The four seasons in the country create a huge challenge not just for your physique but to your vehicles and driving skills as well. It definitely entails a lot of adjustments for your vehicles and efforts to drivers. Each season has its own unique quality that can either make or break cars so you really have to be prepared and equipped all the time. Probably the hardest seasons to drive are summer and winter. The two are extreme weather conditions so utmost caring and precaution in driving are much needed. The two seasons also require different precautions as they bring different effects in vehicles. It is, however, important that vehicles are in good technical condition all year long so as to prevent breakdowns.
The scorching heat of the sun affects vehicles in a few ways. The temperature is a lot higher so the chances of overheating are more likely. Checking the level of water in the radiator and washer, and the oil, especially in the electric fan helps in preventing overheating. During summer, people are also most likely to use our air-conditioning more to cool the inside so you must make sure it is set correctly. Another critical part of the car is the tire. It is much more critical during warm weather because long trips, heavy loads, high speeds and higher temperatures all put additional stress on our tires. Long trips are common during summer as most of the people head to the beach and get a nice real tan or simply just go out of town.
However these long trips tires our wheels out. Before going on a trip make sure that there is enough tread on the tire to operate safely and the tires are wearing normally to avoid accidents. Cars and tires are designed to operate safely only up to their load limits. So it is advisable not to overload vehicles. The heavier the car the longer the braking distance is, so alter driving to allow for this. Filling the fuel tank too high is not recommended as well, as at higher temperatures the fuel expands (Newbold & Bonnick, 2005, pp.85-90).
Just like driving in summer, certain precautions must also be taken when driving in winter. As stated earlier, it is important to know that vehicle is in good condition so as to prevent any breakdowns on the road. In your vehicle’s check up, take note that the following parts are in good condition as they are most likely to break down when driving in snow. First is the electrical system which includes the battery, ignition and lights. Immediately replace or recharge the battery if it is found weak. Lights — check all lights (headlights, side lights, emergency flashers, directional lights, taillights, brake lights and parking lights) for proper functioning. It is important to see and be seen especially when driving in a snow storm. Brakes are crucial too during winter because it is needed on slippery roads. Be sure to check brakes and adjust to ensure equal braking. Other vital parts are the tires, exhaust system, heating system, windshield wipers and fuel. During summer, it is recommended not to put the fuel tank too high. But on winters, it is advised not to let the fuel level get too low – the driving time to the next gas station may take much longer than we expected, and if we get stuck, the car engine will be our only source of heat. And again, just like driving in summer, it is advisable to drive in a slow speed. Above all, before hitting off the road on a snowy day, we must contact our provincial “Road Reports” to get updates regarding road conditions in the region to which we are going (Newbold & Bonnick, 2005, pp. 128-130).
There are many disadvantages in driving in winter and summer. Some high ways may be restricted to four-wheel drives during winter. Some major roads are even closed for hours and even days. During summer however, roads can be too hot and can stress our wheels easily. So either summer or winter, always remember to drive slowly and bring water because you’ll never know what’s going to happen next (Peterson, 2004 p. 43). The two seasons have a huge effect on the different parts of the vehicles. So whether in summer or winter, it is important to maintain
Different precautions and preparations are important to take note of when driving summer and winter but one thing that you must never forget is to obey traffic rules and speed limits. With that, you can never go wrong.
Peterson, E. (2004). Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming. Montana: Frommer’s Publishing.
Newbold, D. & Bonnick, A. (2005). A Practical Approach to Motor Vehicle Engineering and
Maintenance. Massachusettes: Butterworth-Heineman.