Going mudding in your Jeep with any kind of success means equipping it to handle the challenge.
If you’re going to drive through mud that has water above it or any kind of deep water for that matter, one of the upgrades you should consider for your Jeep besides heavy-duty steel bumpers is a snorkel.
The looser and waterier that mudhole is, the greater the chance you have of sucking water into your air intake system.
A snorkel will prevent that, whether you’re crossing a stream or driving through mud soup.
Water In Your Air Intake Can Spell Disaster
There is little that can kill your Jeep quicker than getting water into the air intake while you’re fording water or splashing through deep, watery mud and getting those new steel bumpers coated with mud.
Water sucked into the engine will cause it to hydrolock which occurs when the pistons fill with water and do not compress as they should which could potentially cause a lot of damage.
With the pistons full of water and unable to function, the engine will come to a sudden stop, frequently breaking rods and causing other damage, sometimes even breaking a hole right in the engine block.
Although hard to believe that a little bit of water can cause that much damage, it can.
If you plan on doing anything with your Jeep that involves water deep enough to come close to the documented fording depth it can handle, you need to take steps to prevent this from happening to you; the best way is by installing a snorkel.
How Do Snorkels Keep the Water Out?
You’ve surely seen snorkels before; those tall stacks on some off-road Jeeps that look like they should be spewing exhaust on an 18-wheeler when in actuality they are sucking in clean, dry air.
You’ll find them on Jeeps used for fording deeper water or extreme mudding where the risk of sucking down water is high.
Snorkels install over the air intake in the engine compartment and seal it so that water cannot get in.
This new intake tube then exits the engine compartment where it is mounted to the exterior of the vehicle with the opening at least as high as the doors or steel bumpers, many times as high as the roof.
Snorkels allow the air intake intake air the engine needs from high up without sucking in any water with it.
In addition, they can also add a boost of power to your Jeep since colder, clearer air drawn in from higher than the engine aids more complete combustion of the fuel and powering the pistons harder.
Do You Need A Snorkel for Your Jeep?
Whether or not you need a snorkel for your Jeep depends on the degree of water fording or mudding you do.
Mudding in sticky mud or mud that is not going to produce big splashes or wakes may not require one.
If you enjoy going through the watery stuff, installing a snorkel is a small investment to make to protect your engine.
Where crossing water is concerned, you should know what your vehicle’s fording depth is before you enter any body of water.
If your goal is to ford deeper waters than what your Jeep is designed to handle, then you’ll want to install a snorkel along with other components designed to keep your engine, electricals, and other critical systems dry and functioning while you do it.
Err on the Side of Caution and Get A Snorkel
Considering how costly the damage can be if you go without one, getting a snorkel for your Jeep is the best advice if you like driving through the mud or water.
All it takes is one splash big enough to flood your air intake and your engine will be done.
A snorkel will make your Jeep capable of diving through the depths safely so it actually comes out the other side!