Whether you live in Colorado or are just visiting, there are few things more enjoyable than exploring the vast countryside and splendor of the Rocky Mountains. This is truly God's country, with beautiful mountain views and scenic vista points around every corner.
However, it's important to be smart when venturing off into the mountains or other rural parts outside of Colorado. That's why LightHouse Automotive in Colorado Springs offers these helpful driving and auto care tips to keep you safe on the back roads.
1. Keep the Gas Tank Full
Gas stations can be sparse the further you stray from the towns and uphill driving will burn a lot more fuel than flat or downhill stretches. Keep your tank filled up to prevent running out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
2. Use Your Brakes Carefully
You will depend on your brakes a lot when going down steep hills or making tight turns on mountain roads. Don't abuse the brakes or they will wear out too quickly. Use quick, light taps on the brake pedal to keep them cool and to prevent the pads and rotors from getting worn out. Before any extended mountain drive, it's a good idea to get your brakes inspected and/or serviced by a professional mechanic to ensure there are no concerns.
3. Always Be Prepared
In case you have an accident, car trouble or encounter inclement weather, it always pays to be prepared. Tell friends and family where you are traveling and pack some extra food, water, clothing and other emergency supplies in your car in case you are stranded. Also, remember that you may lose your phone signal or GPS connection in remote areas, so bring maps and plan out your course carefully before you leave.
4. Use Your Headlights
When driving in the mountains or other rural areas, you want your car to be as visible as possible. It's a good idea to keep your headlights on most of the time, and especially when it's dark or visibility is hindered by weather conditions (rain, fog, snow, etc.). Make sure your headlights are clean and the light bulbs are bright.
5. Downshifting on Severe Downgrades
When going down a steep mountain road, you will want to downshift the vehicle to help prevent it from getting out of control. This will put some extra strain on your transmission and drivetrain system, so make sure those systems are well-maintained before hitting the road.
6. Stay Alert
Perhaps the simplest—yet most important—mountain driving tip is to always stay alert. Don't drive dangerous roads if you are feeling tired and be sure to pay attention at all times. Watch out for other drivers, bikers, pedestrians and wildlife.
7. Monitor Your Temperature Gauge
When you are driving up a steep incline, keep a close eye on your car's temperature gauge and make sure it is not overheating. If overheating is a concern for you, it's a good idea to get your cooling system looked at by a local auto shop like LightHouse Automotive before you leave for your trip.
8. Get Your Car Tuned Up
Really, before any long road trip outside of Colorado Springs (and especially one that takes you into the mountains or other rural areas), it's wise to get your car checked out and tuned up by the automotive repair and maintenance specialists at LightHouse Automotive. We'll keep your vehicle in tip-top shape, so you can feel comfortable and confident when you head out of town.
Call LightHouse Automotive today at (719) 465-0302 for all your auto repair and maintenance needs, or schedule your next service appointment online.