While the weather warms up, spontaneous trips to the mountains may be in your near future. But before you head out to the majestic hills – make sure your car is prepared. Believe it or not, your car does need to be prepared for the trip – as mountainous regions can be really rough on your vehicle. Check out these tips before your next adventure.
After the cold winter months, your car make need some extra TLC. Go to your local mechanic and make sure all of the fluids are filled and good-to-go. Check that the brakes, heating/cooling, windshield wipers, and battery are working properly. This is also the time to make sure your tired are inflated and you have a spare with you.
When you’re climbing those mountains, your fuel tank is losing a lot more gas than your normal city driving. Running out of gas in the mountains is not ideal by any means. You never know how deep in the range you’ll be, so making sure you’re all the way filled up is vital to your safety.
Your brakes experience a lot of wear and tear with continuous breaking down steep roads. When using your brakes on declines, tap your brakes quick and lightly so that you keep them cool. Keep an eye out for speed signs and anticipate steep turns before you take the plunge.
If you want good performance from your car in the mountains, downshift into a lower gear when heading down the mountain. This will limit stress on your vehicle’s engine and brakes and help you control your speed. Make sure that you do this before you begin going downhill, as switching gears during a steep grade can be dangerous.
While you’re climbing up the mountains, keep an eye out for your temperature gauge and make sure it stays in the safe zone. If it rises above a normal level, turn the AC off and go lighter on your accelerator. You may even consider pulling over for a bit to let the engine cool down.
While its tempting to gaze at the beauty around you, pull over to do it. Being distracted while on winding mountain roads is a sure way for an accident to happen. Use the roadside pullouts for the scenery stops. However, when you are distracted by the views while driving, you could risk swerving into the other lane, or off of a decline on the side of the mountain.
Dusk, dawn, rain, snow, fog and night require your headlights. When in doubt, just turn them on. Since mountain roads are windy and narrow, it can be difficult to see cars coming ahead. Alert other drivers by keeping your headlights on. Also, make sure you check that they are in good working condition before you hit the road
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