Off-roading can be a great hobby for the adventurous thrill-seekers out there this summer. However, taking your vehicle off road can be a hobby that’s a bit more difficult on your car or truck than you might initially expect. Without the proper maintenance and care, going off road could actually seriously damage your car in some pretty expensive ways. Use these tips and tricks to get you ready for taking your vehicle off the beaten path while still keeping it running in good condition.
Consider A New Vehicle
If you’re serious about getting into off-roading as a hobby and you’re looking to trade in your current vehicle anyway, consider looking for a vehicle specially designed to go off road. Some of the most well-known options for off-road ready vehicles include more rough and rugged brands like Jeep and International Scout. There are four main types of off-road tires: all-terrain, mud-terrain, snow/winter, and sand. The International Scout first debuted in 1961, making it a long-time favorite for those looking to take their driving off the beaten path. Do some research to see what vehicles are available within your price range near you if you think your current vehicle won’t be equipped for some of the challenges of driving off road.
Know The Roads
Before you head out, make sure you have a rough idea of what sort of conditions you’ll be putting your vehicle through. This helps stay prepared for the different types of terrain you might be up against and if your vehicle can handle it. Pay special attention if you’re near the coast, since sand can be a serious challenge for most vehicles. Nearly 60 million people in The United States visited beaches in 2010 according to the US Census Bureau, so make sure you’re picking an area where there won’t be too many pedestrians around.
Get A Clear View
Whether you’re on the road or off the beaten path, clear vision is key to safe driving. Keep your windshield in top condition, as well as your wipers; this will ensure you get the clearest view possible of the terrain ahead. You’ll want to invest in taking care of your headlights as well, especially if you’ll be doing any driving after the sun goes down. While HID headlights are about 50% brighter than LED headlights, LEDs last 10 times longer than HIDs. You’ll have to decide whether you’re looking for brightness or low maintenance when it comes to your headlights.
Watch For Moisture And Rust
When you’re heading into rougher territory, you’re more likely to be up against the elements when it comes to car maintenance. Most vehicles are built to withstand weather, but going off road can put your vehicle at increased risk of damage. Pay special attention to damage resulting from moisture or wet conditions, including rust. If the rust protection fluid’s concentration of 1:30 was adequate during fall and winter, then the concentration may need to be increased to 1:25, or to the point where rust is no longer seen. Taking the time to protect your vehicle appropriately can ensure you get back out on the road sooner and your vehicle will run reliably for longer.
Vehicle maintenance can be a challenge, but even more so when you’re regularly putting it through challenging environments and taking it off road. However, you shouldn’t let this keep you from enjoying this exciting and adventurous hobby. Use these tips to off-road like a pro and extend your car’s life span. What advice would you give to beginners looking to take their vehicle off road for the first time?