While many people may believe Arizona has only two seasons – hot and really hot – that’s not exactly true, especially when venturing outside the Phoenix metro area.
What Arizona does have is extreme temperatures during the blazing summers where triple digits are the norm throughout the Phoenix and Tucson areas. But during the winters, the higher elevations near Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Prescott, Payson and other mountainous areas bring blizzards, rain, sleet and treacherous driving conditions.
Here at Desert Car Care McQueen, we want to make sure your car is ready to roll for fall break road trips and visits to northern Arizona in the winter.
Service Manager Mike Tibbetts offers these tips to ensure road readiness and road safety for traveling north for fall or winter:
- Check your tire pressure; cooler weather tends to lower pressure because cold air is more condensed than warm air.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Extreme summer heat can cause the rubber blades to deteriorate.
- Add an ice scraper and a warm blanket to your supplies, possibly snow chains if you will be in areas where snow is common.
- Avoid setting the emergency brake unless absolutely necessary because the brake cable could freeze leaving your vehicle stuck with the brake on.
If you are going to be spending quite a bit of time driving in colder weather, Mike suggests altering the ratio of water to coolant in your vehicle to 60 percent coolant, and 40 percent water. “During the summer in Arizona, we do the opposite and have less coolant and more water,” he said.
As for changing oil grades, Mike says: “There’s not enough climate change here to need to change the oil. Most modern oils are pretty thin anyway.”
And one last tip, if you’re traveling over fall break the next few weeks, Desert Car Care McQueen would love to share your photos on our Facebook page.