

The sun will ruin your paintwork

If you live in Florida, southern California, or Australia, then this could be a cause for concern for you as all-year-round hot weather can affect the colour of your car.

Luckily, or unluckily, whichever way you want to look at it, the sun just isn't hot enough or around long enough to cause long-term damage to your vehicle, and even a few weeks of the baking sun will be absolutely fine.

However, your car will still reach extremely hot temperatures when sitting in the sun all day, and bird poo or tree sap on your car will bake onto the paint, making it much harder than normal to get rid of.

You should ensure that you clean it off as soon as you can using warm water and car shampoo, or else you could potentially risk taking the paintwork off if you leave it to set for more than a few days.

The sun will ruin your car's interior

Like your exterior, if you live in a country with a hot, sunny climate all year round, then you could potentially see damage to your interior over time if regularly left outside in the sun without protection.

However, in the UK, most cars have UV filters in car windows to prevent harmful rays from penetrating the glass and damaging the inside of your vehicle.

It also just doesn't get hot enough here to cause damage. If you want to make your car cooler, you can buy screen protectors or covers to block the sun even further. 

You get less petrol for your money

Many people in the past have believed that the sun heats up the petrol tanks at stations, causing the petrol to expand as the heat rises. In turn, some think that this, therefore, results in you getting less petrol for your money.

Now, in this current climate, with petrol costs at an all-time high, that could very well seem to be the case. But it's definitely not the weather causing you to feel like you're paying more for less.


This is because the petrol is kept underground and stored in cool conditions, therefore not experiencing the reaction many people think occurs. So you can rest assured that filling up at 3 am or 3 pm will result in the same end price  - unless, of course, the petrol rises in price in 12 hours which is highly likely right now!

You can avoid getting sunburnt while driving

Despite what we've said above about windows containing UV filters, that alone is not enough to protect your skin from sun damage.

Before getting into the car on a hot day, it's strongly recommended to apply sun cream, particularly to any exposed body parts, to avoid feeling sore and burnt before you've even arrived at the beach.

Wearing sunglasses will also help protect your eyes and reduce glare from other vehicles which can cause you to lose sight of the road ahead.

The water in your radiator will disappear

Most modern cars will have a sealed cooling system to keep the water within your radiator cool and secure within your vehicle.

It's definitely worth checking your engine coolant every few months to make sure everything looks in order, as well as before long journeys, particularly when it's hot.

If you do notice your coolant level is dropping in the hot temperatures, it won't be because of the sun; more than likely it'll be a leak that could end up being quite dangerous, so keep on top of it.

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The water in your car battery will evaporate

Like your coolant system, the battery in most modern cars will be sealed so no water will be able to escape, no matter what the weather outside is saying.

The fuel in your account will escape

Many people think that because the weather is hotter, it causes the petrol within your car to evaporate, thus reducing the amount of fuel within your car as soon as you've filled up.

Thankfully, this is not true, as if it were, you'd constantly be walking around smelling petrol fumes as it would be affecting every car on the road. The petrol cap on your car keeps the fuel in so you don't need to worry.


When is the most risky time to drive?

The riskiest time to drive at any time of the year is during rush hour. This is because the amount of vehicles on the road is increased as people try to get home from work and there's more chance of having a fatal accident during this time of day than any other.

How hot can the tarmac get on the roads on a hot summer's day in the UK?

On a 25 degrees celsius day, the temperature of the asphalt you are driving on can be almost 52 degrees. If the weather in the UK exceeds 30 degrees, the tarmac can be as hot as 65 degrees.