Summer is finally here, and if you’re like most Coloradans, you have mountain adventures on your mind. We thought: hey, why not share a few Colorado Mountain car care & driving tips as you prepare for your Summer vacation! The last thing anyone wants to deal with is car problems when you’re away from home. There’s lots of things you can do to avoid those costly repairs and headaches while you are on your summer road trip and a long way from your favorite auto mechanic.
First: Makes sure your vehicle is up to date on all its maintenance.
Make sure you are following the right guide in your owner’s manual. Travel in and around Colorado is considered extreme driving due to our crazy climate changes, high elevation roads, and wide open spaces. If you keep the maintainable parts of your vehicle up to date, then all you have to worry about are the parts that are meant to wear out such as brakes, steering, suspension, and hoses to name a few. Every time you bring your car or truck in for an oil change, we perform a 30-point health & safety evaluation on your vehicle – so we’ll identify items that are wearing down and close to failing.
Next: Stay Cool.
What we mean by that is avoid overheating your vehicle – its about the last thing you want to do to your engine. On your drive up into the mountains, you always want to maintain speed and not push your engine too hard. If you ever notice the temperature rising on the dashboard display, here’s a quick tip: turn off the A/C (if it’s on) and turn the heater to defrost and full power. This will allow the engine to cool down. If need be, pull over and allow the vehicle to idle and cool down. Remember, the uphill incline will not last forever – before you know it, you’ll enjoy a nice downhill slope – racing uphill is never good for your vehicle.
Last: Avoid over heating your brakes.
Have you ever noticed a funny smell on the big downhill portions on I-70 or Hwy 285? Or maybe as you are driving down the mountain and you press your brake, your whole vehicle shakes? Both of these symptoms are a direct result of your brakes overheating. The goal when driving down the mountain is to stay in lower gears so your engine does the slowing down and not your brakes. Or tap your brakes briefly to slow down and coast in between. Braking causes friction and friction creates heat. Hot brakes become less and less effective and you could quickly find yourself in trouble if you don’t lay off them on the downhill run. It only takes a couple hard stops coming down to warp rotors and cause costly repairs.
Ready to get out there and See America?
We all are. Here are a few fun tips to keep everyone happy and safe along the way:
- watch your speed
- take a scenic byway – every time
- stop at that historic marker
- keep your eyes the road (not your phone)
- keep your National Parks Passport book handy in your glove box
- pack a snack box with dried fruit, nuts, red/black licorice, peanut butter & crackers
- dust off your dad’s “road trip games” and take them for a fresh spin
- load your favorite road trip play list on your phone
- select an audio book that tells a story based on where you’re headed
Not sure if your car is ready for your next road trip? Schedule an appointment at InC Auto Repair Center in Parker, Colorado. Our expert techs will make sure your car is road-trip-ready! Give us a call at 303-400-4062 today!