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Driving tips from Goodyear: Taking your SUV/4x4 off the road with care

To help reduce the possibility of something going wrong, Goodyear has compiled the following SUV/4x4 off-road driving tips:

1. Do not under- or over-estimate the abilities of your SUV/4x4, read the manual and get advice on your vehicle’s real off-road capabilities;

2. Not all SUV/4x4 vehicles are equipped for heavy off-road driving – and that means many vehicles may not automatically be fitted with the right tire;

3. Off-road driving is often a slow affair. Avoid the urge of stepping on the gas in off-road situations but push on the accelerator gently until movement is achieved – avoiding the potential of getting bogged down;

4. Like with any car in very muddy conditions, shifting a gear below what the terrain needs may help give you better control as power is transferred more gently and regularly to the tires;

5. Avoid braking when possible on very loose, muddy or snowy terrain, the sudden block will only cause you to get stuck or slide;

Never overestimate obstacles – even seemingly small obstacles can cause some of the best off-road vehicles to get stuck. Remember that not all vehicles offer the same levels of ground clearance. Get out and survey the terrain before driving over it. Should you get stuck on objects such as rocks or logs, it is best to calmly survey the situation. This will help reduce the risk of damaging your vehicle.

6. Cross small gullies, ditches or logs at an angle so that three wheels assist the fourth’s passage;

7. Check your tire treads regularly – if they become clogged their traction is reduced;

8. When driving up a steep slope, tackle it head-on, keeping all four tires facing upward to give you a maximum of power and grip;

9. Before driving on the main road again ensure that your tires are cleaned of dirt and debris and are at the correct tire pressure. Check the tire for any potential damage caused by mishaps before driving onward.