Arizona is a landlocked state in the southwest region of the United States, bordered to the south by Mexico. It is known for high temperatures due to the state's topography, proximity to the equator, and weather patterns resulting from its location. Arizona has a hot arid climate and low humidity and experiences nearly 300 days of sunshine annually. On the other hand, Arizona has three landforms, including deserts, mountains, and plateaus.
Extreme heat not only makes driving a bit problematic in Arizona, but it can also put unprecedented strain on your heavy-duty truck, ramping up wear and tear and putting you at greater risk of a breakdown. That's not all. The rugged terrain in Arizona will increase the magnitude of wear, resulting in the need for regular repair down the road. In this article, we will explore the impact of Arizona's weather and terrain on heavy-duty truck performance and repair.
The Impacts of Arizona's High Temperatures on Truck Performance and Repair
One of the most common effects of extreme temperatures on truck performance is a decrease in the viscosity of liquids. High heat reduces engine oil viscosity, making it thinner and less effective during lubrication. Low-viscosity lubricants may fail to reduce component wear in heavy-duty trucks, thus causing a hike in friction. The heat generated from fiction can lead to engine breakdown, especially during summer. In this case, the best bet is to change your engine oil. Ensure to substitute less viscous oil with a viscous alternative and fill it to the maximum on your dipstick.
High temperatures damage the rubber of your tires if not properly inflated. It also causes tires to dry out and expand, giving room for over-inflation and increased pressure. If unmonitored, the tire could blow out and do more damage to the truck or even loss control. Checking your tire pressure before your journey could save you time and money.
The battery suffers not only during winter but also during summer. Extreme heat halts the ionic actions that take place inside the truck batteries. As a result, the battery can fail to create cranking amps that start the car. Unbearable heat and the air conditioning system load can permanently or temporarily disable batteries. Therefore, prepare for hot temperatures by servicing your vehicle to know what needs to be changed. If your car battery is old, ensure checkups between trips.
Cooling systems usually are burdened under high temperatures. These systems work extra hard to keep temperatures at the optimum range. Cooling systems highly rely on antifreeze which may fail at extreme temperatures. This leads to overheating because the air your coolant gives may not be sufficient. To avoid this, always ensure your coolant tank is full. Additionally, you can look online for coolants with high protection limits to protect your truck from overheating beyond the limit.
Even though they are normally confused, the cooling system and air conditioning are different. Air conditioning regulates the heat of the human space while the cooling system maintains the desired temperature of the engine. Most ACs are designed to work in temperatures of approximately 100 degrees or less. When the outside temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, your truck's AC may use more energy and malfunction or fail.
The good news is most new cars are fitted with modern air conditioners. It is, therefore, necessary to service your conditioning system more often to prevent unnecessary shutdown or clogging.
Regardless of the weather, fuel evaporates from your truck's gas tank. Evaporation is even faster under extremely high temperatures. This is a common occurrence for any truck driver traveling through Arizona. You can prevent more loss of gas by simply parking your truck under a shade or a garage when not in motion. Filling up your gas during the coldest times of the day will also help reduce evaporation.
Your truck may fail to start under the high temperatures experienced in Arizona. Long-term exposure to heat could deprive a truck of starting or cranking over. A "no crank" occurs when your truck fails to respond when you turn on the key. A "no start" means your truck is cranking over but not starting. Eventually, the battery becomes too weak to do its job. In this case, consult your mechanic if you are unable to fix the issue yourself. Your mechanic's report should include valve timing, fuel pressure, the condition of the spark, and injector pulse. These four components are required for a successful car ignition.
The Impacts of Arizona's Rugged Terrain on Truck Performance and Repair
Arizona's rugged terrain can be difficult for your vehicle's suspension system. If you frequently drive on rough terrain, your truck's suspension system will likely wear out faster than usual. You should regularly inspect and replace worn parts to keep your truck running smoothly.
Overusing the Engine's Power
Driving uphill takes up more fuel than driving on flat roads. This is because the engine needs more power to pull your truck up the hill, and accelerating downhill too quickly uses more fuel. Steep uphill and downhill drives may strain your truck's main components, ranging from the engine to the brakes. Ensure your mechanic checks your engine regularly so it doesn't suffer significant damage on the road.
In addition, High dust levels cause increased wear of motion and other failures that impair the proper functioning of the truck. Engines wear out quickly in these conditions due to dust abrasion that is sucked into the engine with the air. Such wear reduces engine power, increases oil and lubricant consumption, and necessitates early repair.
A Final Word
Working in Arizona's weather and terrain may require heavy-duty truck operators to be proactive. It is best to consider additional precautions for safeguarding yourself and your truck. If you drive your truck frequently in Tempe, Phoenix, Tuscon and Prescott Valley in Arizona, you may encounter various difficulties due to the effects of weather and terrain. We recommend you take your truck to a credible specialist for regular maintenance and inspections to detect these problems early on. These inspections are critical to your safe driving experience and can save you money.