Ways To Avoid Damaging Your Vehicle While Off-Roading

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It’s no secret that off-roading can take a toll on your vehicle. After spending the day traversing challenging obstacles and rugged trails, it’s not uncommon to return from your adventure with a few scrapes and dents in your vehicle. While avoiding dings and scratches entirely may not be realistic for the avid off-roader, there are a few things you can do to greatly decrease the amount of wear and tear your vehicle experiences on the trails. Here are some of the most effective ways to avoid damaging your vehicle while off-roading.

Invest in Protective Mods

One of the best ways to avoid damaging your vehicle while off-roading is by investing in protective mods. There are many different types of modifications that you can make to your vehicle to prevent it from becoming damaged on the trails. Some of the best protective vehicle mods for off-roading include body armor, skid plates, and upgraded bumpers.

Understand the Limits of You and Your Vehicle

Off-roading is all about challenging yourself and pushing the boundaries of what you and your vehicle can do. That being said, it is important to know your and your vehicle’s limits. Off-roading outside of your skill level or your vehicle’s capabilities is a recipe for disaster where a dinged-up vehicle ends up being the least of your worries.

To avoid rolling down a hill or bottoming out, it’s important to learn how to recognize when an obstacle or trail is too difficult and to then decide to turn around. In doing so, both you and your vehicle can return from your off-roading adventure in one piece.

Properly Scope Out Obstacles

Speaking of knowing your limits, it is essential to scope the area out first in order to determine if your vehicle is capable of tackling an obstacle. When coming up to a challenging obstacle, take some time to get out of your vehicle and get a closer look at the terrain, approach angle, and other elements.

Ideally, you should off-road with a buddy who can stand by the obstacle and act as a spotter. That way, they can monitor your progress and advise you on how to best make your way over the obstacle without damaging your vehicle or putting yourself in danger. 

Avoid Overloading Your Vehicle

Another way to avoid damaging your vehicle while off-roading is by not overloading it. The heavier a vehicle is, the more stress is placed on its various components, such as its suspension, chassis, and motor. When pushing your vehicle to its limit on the trails, too much weight can ultimately result in overexertion and premature wear and tear.

In worst-case scenarios, you may find yourself sliding backward down a hill or mountain due to the excess weight. While you should never leave important safety and recovery gear behind in an attempt to minimize your vehicle’s weight, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s weight allowance when off-roading.

Written by Kevin O'Neill

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