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Red heatwave alert prompts warning from National Highways about cars overheating in the extreme temperatures



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Drivers are being warned to keep a close eye on their engine temperatures if they're forced to take to the roads as temperatures edge closer to 40C.

With the Met Office's heatwave warning now upgraded to a red alert, National Highways says motorists need to be well prepared for any journey they intend to take in the coming days.

Alongside carrying plenty of water, leaving additional time and checking a vehicle is road worthy before leaving, officials say close attention must also be paid to the heat of the car's engine during the very hot weather parts of England are now experiencing.

There is a risk of traffic jams and road closures warns National Highways
There is a risk of traffic jams and road closures warns National Highways

And if drivers find that their car is beginning to overheat and the temperature dial is moving out of the normal and safe operating range then the advice is to find somewhere sensible to stop and allow the vehicle time to cool down.

While councils say they may be forced to deploy gritters to help stabilise local roads, National Highways says motorways and major A roads are highly resilient to weather extremes including the current scorching temperatures.

But delays and road closures are possible, it says, while routes to coastal areas, lakes and rivers are expected to be busier as people try to escape the heat which could delay even the shortest of planned journeys.

Drivers are being told to be prepared before leaving home. Image: iStock.
Drivers are being told to be prepared before leaving home. Image: iStock.

Any delays which leave people stuck in cars, say officials, can pose significant welfare issues as the temperatures rise - even during just moderate delays - and so everyone is being advised to be as prepared as much as possible for every eventuality before setting off.

Mel Clarke, Customer Service Director for Operations at National Highways, said: "It is crucial for everyone to plan their journey in advance, so they are better prepared for the hot weather

If a car's engine is overheating the advice is to pull over. Image: iStock.
If a car's engine is overheating the advice is to pull over. Image: iStock.

"Simple steps such as taking bottles of drinking water with you are really important to help keep you and your passengers hydrated, as well as checking your vehicle before you travel, including tyres, oil and coolant levels."

The hottest temperatures of the recent sunny weather are now expected today or tomorrow.



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