Driving in the summer heat is all well and good if you’re heading off on holiday, but it can be a challenge when you need to keep your business on the road. To protect your business van against the effects of heat, some preparation is required.
From kitting yourself out in sensible gear to making sure your van is heatwave-ready, there’s plenty you can do to keep things running smoothly in higher temperatures.
Basic precautions for summer driving
When the weather warms up, it’s time to be even more rigorous when it comes to regular tyre pressure checks. If tyres are damaged or at the wrong pressure, the heat increases the risk of a blowout. Also pay extra attention to the coolant in the engine cooling system. Keep your windscreen clean to avoid summer dazzle by keeping the windscreen wash in full supply – and don’t skimp on using it.
Take care of your own fitness for the road, too. Always keep a pair of anti-glare sunglasses in your van to protect yourself from dazzle. If you suffer from hay fever, you should avoid driving on medication that causes drowsiness. You can reduce pollen inside the van by closing windows and air vents. Regular sufferers of pollen allergies will be pleased to know that the Renault Kangoo, Trafic and Master vans feature a manual air conditioning and pollen filter control, standard on Business +. Most important of all: if you feel a sneeze coming on, slow down and pull in to the inside lane. At 70 mph, you could lose vision for up to 100 metres.
Prevent your engine from overheating
An engine overheating in a motorway tailback used to be a common experience, but the advent of closed cooling systems has made it less likely to happen just on account of the weather. To be on the safe side, check the engine coolant level and the cooling fan every couple of weeks, as well as before a long journey in hot weather. If the coolant level in the expansion tank has dropped below the minimum mark and needs topping up, only remove the cap when the engine is cold. If it drops below minimum frequently, the system needs professional attention.
Protect the contents of your van, especially the perishables
It’s not just children and animals that can suffer from the greenhouse effect of a closed van interior. Mobile phones, laptops (unless they’re completely powered down), and any food and drink can all be damaged. Pay attention to where you park and keep vulnerable items out of any direct sun.
This principle matters all the more when you have a perishable or temperature-sensitive payload, such as food or medical-grade goods. Pay extra attention to the manufacturers’ recommendations on servicing intervals, plus additions like Air Conditioning Systems service, coolant replacement, as well as battery, tyres, and windscreen wipers checks. Finally, double check the small print on your professional insurance so that if the worst happens, you’re covered.
Once your seasonal heat precautions are in place, you’re free to enjoy the weather and keep your business on the road all summer long.