How to Avoid Car Damage in Common Off-Roading Situations


Many models of Land Rover are popular choices for off-roading enthusiasts. They handle well, have excellent suspension to smooth out the ride, and are tough vehicles, inside and out. But if the trail gets a little too rough, even the toughest of vehicles can take some damage. For those who enjoy off-roading in their Land Rovers, here are a few tips to help prevent damage on your excursions.

Slow and Steady Keeps You Moving

Sure, it can be fun to throw some mud off your tires as you tear things up off the road. But be aware of the surface you’re driving on and how much traction it provides. Gravel, for example, can seem like a relatively reliable driving surface. However, it’s a constantly-changing, low-grip surface that can go from sturdy to slippery in an instant. Use your vehicle’s appropriate Terrain Response setting (if it doesn’t engage automatically) and keep it slow and steady.

The same goes for grass. Not only does an easy, consistent speed keep your vehicle from getting stuck in soft soil, but it can better preserve the grass you’re driving on. Stick to a low-range gear with your Terrain Response setting, and avoid any unnecessary churn or breakthrough. If you’re following other cars, don’t drive directly in their tracks; you’re more likely to go through areas that have been churned up by other tires and get stuck in the muck.

Keep Control on the Hills

Land Rovers are made for handling steep ascents and descents that most vehicles aren’t built for. But it’s important that you know how to stay in control on those steep inclines. When driving uphill, use the highest gear in which your car can comfortably “pull.” Never attempt to turn your vehicle on a steep slope, and keep the approach angle in mind so that your nose doesn’t hit the ground.

When descending, use your Land Rover’s Hill Descent Control if you have it. This engages automatic braking to maintain a steady speed while going downhill. If you don’t have this, stay in first gear and brake sparingly. When returning to flat ground, remember your angle so that the back of your car doesn’t scrape the end of the hill as your front side levels out.

Always Be Alert

Finally, always stay alert when driving off-road. Just because there aren’t other cars around, doesn’t meant there aren’t plenty of hazards. Watch for waters too deep to drive through, boulders that can high-center your vehicle, and other such dangerous while off-roading.

And if your vehicle is damaged on a trip, take it to a certified Land Rover body shop for repairs.