One thing to always remember in the desert is how hot your car can get. What may appear to be an average hill up north or in the east can overheat your car as quick as a jack rabbit. Always carry extra water for people and for your car. One gallon for each person is a good amount if you are planning a day trip. But there is more to this water issue.
Deserts are dry. People joke about how a dry heat does not feel as hot as a humid heat. But when you get into the three digit temperatures, it is hot no matter where you are. That means it is hot for your car also. Be careful. You can burn your fingers just opening the door. Do not hold the steering wheel until some of the extreme heat from the inside has a chance to escape. Do not put a child into the child’s seat until all metal parts are cool to your touch. This is often overlooked.
Check Under the Hood
While you are parked, check your automobile’s systems. Be especially careful when opening the hood, too. Check the water level but do not open the radiator. Instead, look at the plastic container, which has coolant and water in it. If it is less than the full line, add water. It means your car has been running hot. Only by looking under the hood will you know if it is water or some other fluid, even brake fluid.
Check oil and transmission fluid levels. If they are not perfect, top them off to the proper level. Take extra good care of your car in the desert. If you are careful, you are likely to reach your destination without needing any auto repair in Goodyear AZ.
Examine the belts too. Look for cracks or wear and tear to know whether you need to bring your car in for maintenance soon. Some people carry extra belts in their trunk.
Check the air pressure in your tires. On super hot road surface your tires may have low air pressure and the Tire Pressure Monitoring System may not show a problem yet. It is set to tell you when tires are at 25%. However, tires are low at 20%. Check it manually with a tire gauge or risk a blow-out.
Special Desert Hazards
If you are in a sandstorm, turn your vehicle away from the blowing sand or you could get a sandblasted windshield. That makes it nearly impossible to see well enough to drive. Close the windows and keep people out of the wind. Sandstorms are not common. Flash floods are another hazard. It could be raining in the mountains and you parked in the shade of a dry river bed. It can flood in minutes from the water coming down the mountain. Be alert. Deserts are beautiful and dangerous. Be safe. Be prepared. Drink water. Keep your car hydrated too.