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9777 Foothill Blvd.,
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
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Desert Driving: Before You Leave The City Limits

With deserts forming nearly a third of California’s landscape, driving through these wonderful vistas is a common opportunity.  While the views are beautiful and strange, the landscapes and the heat can also make them more dangerous drives than other areas. Whether you are heading to Palm Springs, Palm Desert or the incredibly beautiful Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs, desert driving requires common sense and precautionary planning. Before you get on the road and head for the desert, keep these things in mind:

  • High temperatures are the norm when driving through the desert in the summer. If enjoying a high temperature environment is not your preferred setting, make sure to stay on the freeways and have your air-conditioning primed for use.
  • Always carry enough water for you and your passengers to survive in the desert should there be any delay. When driving off the main routes, pack at least three days of water for each person. You can cut back to one day of water per person if you are on the main routes. How much water does one person need per day? That depends upon the day’s temperature and humidity. At the height of summer start with at least a gallon per person per day.
  • Don’t forget water for your vehicle’s radiator. With so many mountains making up the California desert, you will be ascending and descending from near sea level to over 8,000′ within a few tens of miles. Your cooling system can become stressed under these conditions, especially in older vehicles. Pay attention to your vehicle’s performance and signals, closely watching the coolant levels and temperature of your radiator. California’s transportation has strategically placed some water tanks in especially challenging areas, but don’t count on their availability.
  • For desert driving, your car should be in good condition, reliable, and fairly robust. It does not take a special type of vehicle to drive in the desert unless you are planning to off-road, but definitely take a vehicle that isn’t prime for a breakdown. Make sure that it has the height and traction to negotiate any smaller dirt roads you are planning to take. And be smart: don’t leave the main roads with a vehicle that clearly wasn’t designed for the terrain.
  • Air conditioning is an obvious essential. Knowing this, don’t overwork a small or under-powered vehicle by using the air conditioning continually. When going up large hills or steep inclines, it may be best to give your air-conditioning a break.
  • Fill’er up! The desert is not like everywhere else; you cannot assume that a gas station will always be open at the next town. You should not even assume the next town will have one. That said, fill up with gas and water whenever you can. Keeping your fluid levels ready for anything will get help you through the worst of desert conditions.
  • Now that you’re ready for the heat… Are you also prepared for the cold? Temperature in California’s deserts can drop drastically during the night; in winter the temperatures can go below freezing. Always pack clothing or blankets to keep comfortable and safe in both conditions.
  • If your car breaks down in the desert, stay with it. Regardless of whether you are on a main freeway or off the beaten track, wandering off away from your vehicle is not a good idea. Unless you can see an obviously inhabited building that is a five- minute walk or a clearly-visible call box on the road you are on, do not leave your vehicle. Try to find some shade near your car or stay in the shade of the car. Do not waste your energy and water with unnecessary exertion. Any further than these recommendations, you have a good chance of never being seen alive again.
  • You must leave your carDo this first!!! Make sure it’s not in the way of other traffic, lock it, and leave a clearly-visible note under the windshield spelling out who you are, where you’re headed, and when you left.
  • Be prepared with knowledge. No matter what car you’re driving, you need to know how to change your tires on your own. Always ensure that your spare tire is ready with the correct air pressure and that you are packing the tools you need to complete a tire change.
  • Lastly, you want to know where you are at all times. While your smartphone’s navigation maps are helpful, deep desert driving is best served with a professional GPS and satellite phone. Consider renting them before you head out to the sands.

Our certified technicians are ready to answer any questions you have about the auto collision repair process. We have convenient hours. Stop by and see us today.

For auto collision repair services you can trust contact Foothill Auto Body.

Exceeding Your Expectations With Workmanship and a Lifetime Guarantee

Exceeding Your Expectations With Workmanship and a Lifetime Guarantee

Foothill Auto Body
9777 Foothill Blvd.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

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