Planning to go off-roading and driving your trusty 4X4? Better make sure that your tyres don’t lack air or have an excess of air pressure before you head out for a fun and hassle-free adventure.
When you drive through the city streets, your vehicle’s tyres need anywhere between 35 psi and 42 psi for optimum performance depending on the tyre. But off-roading is a different kind of beast entirely. When you go on this kind of adventure, you’ll drive through different kinds of terrain and that will require you to adjust your tyre pressure to ensure your vehicle’s optimum performance. So check out our tips below for fun, safe, and cost-saving off-roading with your 4X4.
1. Make sure to have the optimal tyre pressure for the terrain you’ll navigate. Navigating a difficult terrain is hard on your 4WD. The air temperature inside your tyres go up as your 4X4 works harder, resulting in higher tyre pressure. But this is not limited to gravel paths and muddy roads. The beach might look so soft and easy to navigate, but they’re some of the toughest terrains to drive on. Your vehicle will have to work harder thanks to the loss of traction which can result in higher tyre pressure.
2. If you’re going out on a multi-day camping trip, it’s really tempting to load everything you want on your 4X4. But be careful as the heavier the load on your vehicle, the higher the temperature is inside your tyres. This also results in elevated air pressure and can cause your tyres to wear out easily.
3. Slow down to protect your tyres. You’d think that while navigating difficult and dangerous terrains, drivers would have the good sense to slow down. But this is not the case sometimes. Many drivers still choose to drive too fast despite the difficulty of navigating rocky and muddy roads. This can also shoot up the temperature and pressure in your tyres which makes them more susceptible to premature wear.
4. Our friends at Hitch Campers, who know a thing or two about four wheel driving, recommend that you choose larger tyres whenever you go off-roading. Those big and wide tyres cover more surface area which makes the 4WD a lot more stable and allows it to get better traction no matter the terrain. Plus, the temperature inside them doesn’t heat up easily, ensuring a lower and more stable air pressure.
Finding the Optimum Air Pressure for Your 4X4
Okay. You’re making preparations for your great off-road adventure and you wish to find out the optimal tyre pressure for your vehicle. So whip out your pressure gauge ready and let’s go check.
You’re probably familiar with the 4 PSI rule. But if not, then here’s a primer.
Make sure that you haven’t used your vehicle for a few hours before doing this to ensure that the air temperature inside the tyres is lower.
Next, drive on your chosen terrain (whether it’s a muddy backcountry road or a gravel road) as normally as you can. Don’t go too fast but don’t drive like a snail either. Drive at normal speeds and stop after an hour. Now take your tyre pressure gauge and measure it. Did the pressure go up by 4 PSI? Then congratulations. Your tyre contains just the right amount of air.
What if the pressure went up but it was less than 4 PSI? Then go ahead and lower the tyre pressure a little. If the pressure increases by more than 4 PSI, then it’s a good idea to increase the pressure until you reach the correct one.
THANK YOU so much Hitch Campers for your ripper tips. Happy & Safe Travels…