When pushing your vehicle to the limit and tackling tough terrains out in the middle of nature, problems are bound to arise at some point. Whether you end up getting stuck or scratching up your Jeep, these are the risks that off-roaders take in order to enjoy one of the most adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities there is. Fortunately, many off-roading issues can be avoided. However, in order to do so, you need to know what they are and prepare accordingly. To help you properly prepare for your next adventure and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, take a look at this list of the most common off-roading problems you may face.
Let’s start with the obvious. One of the most frequent issues many off-roaders face is simply getting stuck. When driving on loose terrain such as mud, sand, or snow, it can be easy for your tires to dig into the ground and your vehicle could wind up stuck.
To avoid getting stuck in areas where there isn’t a lot of traction, make sure to maintain a slow and steady speed. For example, when crossing over a mud pit, you don’t want to stop as you probably won’t be able to regain your momentum again on the slippery terrain. However, you also don’t want to go too fast as trying to speed across loose terrain could cause your tires to slip and ultimately dig into the ground. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
While it is important to know how to avoid getting stuck, it is equally as essential to know how to get un-stuck. Let’s face it, entirely avoiding getting stuck while off-roading isn’t realistic, so it’s important to be prepared when it happens. In other words, make sure to stock up your vehicle with a few essential tools that will help you get out of a sticky situation in a pinch. Tools that will help you get your vehicle un-stuck include traction pads, recovery straps, and a winch.
Popped or Damaged Tires
Another common off-roading problem you may face out on the trails is tire damage. Driving over uneven or rugged terrain isn’t exactly the best for your tires, and it isn’t uncommon for off-roaders to return from their journey with a popped or otherwise damaged tire in their trunk. As such, it’s crucial to be ready to replace your tire so that you don’t get stranded in case it pops. Always keep a spare tire in your Jeep, as well as a high-lift jack so that you’re able to jack your vehicle up high enough to replace the damaged tire.
A good way to prevent your tire from getting damaged in the first place is to lower your tire pressure slightly before hitting the trails. By lowering your tire pressure, your tire will be able to mold better to the grounds various formations without popping. Just make sure that you keep an air pressure gauge and portable tire inflator in your Jeep so that you can fill your tires back up before going back on the paved road. Driving slowly over especially uneven or rugged surfaces rather than speeding by will also help reduce your tires’ risk of incurring damage.
Damage To the Undercarriage
One of the most vulnerable and exposed areas of your Jeep while off-roading is its undercarriage. When driving over rocky roads or large obstacles, debris can get flung up or scrape across the undercarriage, which can cause damage to the vital vehicle components located there such as the transmission or gas tank.
While certain parts of a Jeep’s undercarriage are factory protected, the factory protection may not be strong enough to prevent damage in more extreme circumstances, and other areas are left more vulnerable. To protect an important vehicle component from getting harmed on the trails, it is advantageous to invest in skid plates. Such plates are made from a strong, abrasion-resistant material and can be fastened to the undercarriage of your Jeep to protect its weak spots.
Due to the uneven terrain that off-roaders traverse, misalignment is another issue that is likely to occur the more time you spend on the trails. By bouncing over ruts, hills, holes, ditches, and other uneven surfaces, your vehicle’s suspension system is put to the ultimate test. As such, it’s important to check the alignment of your vehicle after every off-roading excursion. Common symptoms of a misaligned vehicle include rapid and uneven tire wear, excessive wobbling or vibration, and the tendency of your vehicle to pull to the right or left when trying to drive straight.
It’s inevitable that your Jeep will undergo a little wear and tear while out on the trails. Whether you’re rolling through woods or gravel pathways, scratches, dings, dents, and scrapes are practically a rite of passage for avid off-roaders. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps you can take to preserve your Jeep’s appearance while still doing what you love.
To protect your Jeep’s body from incurring damage while off-roading, consider investing in body armor. Body armor is composed of abrasion-resistant material that can be added to more vulnerable areas of your Jeep such as the taillights and rear corners to help prevent scratches, dents, and other types of damage. If your Jeep does end up getting scraped up, it’s not a bad idea to keep touch-up paint on hand to do some damage control when you return from your trip. Doing so will help prevent your Jeep from rusting if the scrapes go past the paint and primer.
Now that you know how to prepare for some of the most common off-roading problems you may face, you’re ready to hit the trails. Well, not so fast. First, you’ll need to find a way to take off that hardtop. After all, an off-roading trip is way more enjoyable when you get to feel the breeze and breathe in that fresh air. To safely remove your Jeep’s hardtop without any assistance, consider purchasing a Top Lift Pro Jeep top removal tool. Our innovative hardtop removal tool will allow you to easily remove and store your hardtop in less than two minutes. For more information regarding our safe and stable removal tool, contact us today.