The dog days of summer are upon us, which means rising temps and low humidity. This time of year can be uncomfortable, if not dangerous, if you’re not prepared for it. Too many offroad drivers get themselves stuck on the trails without adequate gear or 4×4 components, and end up having a stressful day instead of an enjoyable one. Extreme heat and dry air can be hard on you, and your vehicle, so it’s important to plan ahead if you’re hoping to hit the trails in the late summer.
You’re probably not going to have much fun off-roading if you’re feeling the effects of dehydration or heat stroke, so prioritize your own safety and well-being when heading to the hills. Here are some tips for you, and your trail partners, to stay healthy in the heat:
- Bring extra water- way more water than you think you need. And sip on it constantly.
- Avoid drinks with alcohol and/or caffeine, even if you’re just a passenger. These are dehydrating to the body.
- Wear clothes that are lightweight and wick away moisture.
- Wear a hat or bandana to shield your face from the sun.
Just like you, your rig doesn’t do well in heat extremes either. It may be best, depending on the age and condition of your vehicle, to visit your local 4×4 mechanic shop to get advice on the products and services that will boost your rig’s resilience to the heat. However, there are a few basics that you can do right now:
- Keep an eye on your tires. Heat can cause swelling, due to increased air pressure, and the heat may also crack or otherwise compromise the tire rubber. Release extra pressure when you can, and routinely condition/soften your tires.
- Coat your interior with a quality UV protectant, to save your leather, vinyl, and plastic parts from the beating sun.
- Have your A/C unit inspected and recharged if necessary. This is crucial for not only keeping you cool, but also distributing heat in the engine bay.
- Top off fluids, especially your engine coolant, and consider an oil change as well.
- Invest in a more sensitive engine temperature gauge, so you can always know exactly how hot your engine is running. These are available as aftermarket parts.
Your offroad fun doesn’t need to end when the temperatures soar; it’s simply time to increase your preparation. With these tips, you and your vehicle can stay cool and happy.
Want more tips on how to keep your 4×4 vehicle running at its best? Come down to the 4×4 Offroad Network today!