Essential hot weather vehicle maintenance checks for your fleet

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Whether it’s extreme temperatures, humidity, rain or dust, vehicles can be heavily impacted by the environment in which they operate.

We often hear of people preparing their vehicles for the winter and the cold weather, however, it seems to be less common during the summer months even though it’s often the hotter temperatures that cause more serious damage to vehicles. 

As the summer is approaching and temperatures start to rise, now is the time to perform summer maintenance checks on your fleet of vehicles to keep your fleet in top shape.

But, do you know what to look for when it comes to making sure your fleet is summer ready?

We’ve put together some top tips to help manage your summer fleet maintenance: 

1. Tyres

This is probably one of the key items to check when driving in summer.

Poor tyre pressure is one of the most common causes of accidents in the UK as well as being a major cause of vehicle downtime for fleets.

Tyre pressure increases when it’s hot, so it's important to check tyre pressure regularly as excess heat build-up can cause tyres to wear out faster in hotter temperatures.

Over-inflated, under-inflated or worn-out tyres can be dangerous when driving therefore ensure tyre pressure is checked regularly through weekly inspections so that vehicles can operate safely during the warmer, summer months. The more pressure the tyre has, the more likely it is to experience a burst tyre due to the hot weather. 

2. Engine 

Engines have a tendency to overheat in the summer which is a major cause of vehicle breakdowns. Cooling systems in your vehicle are what keep your engine temperatures low, however, during warmer weather, your vehicle’s cooling system has to work harder to maintain a safe temperature.

Therefore, it's usually recommended to flush the coolant system before the start of summer to make sure it can handle any extreme temperatures while out on the road. Ensuring coolant systems are flushed and refilled every 24 months will also help to monitor the efficiency of the engine.

By performing these routine engine checks and monitoring the performance of the engine at regular intervals, you are helping to maintain a healthy and efficient fleet.

3. Battery

Heat can cause a wide array of issues with vehicle batteries. One of the most common, however, is faster corrosion which can cause water to evaporate from the battery leading to a decreased battery capacity, weakened ability to start the engine and ultimately, a shorter battery life.

To prevent this, perform regular battery checks to ensure your battery is operating at its best with optimum efficiency. If during the summer months, your vehicles travel long distances, it's advisable to replace old batteries with new ones to avoid battery failure, and subsequently cause major delays within your supply chain.

4. Fluids / Oils

Lubricants prevent the mechanical parts from creating unnecessary friction, so it’s usually advised to change your oil approximately every 3,000 - 5,000 miles.

When the weather is particularly warm, fluids are more prone to evaporation and may deplete faster. Hot oil is also more prone to leaking, so it’s important to keep an eye on this as it may mean the oil needs to be changed sooner. 

Regularly checking fluid levels such as oil, coolant, brake fluid and washer fluid will ensure there are no noticeable leaks and contribute to the smooth running of your vehicle.

5. Air Conditioning

Air conditioning failure is another leading cause of vehicle downtime for fleets. By performing regular maintenance checks on your air conditioning system, you are not only keeping your drivers comfortable and safe in the heat, but you are also ensuring that you minimise any costly repair bills.

Any issues left unfixed, are both costly financially as well as in time spent off the road.

6. Belts & Hoses

The hotter temperatures of summer will expose any problems that may exist in your cooling system. 

Hoses run through your vehicle. Belts, on the other hand, transfer motion from one gear to another. Rubber-made components like these are more susceptible to cracking and blistering during the summer. 

To avoid breakdowns and downtime, it’s important to check and replace all hoses and belts that may be leaking or cracked so your vehicles don’t overheat while on the road.

Stay on top of your fleet’s vehicle maintenance 

We know how critical your vehicle fleet is to the day-to-day running of your business. Keeping your fleet running efficiently means your business will run more efficiently too. 

Here at Prolius Fleet, our fleet management software system helps you monitor every aspect of your vehicle’s maintenance and planning.

From scheduling service reminders to creating alerts and reminders across your fleet, our end-to-end fleet management system ensures you have complete visibility at all times across your entire fleet of vehicles.

Find out more about how you can streamline your vehicle’s maintenance planning and schedule a free demo today.

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