How Humans and Cars Cope With Heat

With the British Isles sizzling in 30°C heat, and the long summer holidays in sight, now’s the perfect time to load the car with buckets, spades and barbeques, and make for the seaside. But with some of the hottest temperatures of 2016 forecast for the week ahead, what effect will the scorching heatwave have on us, and our cars?

To find out, we’ve put together a graphic looking at how heat affects both man and machine, and listed some of the ways we’ve learnt to cope with the sweltering conditions. There’s even a few hot weather driving tips thrown in just for good measure, so you can ferry your family to the coast in complete comfort and safety.

 humans and cars infographic

With swollen feet, dehydration and damaging sun burn, it certainly seems us humans fare worse than our cars when coping with extreme temperatures. In fact, where we wouldn’t last more than a few hours in a baking desert, cars would keep on going long after we’d have dropped down in an exhausted heap.

That’s because cars are built to withstand extreme high temperatures, with most engines operating at an average of 82°C — that’s around 30°C hotter than the human body can withstand. This is all thanks to the cooling system, which circulates coolant/antifreeze throughout the engine bay to keep components cool. Without it, cars would find themselves on the scrapheap as fast as a human would without water.

So if you’re planning on taking a drive during a summer heatwave, don’t worry too much about your car. As long as you’ve checked the fluid levels, your faithful set of wheels will get you from A to B no matter how hot things get.


To give your car ultimate protection whatever the weather, you can rely on Prestone. Our car maintenance products are tested in extreme temperatures, so you can enjoy peace of mind that they’ll never let you down. For more information, visit the Prestone website.