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Towing During Summer: Essential Tips for Safe and Enjoyable Travels

Summer brings with it the allure of open roads, scenic destinations, and the joy of towing trailers to exciting adventures. Yet, as temperatures rise, the challenges of towing in hot weather also come to the forefront. Whether you're hauling a camper, boat, or utility trailer, here's a comprehensive guide to ensure safe and enjoyable towing experiences during the summer months:

Engine Cooling and Maintenance - Ensuring your vehicle's engine remains cool and efficient is crucial for towing in hot weather. Here's what you can do:

  • Check Coolant Levels: Before hitting the road, inspect coolant levels and the cooling system. Top up if needed and address any leaks or issues promptly.
  • Consider Engine Oil: Opt for higher viscosity engine oil to provide better protection against heat, especially when towing heavy loads in hot conditions.

Tire Care and Pressure - Properly maintained tires are vital for safe towing, especially during the summer heat. Here are some tire tips:

  • Regular Pressure Checks: Monitor tire pressure regularly, particularly before embarking on long journeys. Properly inflated tires are less prone to blowouts and ensure stable towing.
  • Check Tire Ratings: Ensure your tires are rated for the weight of the trailer and the road conditions you'll encounter. Consider upgrading to heavy-duty tires if needed.

Brake Performance in Hot Conditions - Brakes undergo increased stress when towing, particularly in hot weather. Ensure optimal brake performance with these steps:

  • Inspect Brake Pads: Check brake pads for wear and consider upgrading to high-performance pads designed for towing.
  • Allow Extra Stopping Distance: Due to the added weight of the trailer, allow for extra braking distance, especially when driving on steep descents or in heavy traffic.

Transmission Health and Cooling - The transmission is another critical component that requires attention during towing. Here's how to maintain it:

  • Transmission Cooler: Consider installing an aftermarket transmission cooler for added protection against overheating, especially when towing heavy loads.
  • Fluid Checks: Regularly monitor transmission fluid levels and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for towing capacity.

Weight Distribution and Stability - Proper weight distribution and trailer stability are paramount for safe towing. Follow these guidelines:

  • Use a Weight Distribution Hitch: Distribute weight evenly between the vehicle and trailer axles using a weight distribution hitch.
  • Load the Trailer Correctly: Place heavier items low and towards the front of the trailer to maintain stability, especially during windy conditions.

Efficient Cooling for Engine and Transmission - In hot weather, engines and transmissions work harder. Ensure efficient cooling with these steps:

  • Install Aftermarket Coolers: Consider installing aftermarket coolers for the engine and transmission to prevent overheating during long towing trips.
  • Periodic Stops for Cooling: Stop periodically during long drives to allow the engine and transmission to cool down, particularly after navigating challenging terrain.

Fuel Efficiency and Planning - Towing impacts fuel efficiency, especially during hot weather when air conditioning is running constantly. Here's how to plan for efficient travels:

  • Plan Fuel Stops: Plan your route with fuel station locations in mind, considering the increased fuel consumption while towing.
  • Fuel Additives: Use fuel additives that improve engine efficiency and reduce heat build-up, particularly during long journeys.

Emergency Preparedness - Even with meticulous planning, emergencies can occur. Ensure you're prepared with these essentials:

  • Comprehensive Emergency Kit: Carry a well-stocked emergency kit with items such as spare tires, tools, jumper cables, tire repair kit, and extra coolant.
  • Roadside Assistance: Ensure your roadside assistance and towing coverage are up to date for added peace of mind in case of breakdowns.

Conclusion: Safe and Memorable Towing Adventures Await - By following these essential tips and considerations, you can embark on your summer towing adventures with confidence. Whether you're heading to the mountains, beach, or a favorite campground, a well-maintained vehicle and responsible towing practices will ensure safe and enjoyable travels.

So, as you prepare to hit the road, remember these key guidelines to navigate the highways and byways with ease, all while creating lasting memories of summer adventures with family and friends.

Got questions or need some car TLC? Give us a call at 707-442-4556 or set up an appointment online at  

Happy and safe driving,

The Old Town Auto Service Team