Vehicle damage is inevitable when you drive through rough terrain, especially if you are using a stock car. Although there is little you can do to avoid off-roading damage, it is essential to recognize issues early on so that you can address them before they get worse.
Here are the common types of damage that can happen to your vehicle when off-roading:
1. Tire damage
Your Subaru factory maintenance schedule will tell you when to check your tires. However, if you drive your vehicle through rough terrain, even the sturdiest off-roading tires will eventually become damaged, especially if you repeatedly go on heavy off-roading sessions.
For this reason, you must check your tires for damage after every off-roading trip and check the pressure using a tire gauge. If you have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on your car, it will let you know if you are losing pressure in your tires.
2. Body damage
Body damage is pretty much inevitable if you drive through wooded off-roading trails. Hence, you can’t expect your car to come out unscathed every time you drive through woods and rough hillsides.
You can, however, prevent widespread damage by touching up your vehicle now and then. Deep, scratches, in particular, need to be addressed as soon as possible. If the gash goes deeper than the paint and primer, the metal underneath can begin to rust. Luckily, you can fix this problem by applying a fresh layer of paint.
3. Transmission issues
Your car’s transmission can eventually become worn out, especially if you don’t know how to shift correctly when driving off-road. You might want to have your transmission checked out if you experience shift delays, the transmission slipping, and other signs of transmission issues. To prevent the damage from getting worse, don’t use your car until it’s repaired.
4. Wheel misalignment
Wheel misalignment is another common issue that avid off-roaders experience. How do you know if your wheels are misaligned? Perform a simple test by checking if your car stays aligned if you aren’t holding the wheel. You can also check for wheel misalignment by feeling for wheel vibration or wobble. If your wheels are misaligned, get them aligned ASAP to prevent further damage.
5. Undercarriage damage
Whether or not you have a skid plate underneath your car, the undercarriage might still get damaged, especially with heavy off-roading. Make it a habit to check the underside of your vehicle after every off-roading session. Look for any dents or holes and listen for any rattling noises. If there are any signs of significant damage, take your vehicle to the mechanic immediately.
How to prevent vehicle damage
While the risk of damage is always present when you’re off-roading, here are several ways to minimize it:
- Learn how to accelerate, brake properly, and shift when off-roading
- Check your vehicle before and after a session
- Take your vehicle to the shop at the first sign of significant damage
- Fortify your vehicle with off-roading accessories
- Know what type of terrain your vehicle can handle
You can’t expect your vehicle to be undamaged after every off-roading session. Hence, ensure that you can handle the damage afterward and have another mode of transportation if your car will become unusable for some time.