Phew! It’s HOT! Beware of the bugs!


Phew! It’s HOT! Beware of the bugs!

We always complain about typical British weather but, writes motoring journalist Iain Robertson, while we seem to be experiencing ‘extremes’ of climate these days, Summer 2016 has not been too bad…so far.

There can be little worse than slipping behind the controls of your car on a blistering hot day, only to sear the skin off your steering wheel fingers and leave a lasting impression of the car seat on your back and thighs. It does make you wonder how motorists managed to tolerate extremes of temperature in the days prior to the near-standard installation of climate control, or air conditioning, on even the most basic of modern motorcars and light commercial vehicles today.

While we are grateful for it, there are some inherent health and safety issues that must be addressed; I shall cover the safety first. When the interior temperature of the car exceeds that of the exterior, condensation (tiny water droplets) can develop on the inside of the car’s glazing and can obscure the driver’s vision. If you turn on the air-con, or climate control, and direct the airflow to the windscreen, it will dry out the glass and vision will be restored in a matter of minutes. Yet, you should note that the air should be fresh incoming and that the lever, or button, should not be on the ‘Recirculated Air’ setting.

An added benefit of conditioned air is that it can help the driver and passengers to feel more alert, especially on the longer types of drive that tend to take place when on a motoring holiday. However, it is worth bearing in mind that all forms of air-con do require servicing. Even if your car is covered by an inclusive servicing package, maintaining the air-con system will usually be an extra-cost item.

If you wish to retain good personal health, having an air-con service is not just a luxury but is also an essential. Some air-con systems need to be switched on to work, which is a good thing and you should endeavour to use the system on a regular basis throughout a typical year, regardless of the weather conditions. With climate control, it is ‘on’ all of the time, unless you switch it ‘off’.

Regardless, as it is an air filtration system too, usually a pollen filter is installed that can become very clogged with dust, fluff and particulates present in the atmosphere. With temperature fluctuations, moisture can build on the filter surfaces and some particularly evil bugs like Legionnaire’s disease and even allergic reactions can occur. The symptoms can range from hoarseness to pharyngitis and eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis, let alone drying out contact lenses.

Fortunately, Mr Clutch can provide a comprehensive air-con service, which can include recharging the system’s coolant fluid, as well as replacing the germ-laden filter, from little more than £40. It can cost a lot more at a brand dealership. The technicians at Mr Clutch can advise you on how frequently this task should be undertaken (normally every two years) and whether your car needs it imminently, or not.

You will notice the difference instantly, as your vehicle’s cabin will smell fresher and the system will work more efficiently. As a means to remove the bugbears associated with motoring, this one is very worthwhile!