Most people buy SUVs due to their ruggedness & presence. Most SUVs are just subjected to city roads and maybe an occasional highway blast with a few stretches of bad roads. However an SUV equipped with a 4wd system is designed to tackle a lot more. We give you ten tips on how not to get stuck while off-roading.
The first and the foremost thing, go off-roading in groups, even if the trail is known. You may encounter an unforeseen issue & being stuck in the wilderness alone may not be a good idea. If possible, go with atleast two cars so that one can be used as a recovery car in an emergency situation.
This is the another important thing. You should know what technologies your car has to offer and what it is capable of. If you plan on taking your car off-road, ensure that you have no additional accessory that will impede your progress. A large side step may get get stuck if you are crossing over steep inclines.
Before you decide to drive on unknown terrain, stop the car, get off and have a look. Or have someone guide you. When you are sitting inside your car, there are many things that will not be visible to you & may cause severe harm if precaution isn’t taken. If you plan on doing a water crossing, inspect the depth of the water and also the type of slush around it (if any). Your car may have all the possible off-road technologies, but getting your car out of soft & deep slush once stuck won’t be easy.
This should come from the above point. When you are checking your surrounding, make sure you decide which mode you want your car to be in to tackle the terrain. Selecting a driving mode once stuck will not be sensible & won’t get you out of trouble. Some cars adapt their setup based on driving modes available, others have gears to choose whether you want 4×4 low, 4×4 high, etc.
If you have to traverse sand and lose soil, lowering your tyre pressure is a good idea. Lowering the tyre pressure increases the contact area and allows for more traction. Another advantage is that the tyre absorbs the impact better protecting the wheel & rest of the vehicle components while going on rocks. Ride quality will also improve over bad terrain.
Remember to get the air filled up as soon as you are done with your off-road session.
Continued: Ten tips to not get STUCK off-road