Aug 2013 | Hot Under The Collar
17 August 2013
Millions of motorists are losing their cool and increasing the risk of getting into a heated argument with passengers or other road users according to new research from Halfords Autocentres.
As temperatures are set to rise again this week, the leading independent garage network reveals that as many as 10.2 million drivers may also find their tempers rising as they deliberately leave their car's air conditioning switched off in a bid to save money.
Whilst 20 million vehicles on the road today are now equipped with air conditioning - often an expensive optional addition from the manufacturer - it seems that few drivers realise its true value as Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explains.
"Air conditioning has the ability to keep in-car temperatures comfortable and help avoid frayed nerves or tempers in traffic jams or other stressful situations.
"We test and service more than 35,000 air-conditioning systems a year and on average find more than three quarters of them aren't operating efficiently ? leading to the misconception that they are a fuel sapping luxury.
"Whilst a poorly maintained system will be inefficient, a well looked after air conditioning system will keep your car's interior cool with ease and have a minimal impact on economy."
Halfords Autocentres found that almost half (48%) of motorists keep their air conditioning switched off during a journey in a bid to lower fuel consumption and save money.
Men were the most likely to reach for the off switch - with 51% of them willing to get hot under the collar to save cash, compared with 29% of women.
Leading psychologist Dr Geoff Rolls commented: "We know that temperature can affect mood, so journey comfort plays a vital part in ensuring the success of a day trip.
"By keeping the air conditioning set to an optimal 21 degrees, breakdowns of a mechanical rather than the mental variety should be your only concern."
To download a full copy of the research findings visit the Halfords Autocentres advice centre at: www.halfordsautocentres.com