Off-roading is an activity that can become costly if you’re fully involved in it.
Between vehicle modifications like tires, stronger bumpers, and suspensions to the fuel guzzled while pushing your 4X4 to its limits, it will put a strain on your wallet at times.
If you want to lessen that strain a little bit and literally get more off-roading bang for your buck, try these great fuel-saving tips so your gas dollar goes further in your trail riding fun!
1. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
A critical element for improving gas mileage is keeping your vehicle in its best condition just as you want to improve its appearance with a great non-OEM front bumper.
Keep up with regular maintenance so the engine and other systems function efficiently to reduce the overuse of fuel:
- Keep Up With Oil Changes - Oil is the lifeblood of every engine that allows it to run smoother with less friction, so be sure to change the oil and filter religiously in a vehicle that goes off road, as this kind of exertion can deteriorate engine oil and make it less protective faster than when driving solely on the road.
- Check and Change the Air Filter When Needed - A dirty air filter can reduce the amount of power your engine produces by reducing the combustion out of the engine and requiring more fuel for it to run. Changing the air filter is an easy and inexpensive way to let your engine breathe and get see more power with less fuel consumption.
- Tune the Engine - A tuned engine that fires correctly and runs efficiently is another critical part of getting the most from decreased amounts of fuel. Fuel and power systems should be cleaned and tested regularly and parts like plugs, wires, and fuel filters replaced when needed to ensure good performance.
2. Watch Your Tires
Tire inflation is another factor that can affect your gas mileage depending on the driving conditions, just like a more durable bumper can affect your safety out on the trail.
If you’re out driving on sand, through mud obstacles, or over rocky terrain, you’ll get better traction and waste less fuel by airing down slightly.
On the other hand, if you’re driving on the street or on harder more level terrain, soft tires can create more friction and require more fuel in those instances.
You’ll have to balance it out depending on what you’re doing on each adventure with your 4X4 and where you’re driving it.
Ideally, carry a compressor with you so you can air down when needed, then air back up afterward.
3. Avoid Carrying More Than You Need
Weight is another thing that will suck up your gas mileage, especially when your 4WD truck with its new aftermarket bumper is working hard.
Always take the safety, repair, and recovery gear that you could need during off-roading adventures, but try to keep it as light as possible.
The heavier your vehicle, the more power it needs to get up and over, so the more gas it will consume.
4. Keep the AC Off While On the Trail
Because the compressor is run off the same drive belt that powers the rest of the engine, running the air conditioning causes your vehicle’s engine to work harder to generate the power necessary to drive those trails and climb those obstacles, all of which sucks up more fuel.
When you’re putting your truck through its paces, avoid running the AC too much and you will actually notice the difference in your 4WD truck when you turn it off as the engine becomes more responsive to your needs.
5. Use the Gas and Brakes Gently
Although how you should safely use the brakes on your 4X4 is usually dictated by what kinds of obstacles you’re clearing, one thing is certain: if you gun it with your gas pedal, you’re wasting fuel.
Careful obstacle negotiation takes gentle touches on both the gas and brakes, so use each gradually to stay safe and avoid revving the engine and burning up fuel more than it needs.
Save On Fuel To Spend On Fun!
Whether you’re new at it or have been off-roading for years, you already know that it can be an expensive pastime.
Tires and wheels can set you back a thousand bucks or more and aftermarket bumpers are a necessity to provide the armor your rig needs on the trails.
When you start progressing to the more challenging obstacles, you may need to modify the suspension, add open fenders, or do other modifications.
When you’re already facing those expenses, don’t waste money by blowing fuel out your tailpipe - take these simple steps to conserve fuel and reduce the cost of having a great time out on the trail!