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MRO (MOUNTAIN) DRIVING TIPS

Climbing steep mountain roads can make your engine overheat, especially since the speed going up is only about 10 mph. Some vehicles cannot cool the radiator enough to compensate for the amount of power it is taking to make it up the hill.

If your vehicle is struggling shift into a lower gear so that you can maintain a consistent speed. This may also make your engine spin a bit faster, but that will keep the cooling fan spinning faster (if it is not an electric fan) and it will keep the coolant flowing faster.

Turn off your air conditioning and roll your windows down. Air conditioning just makes the engine work harder.

If you need to pull off, because the engine is getting hot, or if the caravan should stop for another reason, keep the engine running to help it cool off.

If you can't immediately pull over to let your vehicle's engine cool down turn on your vehicle's heater to its highest setting. That heat is coming from the same water that is getting hot.

Use pull-off areas whenever possible, but if stopping on the road is unavoidable, look for a straightaway or another spot where approaching motorists will be able to see you clearly. Get as far to the right as you can since there are places where the road is really too narrow for two vehicles to pass.

Running water over your radiator core will also help lower the engine temperature. Never remove your radiator cap until the engine is cool! You could be sprayed with scaulding hot water.

On the downhill descent, use your engine and transmission to slow the vehicle down instead of the brakes. Shift into first or second gear.

When you do need to use your brakes, apply them firmly to slow the vehicle quickly. Applying them gently and "riding" the brakes for a long distance can cause them to overheat and fail, and you don't want that to happen.

Stay on your side of the road, and give some extra space between your vehicle and others that you're following, since sudden stops can strike at any time. It can also be quite dusty, so you'll want to trail the vehicle in front of you anyway.

Avoid wrecks with wildlife by keeping an eye out for animals, especially at night.

Have a spare tire. The rocks in the road can be sharp, and if a tire spins it could be cut. Your vehicle will likely have to spend the night if there is a flat, probably without you, if you do not have a spare. No repair or tow vehicles will come up the mountain at night. Likewise, make sure your tires are in good condition, or ride with someone else.

Make sure that you have enough gas BEFORE going up the hill. There are no gas stations up there.

If you stop going up or down the hill use your parking brake, and even put rocks on the downhill side of your tires if you are going to be there for a while.

2019-08-07