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Unlike front or rear wheel drive, 4-wheel-drive vehicles have the ability to provide greater traction and improved handling in less than ideal driving conditions. Other than being great fun to drive, they are also equipped with the tools for a safe driving experience. Below are some useful tips for getting the most out of your 4×4:
- High Range vs. Low Range Gears – A rule of thumb here is that for better control, use low range gears. When maneuvering tricky curves or mounting difficult terrain, a lower range gear is your best option for optimal control. When driving off-road or while navigating slippery conditions, it is easier to get moving from a stop by using a lower gear. Traction works best when in these gears if stuck in mud or snow. If you are at a comfortable cruising speed on a highway, high range is the best option for you.
- Suspension Adjustments – Thankfully, winter is coming to a close, but when snow is high, raising the suspension is an option to keep your 4×4 from grounding itself in endless piles of white. This also helps with traction when ice and snow are putting up a fight with your 4×4.
- Traction Control Systems – Many 4×4 vehicles come with a Traction Control System installed from the start. Keeping these systems engaged during challenging weather conditions is a must. At this moment, you may be thinking that you do not need some external system to help you drive your own vehicle, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 35 percent of crashes can be prevented by traction and stability control systems. Keep it on!
- Tire Maintenance – Maintaining the tires of your 4×4 is critical in all types of weather. With Spring around the corner, now is the best time to bring in your 4×4 for a service check to ensure that driving in ice and snow hasn’t damaged your tires or vehicle’s suspension and alignment. It’s possible that with the demands put on your 4×4 this winter, a new set of tires is necessary to avoid traction issues as warmer weather brings rain and mud. Here at Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair, our selection of 4-wheel-drive vehicle tires is extensive. Give our Castle Rock mechanics a call for advice on which tires best fit your driving needs today.
- Drive Responsibly – This may seem easy and straightforward, but keeping a clear head while driving in poor conditions is critical. The armor of 4-wheel-drive often gives us a sense of invincibility, but even 4x4s can lose their traction when speed is not considered. Maintaining or even lowering your speed in poor weather increases control.
With warmer weather just around the corner here in Castle Rock, Colorado, now is the time to ensure that your 4×4 is prepared for temperature changes. We’ll make sure that you are equipped for the Spring with a diagnostic of your 4-wheel-drive systems from the tires up. Reach out to our 4×4 experts at Advanced Four Wheel Drive & Auto Repair today to set up an appointment.