When temperatures start to climb, both drivers and vehicles can suffer. Your truck probably has a climate control inside, but that does not mean it will not feel the effects of the summer heat. There are many things you should be aware of to help protect yourself and your truck as you drive long stretches over the summer months.
Check Your Battery
You probably know that extremely cold weather can do a number of things to your battery. But you may not know that extreme heat can do the exact same. Look at your battery on a regular basis to check for cracks or leaks that could harm your vehicle. If you have a wet cell battery, you will need to check fluid and electrolyte levels. Every kind of battery needs to be cleaned regularly. This means removing any rust or grime from the outside, tightening all the connections, and making sure it is mounted properly. Well-mounted batteries do not shake or vibrate when the vehicle is on.
Review Your Cooling System
This may seem obvious, but make sure you check your cooling system on a regular basis. The interior of your vehicle is working hard when you are driving, and that means it produces heat. Combine that with extreme outdoor temperatures and you have a recipe for overheating. This means that you should be replacing your fluids on a regular basis. You should also check all the connections to your radiator and make sure that everything is tightly connected.
Get Your Climate Control Updated
Hopefully, you have a working air conditioner in your vehicle. Driving in the extreme heat without air-conditioning, especially for long periods of time, can be disastrous. High temperatures and long hours on the road may not just make you feel ill, but they can actually be dangerous. Too much heat can cause nausea, confusion, dehydration, hallucinations, and heat exhaustion, which may require hospitalization.
Pack an Emergency Kit
You should always be prepared for the possibility of breaking down on the side of the road. If you do break down in extreme temperatures, especially in a rural area, it may be a while before you can get help. That means that you need to be prepared to protect yourself from dangerous conditions.
A good way to do this is to pack an emergency kit that stays in your vehicle at all times. This should include water and food that is non-perishable, such as nuts, jerky, and crackers. It is also a good idea to include basic auto care tools, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, an emergency beacon, and road flares. Make sure you also have coolant for your engine (especially since overheating is likely) and a basic first aid kit. Of course, your gas tank should also be as close to full as possible at all times.
Keep Off of Extremely Hot Roads
You would be surprised at how hot roads get in the summer. They can be hot enough to do some serious damage to your vehicle, especially to your tires. It is not always possible to avoid driving on hot roads. Taking highways instead of side roads may be better since these roads get more regular, thorough maintenance. You should also be careful to maintain your tires. Check tire pressure regularly and refill as needed. Under-inflated tires can easily explode when they are in prolonged contact with high temperatures. To avoid the hassle and danger of a burst tire, think ahead and fill them up.
Driving in the heat can be extremely dangerous. Don’t neglect either your vehicle or yourself while you’re on the road.