Five Tips to Avoid Wrecking Your Off-Road Vehicle

Five Tips to Avoid Wrecking Your Off-Road Vehicle

Off-roading is a favorite hobby for motoring enthusiasts everywhere. While some people enjoy hitting a smooth corner at high speeds, others get a thrilling rush of enjoyment from flexing their vehicle’s muscle by scaling the steep side of a hill or climbing over a big rock outcropping. However, as an off-road performance shop we see too many people come back to us having either broken something big or even crashed due to making dumb decisions while behind the wheel.

Nobody wants to see anyone get hurt or trash their vehicle while off-roading, so to help, here are a few tips you can follow that will keep you save and hopefully prevent you from wrecking your ride when heading off the asphalt.

Don’t Go Beyond Your Skill Level

Off road trails come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and difficulties. However, just because you’ve managed to shred the dirt road outside of town a few times doesn’t mean you’re ready to tackle the Rubicon Trail in California or the steepest climbs in Moab, Utah. There will be obstacles that you don’t necessarily know how to handle, and trying to tackle them before you have the knowledge and experience of clearing lesser obstacles is setting yourself up for disaster. Work your way up to them. You’ll be surprised just how quickly you’ll learn to drive off-road and before you know it that big obstacle that you had no idea how to handle will become your favorite playground.

Never Wheel Alone

There’s no better way to find yourself stuck in a really precarious situation than to go out off-roading alone. Off-roading is always better with friends, not only for the experience but also for the ability to get help if you get stuck. A friend can winch or tow you out if you find yourself buried in mud or pull you up a hill if you’re struggling to get the traction you need. Also, if you do wind up getting into a crash, a friend can come to your aid quickly and make sure you’re ok, as well as call for help if necessary.

Prepare Your Vehicle

What’s a really good way to get in an accident or find yourself stuck? Head out into the off-road without preparing yourself first. When you’re going to be tackling the off-road terrain, be sure your car’s maintenance is in good order, that your air filter is clean, and that your tires have a suitable amount of tread on them. You should also consider lowering the air pressure in your tires once you do reach your off-road destination so you can get a little bit of extra traction. Also, make sure your car is stocked with the supplies you’ll need should you find yourself in trouble: a small shovel to dig yourself out, a first-aid kit if someone gets hurt, a tow strap, and flash light should all be in your vehicle.

Know Your Car

The relationship between car and driver is extremely important when off-road: a driver needs to know the car and how it will respond to even the slightest inputs in order to safely navigate. Take some time and practice feathering the throttle until you figure out the point where you reach “equilibrium,” or the point on the throttle where you aren’t rolling backward but you also aren’t spinning your tires pointlessly. The more familiar you are with how your car will respond to throttle, brake, and steering inputs, the better off you’ll be when you need to make a snap decision in a hurry in order to keep moving along a tough trail.

Know When to Back Off

It’s one thing to push yourself and want to conquer a challenge, but off-roading isn’t about who’s got the guts to clear the biggest obstacles. You and your buddies are going to have a much better time if you know your limits and back off from a challenge when you know you can’t get past it. Far too many times people wreck their rides or hurt themselves by trying to push past an obstacle that they simply don’t have the equipment or the skill to get past, but they don’t want to give up out of fear of seeming “weak.” Use common sense: know your limit, wheel within it.

If you’re looking to improve your ride and start tackling bigger and better obstacles, the Katy off-road performance experts at HP Motorsports can help! Contact us today by dialing (281) 321-9950 to request more information!

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