How to choose an off-road vehicle?
Off-road vehicle-Over the past 15 to 20 years, the number of four-wheel 4×4 vehicles on the market has grown like never before. It can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. Especially if you are thinking of doing some off-road driving. Not all 4 × 4 cars are able to take on more difficult paths. And those that are still will need to be equipped for the specific terrain, climate and use.
How you plan to use an off-road will make a big difference. Off-road will require a different configuration. Whether to use the vehicle like towing, farming, fun or just commuting from home to work every day. Almost all 4 × 4 will be able to handle these situations. But if off-road is what you are behind there are some extra considerations to make before choosing the vehicle.
Important criteria in choosing an off-road vehicle
If you are going to use the 4 × 4 as a dedicated weekend vehicle for adventures. Then comfort can probably be left out as well as a backseat. But if you are also going to use the vehicle to take the kids to school on their way to work, having cabin space. And some comforts will be much more important to you. Wanting to put a bike or two in the back means making sure the bracket is large enough to keep the bikes and all other gear tightly attached.
Thinking about the different types of activities that you will use the vehicle can take you to a starting point. Also, be sure to consider used vehicles. New 4 × 4 can be ordered exactly to your liking. But they are also more expensive. You may find a very well prepared used vehicle with good tires already installed. But there is a good chance this vehicle has already been used in some difficult races as well. Each option has its pros and cons.
Understanding the 4 × 4
Starting with a solid 4 × 4 truck is the key point for buying for off-road, no matter the terrain where you intend to rotate. Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota and Nissan. As well as several other manufacturers, have 4 × 4 suitable for off-road driving. These vehicles typically include a powerful engine with plenty of torque. The chassis and suspension are designed to jump over holes and stones. And they can be felt a bit harsh on the way to the mall. And of course, off-road cars have v erdadeiras capacity four-wheel drive. Or all four wheels receive power from the engine to drive across the ice, through sand or mud and gravel.
It is worth looking at whether the vehicle suspension system will need to be replaced by a more efficient one than the factory model before confirming the purchase of the off-road vehicle. The comparison can tell you whether it pays to invest in an alternative factory kit or in a parallel.
Considering the 4 × 4 elements
With the basics in place, off-road options come into play, depending on the terrain. Tires are the first thing to consider. Since different sizes and treads can be used in snow, sand or dirt. The height may not be a problem for off-road ice. For example, but it will be important for rock formations. If the 4 × 4 of your dreams is a little lower. It can almost always be lifted a little higher to go through more obstacles.
Steel breasts can come in handy as well. These are to protect the underside of the vehicle from trees, stones and other debris. Manufacturers often offer skid plates as part of an off-road package that can be purchased with a new vehicle, along with things like improved dampers and tougher off-road tires. Special suspension, special tires. And engines and transmission controls designed specifically for off-road use are also very attractive options.
Always remember that using some off-road features on normal terrain can wreak havoc on a 4 × 4, however, so it is best used only when things go wrong.
The right climate for the right 4 × 4
Most 4 × 4 vehicles can handle most types of off-road driving and most climates, too. But what if you are off-road in the Pantanal? Or pull a trailer in the Brazilian caatinga? If one of these situations applies to you. There is a kit to help you in your off-road insanity if your adventures take you to very cold or very hot climates.
Some manufacturers offer a package for cold weather, which usually includes a more powerful battery for cold starts. A larger output alternator and a heavy intake as well. If you are going to an area subject to extreme cold temperatures, a motor block heater will keep the engine warm for an easy start. Once the 4 × 4 is mounted and running, the engine heat will keep things toasting.
Extra off-road costs
Options such as mile-lights, suspension and “hard” off-road tires can cost up to 10% of the total value of an off-road vehicle. And depending on the use you will make for the off-road vehicle, you may not be able to escape these costs.
At the other end of the spectrum, you may want to add a cooler to the transmission fluid. Especially if you are anything towing or if the transmission is otherwise under extremely heavy load. Again, some manufacturers offer a package to deal with just such a situation. With a transmission cooler and a larger radiator to keep the engine running even with a lot of sand in the way.
Vehicle Safety 4 × 4
Like almost every other vehicle on the road, 4 × 4 vehicles have benefited greatly from advances in safety technology over the past few decades.
Let’s start with something that almost always takes for granted the humble airbag. Not only do they leave the center of the steering wheel in the event of an accident. But many used off-road cars surround the cabin with airbags to help prevent serious injuries. The Dodge Ram 2500, for example, offers advanced multi-stage frontal airbags for driver. And passenger, as well as side curtain airbags. It also uses an advanced accident response system that revolves around interior lamps. Opens the doors, turns on danger lights and turns off the fuel in the event of an accident. Whether by hitting another car on the freeway or a stone hidden in a sandbar.
More advanced safety systems can be found in many vehicles built for off-road driving. Such as the Toyota Tundra. It has rollover sensors that deploy side curtain airbags, plus four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, braking assistance. And electronic braking force distribution, stability control and traction control. Lots of cars have these types of safety measures on board, plus rigid frames. And deformation zones for better handling and less injury to passengers.
Taking all of these suggestions into consideration will help you find the 4 × 4 truck you want. But that’s just the beginning.
In the photo vehicle, the kit was used to increase the height of the vehicle. And give greater resistance to the lower part of the vehicle. However, your needs may be different, which will change a lot in your kit.
The off-road kit
Once you have the vehicle, it’s time to equip it for your special off-road passion. There are two basic paths to take: factory accessories or after-sales products.
Factory accessories can be added to a new vehicle when ordering it. These are usually the packages as we discussed earlier – gears for cold weather or off-road driving amenities such as steel chest. You can also choose whether your new truck has a tow hitch right from the start. Getting these factory packages when you buy the truck can put a lot of trouble and workshop time out of the equation.
Stores that sell aftermarket products, however, are like candy stores for off-road enthusiasts. Linings, protection against pieces of rock, lifting kits, massive tires. Everything you can imagine. Some of the more common accessories include towing equipment, dampers, winches. And front inflatable monkeys, making your off-road much more complete.
The first thing that owners usually change into a new 4 × 4 is the tires. Huge tires do more than look beautiful in the city. But they also add up loud. Off-road tires often have spaced channels. And secondary terminals, making them easier to clean while you drive.
Then there are the grill protectors and rear flashlight, stirrups, headlight and taillight, mudguards, linings, cargo baskets, decals. And hundreds of other accessories that are useful in protecting your ride and your equipment. Or maybe they’re just cool stuff. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.
The price of 4 × 4 vehicles
A good new 4 × 4 vehicle, nowadays, be it a pick-up, SUV or jeep, will leave for a value well higher than $ 50,000, new. The average is $ 90,000 for the best. However, a used older vehicle may cost well below that. But need some modifications. If one of your hobbies is mechanics, picking up an older 4 × 4 vehicle can be a good hobby and satisfy your off-road needs.
This is a good time for research and planning. Choosing an off-road vehicle is difficult and there are many elements to be taken into account. However, fun and the satisfaction of fulfilling a dream are priceless.