How to Reduce Vehicle Wear and Tear on Steep Terrain
San Antonio and the surrounding areas have some pretty intense hill country with elevated roads and steep terrain. This can put extra strain on your vehicle’s main components, including your engine and brakes.
Here are a few tips that will help you avoid unnecessary stress on your vehicle.
- Gather speed as you approach a hill
Get enough forward momentum to get partway, or all the way, up the hill. Once you get partway up the hill, you can shift into a lower gear to maintain the momentum without stressing your engine.
2. Downshift to maintain speed
Climbing steep hills can cause your engine to overheat. Shifting into a lower gear can help you maintain consistent speed if you’re struggling to get up a hill and take pressure off of your engine.
- Upshift once you regain momentum
Once your car has gained momentum on the climb, you can shift to a higher gear for better gas mileage.
- Use lower gears for downhill
When you go downhill, you want to downshift so that your engine and transmission slow the car instead of your brakes. Using your brakes all the way down a steep hill puts will cause them to wear out much faster.
- Let your engine cool
If your car struggled to get up a hill and is at risk of overheating, give your car some time to idle for a few minutes once you reach the top. If you are unable to pull over, turning your heat on high can help release some of the engine’s extra heat.
Common signs of wear and tear due to hill country driving are squeaking brakes, a check engine light, and overheating. If your car is having issues, you should take it to a mechanic.