When it comes to off roading, Colorado is one of the premiere states to test you and your vehicle’s mettle against the great outdoors. Many of our Fort Collins auto repair clients come to us with their 4x4s before and after a big off roading trip. If you are a veteran off road enthusiast, or you’re just getting into the activity, here are some off roading tips to make things a little easier.
We mentioned T.R.E.A.D. Lightly in our previous blog. Travel responsibly. Respect the rights of others. Educate yourself. Avoid sensitive areas. Do your part. Not only do these precepts keep everyone civil to each other, save the environment, and promote off-roading around the world, but the organization also offers all kinds of advice, tips, and information on its website. Make sure to check out Tread Lightly periodically to stay updated on the latest news.
Travel in Groups
You don’t need to be an off-roading expert to understand that getting stuck sucks. And while that expensive winch or pair of Maxtrax might get you out of a rut, a “might” is not a guarantee. Not only will getting stuck potentially waste your entire day, it could easily cost a fortune in tow services if you’re out in the middle of nowhere. More importantly, traveling alone when off-roading can be dangerous both for you and your vehicle.
That’s why any seasoned recreational driver knows to always go with a group when tackling more serious off-road ventures. Doing so provides you with the assurance that, in the even of a vehicular hiccup, there will always be someone there to pull you out in a pinch. And it never hurts to have an extra vehicle and driver available in case of emergency.
Less Is More
Many people who aren’t familiar with it may picture off-roading as a giant 4×4 beast of a truck smashing through a rugged area at break-neck speeds. In reality, this is not the case. In fact, most off-roaders travel at a much slower pace than many people assume.
First of all, whether it’s a Toyota truck or a mud-splattered Jeep, we are talking about extremely expensive machines here. Very few people — if any — are willing to risk their 4WD vehicle by moving too quickly on tricky and rough terrain. Second, going too fast is a great way to lose control of your vehicle, which increases your risk of causing damage to your 4×4 or getting stuck in a less-than-ideal environment.
The best way to get over challenging terrain when off-roading? Slow and steady seems to win the race. Make incremental adjustments and move with care. Trust us — your outdoor excursion vehicle will be safer, and you’ll still be having just as much fun.
Know Your Vehicle
Even people who throw tens of thousands of dollars into their trucks and SUVs (and don’t use them for commutes) get stuck and, unfortunately, lose their vehicles. Every vehicle has its limit, and to off road effectively you needs to know yours. Everything how much power it has, to how much clearance it has should be second hand knowledge by the time you’re out on the trails.
Hopefully some of these tips prove useful for your next off-road excursion, no matter where you may headed in the grand landscape of the great outdoors. If you need auto repair in Fort Collins for your 4×4, or any other foreign vehicle (with or without four-wheel drive), bring it on by our shop today! Have questions? Feel free to give us a call anytime. One of our friendly and knowledgeable car repair and auto maintenance specialists will be happy to answer them for you.