BookMyGarage.com has seen a surge in the number of air conditioning re-gas bookings, after temperatures in the UK reached over 40°C in the UK last month.
On some days, there was as much as a ten-fold increase in the number of daily bookings compared to typical booking numbers, such as on 18th July – the first day of July’s record-breaking heatwave.
Karen Rotberg, Co-founder of BookMyGarage.com, said: “If you’ve noticed that your car’s air conditioning system doesn’t seem to be operating as effectively as it should, now is a great time to get it serviced. Air conditioning systems are put under the most strain at high temperatures, and it’s not uncommon for motorists to find their air conditioning stops functioning altogether at the time they need it most.
“That’s why we recommend regular air conditioning servicing – at least once every two years as a general rule – to ensure the system can work as efficiently as possible and to avoid the risk of being caught out when temperatures soar. Many of the garages on our network can accommodate short notice bookings, even next day in some cases, so it’s still possible to book an air conditioning re-gas ahead of the looming heatwave.”
In addition to regular servicing, motorists should frequently use the air conditioning, including in winter, to ensure it stays in good condition.
Whilst it’s tempting to switch off the air conditioning when possible to reduce fuel consumption, prolonged periods of time without using it can actually damage the system and result in a repair bill that far outweighs the money saved in fuel bills.
As well as keeping the vehicle cool in summer, air conditioning also helps demist the vehicle in the winter months, and therefore serves a purpose year-round.
“We also strongly advise motorists to keep on top of other vehicle servicing and maintenance, especially for anyone planning a long journey during the summer holidays. Breaking down during a heatwave can be dangerous, especially for families travelling with pets, small children or elderly relatives,” added Rotberg.
“If your vehicle is due a service, have this carried out before you travel, regularly inspect the tyres and check fluid levels (especially the coolant), and always carry plenty of water in case you become stranded in hot weather.”
Before setting off on a summer road trip, BookMyGarage.com recommends the following Top 10 Tips:
1. Check when your MOT is due
2. Have your vehicle serviced if it is due one
3. Ensure any issues identified at the last service or MOT are rectified (simply enter your vehicle’s registration here to see any previous MOT advisories)
4. Check the tyres for tread (legal requirement is minimum 1.6mm) and for defects such as cuts, bulges or signs of perishing/cracking – illegal tyres are subject to a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre
5. Check tyre pressures, including the spare wheel if your vehicle has one
6. Check fluid levels and top up if needed (engine oil, coolant, brake fluid and screen wash)
7. Have the air conditioning re-gassed if needed
8. Consider getting a Summer Health Check on your vehicle
9. Carry plenty of water for all passengers and pets, and some snacks
10. Carry emergency supplies such as a first aid kit, warning triangle, high vis jacket, fire extinguisher, spare engine oil and water for topping up the coolant