With the holidays coming, it means lots of people are looking to go away and take their 4WD’s off-road for an adventure. There is a lot of fun when it comes to going off-road. Kids (and adults) love bouncing around, exploring new areas and adventure. However, it is important to look after your vehicle if you are going off-road. Ensuring you are prepared both before and during the trip for safety reasons. Let’s look at how you can look after your vehicle when you are off-road.
Know your vehicle
The first thing you should do is know the capabilities of your vehicle. Just because you have a 4WD, doesn’t necessarily mean it is ready to go off-road. Understanding your car means that you will be able to find the most suitable places to take it, without risking damage.
Things to learn about your 4WD before heading out off-road include:
- The dimensions of the car – so you can determine the different spaces you can fit in.
- The spare tyre – locating your spare tyre and jack prior to your trip means you are ready if you do need to make a tyre change.
- Tyre type – it is a good idea to know the tyre type that you have on and what the pressure is set to. It is best to have a set of all-terrain or mud terrain tyres on the 4WD if you are planning on taking it off-road.
Do your safety checks
Before heading out off-road, it is important to check that your vehicle is up to the challenge.
This includes taking it for a drive to ensure that the breaks, steering and suspension are all in good working order.
Check the pressure of your tyres and adjust if necessary.
By checking all of this prior to your trip, it means that you are prepared and ready for what is out there. If there is anything that doesn’t seem right, book in with your local mechanic to get them to have a look.
Plan your route
It is a good idea to plan ahead and know where you will be driving. By having your route planned out you can avoid areas that may be flooded or damaged due to flooding or other natural disasters.
It is also a good idea to let someone know, who isn’t going with you what your route will be. That way if you have not been heard from for a long time, they are able to alert the authorities to check on you and ensure that everything is okay.
There are a range of things you need to be prepared for if you are taking your 4WD off-road. This includes getting stuck in the mud, needing a tyre change and having to recover your 4WD. It is a good idea to have supplies ready for any of these incidents.
Things you should have on you for the trip include:
- Tyre changing equipment including a jack and spare tyre
- Snatch straps and recovery trip
- First aid kit
- Radio or charged phone (remember, you might not have reception)
Once your trip is a success and you are back home, it is essential to continue the safety and the care of your 4WD.
This includes the aftercare process. Your 4WD is likely to have gotten rather dirty during your adventure. So the first thing to do is to give the 4WD a good clean. This involves removing stuck on mud from underneath the car. Large mud piles stuck to the underneath of your 4WD can get stuck on things and cause you to have an accident. Make sure all windows are fully cleaned to give you full visibility when on the road with other cars and pedestrians.
Once the car is cleaned, give it a good lookover to ensure that there is no damage. Check the tyre pressure and if needed change back to the recommended pressure for being on the road.
Taking your 4WD off-road is an adventure to remember. Enjoy your time exploring and finding new areas. By taking care before, during and after your off-road experience it means that there will be many more to come.