5 Vehicle Damage Risks of Off-Roading

May 10th, 2021 by Stephanie Weaver

For the free-spirited gearhead who loves the ultimate weekend adventure, off-roading can make a fantastic hobby. But while plowing down the road less traveled is exciting and heart-stopping, it can also be extremely damaging to your vehicle.

Although there are numerous precautions you can take to safeguard your vehicle while out on the trail, rough-and-tumble terrain can still take its toll. Here are the five most common damages your vehicle can suffer from while off-roading.

  1. Tires

Your tires are definitely going to take a beating while tackling the trails. You may experience your fair share of blown-out or worn-out tires. It’s important to invest in some top-notch off-roading tires that are thick, durable, and have deep treads. However, even the most high-quality off-road tires can be threatened by rocks, mud, and water. Always carry a spare tire with you in case you suffer a blowout. Be sure to change your off-roading tires as needed.

Before you hit the trail, check the integrity of your tires. Bad tires can cause traction loss and poor handling.

  1. Misalignments

Just like hitting a deep pothole can throw off the alignment of your daily driver, driving through ditches can misalign your ATV’s wheels. This is an issue that should be addressed immediately. Wheel misalignment can damage your suspension, drastically shorten the lifespan of your tires, and decrease fuel efficiency.

Symptoms of misalignment include rapid or uneven tire wear, your vehicle pulling to the left or right, noisy steering, and excessive vibration.

  1. Undercarriage

Your vehicle’s undercarriage will definitely suffer from some bumps and bruises while out on the trail. Large rocks, deep ditches, and debris can all impact your undercarriage. Moreover, anything your vehicle kicks up that hits its underbelly can also get trapped or clog critical systems, resulting in broken components and costly repairs.

While damage to your undercarriage is unavoidable, it’s smart to give it a once-over after a day off-roading. Get any big issues fixed before hitting the trail again.

  1. Body Damage

Off-roading vehicles aren’t meant to be pretty and pristine. Body damage is going to happen and you need to be okay with it. From tree branches raking against your vehicle and causing small scratches to deep gashes and full-on dents, body damage comes with the territory. Take the time to patch up your ATV every so often. This can prevent the inner metals from rusting or corroding, leading to more serious damages.

  1. Faulty Lights

Although off-roading LED lights will last a while, they’re susceptible to damage. After a grueling off-roading session, your lights, including both auxiliary and stock lights, may break or wear out due to burned-out bulbs, loose wiring, or harsh trails.

Always have a faulty light fixed. You can do it yourself or bring your ATV/UTV to a mechanic. Never be left in the dark.

The Bottom Line

Damage to your vehicle while off-roading is inevitable. It’s essential to keep on top of repairs so you’re never unsafe or stranded on the trail.

Posted in Informative