3 Summer Driving Myths Debunked

July 31, 2018

Fuel consumption, safety and road conditions are all factors that we need to consider before hitting the road during the summer in Canada.

Fuel consumption, safety and road conditions are all factors that we need to consider before hitting the road during every season in Canada. However, with heat waves reaching some of the highest numbers in the country this summer, right now is the perfect time to address some summer driving myths that you should be aware of.

Myth: Turning on the heat in your car will make your engine more hot

Turning on the heat if your car is overheating might be the absolute last thing you’ll want to do, but it can actually cool your car’s engine by pulling hot air away from the engine compartment. Overheated vehicles are a serious problem, especially during Canadian summers. Not only are they uncomfortable to be in, but overheated vehicles can also impact how your car operates. Aside from the obvious – parking in the shade, tinting your windows and adding engine coolant – getting rid of hot air can be a tricky situation. You might think the obvious solution to getting rid of the hot air in your car is to leave the windows closed and blast the air conditioner, however closed windows trap hot air, and glass windows only make the situation worse. If you can, try to keep your windows open just a crack at all times. If you have a sunroof that can be left open a little, even better.

If your vehicle feels extremely hot even when it’s parked in the shade, it may be a sign of a bigger problem and it might be a good idea to take a visit to the mechanic to check oil levels, the thermostat and radiator fan.

READ MORE: How to Stop Engine Problems Before They Happen

Myth: You can’t get a sunburn behind the wheel

A lot of people don’t think they have to worry about sun damage behind the wheel, however, most manufacturers install windows and windshields that don’t block out UVA rays, which can cause skin damage especially if you’re on the road for long hours at a time. If you’re planning a long road trip on a sunny day, try to apply sunblock to the left side of your body before you leave, particularly the arm and face. Another option is to wear a light long-sleeved shirt. Sunglasses are always a great idea too! Just like you’d wear sun protection gear and lotions if you were outside all day, inside of the car should be treated the same.

READ MORE: How to Prep Your Car for Long Summer Drives

Myth: Hot weather won’t damage summer tires

Summer tires, which differ from winter and all-season tires, are designed for the hot weather. Summer tires maximize grip on the road in hot, dry and rainy outdoor conditions. Although summer tires are manufactured to withstand the heat and to provide the best performance on the road during warmer seasons, there can be implications if you’re driving for a long period of time in the blazing heat. When the temperature outside changes, the air pressure in your tires change too. Hot outside air can overinflate your tires, which can cause a bumpy ride and at worst, a blowout on the road. Additionally, heat can degrade rubber compounds, especially when it’s in constant contact of hot, bumpy roads. If you’re planning a long drive in the summer, make sure the air pressure in your tires is up to par with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Anything more or less might cause your tires to split or leak, which wouldn’t be fun to deal with in the middle of the highway on a scorching day. Although tires are made to withstand all types of road and weather conditions, taking extra caution, especially before a long road trip, will ensure more safety and smooth sailing on the road. If you haven’t changed out your winter or all-season tires yet or have an old set of summer tires, it might be a good idea to visit the mechanic to have a safety check.

READ MORE: How to Make Your Tires Last

Becoming aware of the myths associated with summer driving can help you practice safety on the road for both your vehicle and you. If you’re looking for a new summer drive, regardless of your credit score, Canada Drives can help! We’ve matched thousands of Canadians with our partner dealerships located across the entire country and in every province. Click here to apply using our free, online, fast and secure application!

Canada is known internationally for being the snow-capital of the world, but not a lot of people know that in the summer, the heat is just as extreme. As Canadians, we’re blessed with getting both ends of the weather spectrum – freezing cold and boiling hot, especially in the southern parts of the country. When it comes to driving, both summer and winter conditions can take a toll on our vehicles. Additionally, common dangers of driving in the summer differ from winter. Warmer weather typically means more construction is being done on the roads, family road trips and social gatherings, which may result in distracted driving. One of the best things you can do while summer driving is to stay on high alert, especially when you’re on congested roads!


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