Making your way around obstacles and traversing challenging terrain is part of the fun when off-roading. And when it comes to these technically tricky aspects, you’ve probably heard lots of advice.
But what advice should you take? What should you disregard? Read these four common myths about off-roading that aren’t true.
Myth #1: Descend in Neutral
When you descend too quickly down steep terrain, you feel tempted to try everything to slow your descent. That’s where the poor advice to put your 4X4 in neutral comes in.
But you shouldn’t descend any incline in neutral. Being in neutral increases your chances of locking up your wheels or overheating your brakes. Instead, put your vehicle in a low gear before reaching the downhill slope to help control your speed.
Myth #2: Don’t Use Your Brakes Downhill
This second common myth about off-roading that isn’t true relates to the first.—you shouldn’t use your brakes when going downhill. But while you wouldn’t need to apply your brakes ideally, gently applying your brakes can help you decrease your speed.
If you have enough traction, then softly press on your brakes to control your descent. If you start braking too frequently, shift to a lower gear. These two practices will help you descend more smoothly.
Myth #3: You Don’t Need To Air Down Your Tires
The myth that you don’t need to air down your tires ignores one of the crucial guidelines for off-roading fun. The best off-roading experience is the one you’re ready for.
Releasing some air from your tires increases the surface area of the rubber touching the ground. This gives you more traction for off-roading. Letting out some air also reduces the bounce in your ride.
The level you need to drop down to depends on the trail terrain, the size of the tires, your sidewall rating, the weight of your vehicle, and your driving style. You can manually air down, use a tire deflation tool, or use an automatic tire deflator.
Myth #4: Wider Tires Work Best
Though it would be convenient if this myth were true, different tires perform better in different conditions. As a general guideline, wider tires perform better in mud, sand, loose gravel, and snow. Narrower tires perform better on rocks, hard-packed dirt, and pavement.
For rock crawling, you want higher contact pressure. You also want to keep your tires aired down. So choose a medium-width tire.
Not a Myth: Go With AM Off-Road
While off-roading is full of guidelines, helpful advice, tips, and myths, you’ll find that your own preferences and driving style make your off-road adventure unique. Customize your ride with AM Off-Road. We carry stylish accessories and aftermarket parts, including Jeep Wrangler JK accessories. Browse our selection today.