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Off-roading requires a lot from a vehicle and can quickly take its toll if you don’t sufficiently equip it for the activity. If you want to take your vehicle off-roading, ensure it has these essential modifications it needs first.
New tires are the first thing on your list for turning your vehicle into an off-roading machine. You can’t expect to traverse hazardous terrain on the same general-purpose street tires your car has—that’s a guaranteed way to get stuck!
You’ll need either all-terrain or mud-terrain tires for your vehicle. Your choice will depend on what best fits the car and what terrain you’ll be driving on. This modification is important but easy, as you can typically find the tires you need at any tire store.
Pro-Tip: If you choose mud-terrain tires, avoid driving them on paved roads and highways, as they’ll wear down faster.
Besides tires, one of the essential modifications that every vehicle needs before off-roading is a lift kit. Whether scaling mountainous passes, dashing through snowy forests, or trekking over sandy dunes, your vehicle will need extra clearance.
How much ground clearance you need for your vehicle will depend on its dimensions and balance, as well as the type of terrain you plan on driving through. Ideally, the ground clearance for an off-roading car is high without sacrificing balance. If it’s your first time lifting the vehicle, try a small increase to see how it feels and get used to the height change.
Even with the extra ground clearance from the lift kit, your off-road vehicle is still in danger of sustaining damage from the terrain and many obstacles beneath it. That’s why all off-road vehicles should have skid plates to protect the exposed components of the undercarriage.
Think of it as a sheet of armor for your vehicle’s exposed belly. It may not seem like much, but a skid plate is crucial to your off-road vehicle traversing through challenging terrain unharmed.
If you drive your off-road vehicle enough in difficult settings, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll need a winch at some point. A winch is an essential tool for off-roaders to escape otherwise impossible situations.
You may consider yourself a great driver, and your vehicle may seem capable of taking on any obstacles. But all it takes is one false step in off-roading for your vehicle to get stuck or even flip over. At those times, you’ll be happy that you have a winch! Plus, a winch allows you to give a helping hand to other off-roaders you come across who may need help.