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2018 Jeep Wrangler & Grand Cherokee FAQ | Toronto, Mississauga

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Here at our Toronto showroom serving Brampton and Oakville, we both feel and share your excitement about Jeep vehicles, like the 2018 Jeep Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee, now available. It goes without saying that one of the main attractions of a Jeep is the off-road capability the brand is known for. If you’re new to off-roading, or plan to take it up this summer, we have a few super helpful tips for you. 
Prepare your vehicle
Be prepared was the Boy Scouts motto, and the same holds true for off-roading, no matter how experienced you might be. Make sure the battery is fastened, hoses are in good shape, and that the fuel is topped up as well as the oil and vital fluids. Are your tires in good condition and at the proper pressure? Do you have a buddy to off-road with? Going it alone is not ideal where higher-risk activities are concerned, and even long-time off-roaders will agree.
What to be aware of
If you anticipate a need for extra traction, throw your Jeep into 4WD before you need it. Engaging it after you’re stuck is no simple feat. Learn to look out over the hood, scanning from left to right as you drive. Paying too much attention to one side, you may get into trouble on the opposite side. Keep your head inside the vehicle at all times. Lastly, thumbs up and away from those steering wheel spokes. If you smack down on a rock without warning, your risk of a thumb injury is higher if you have them down low. While Jeep power-steering helps prevent most sudden steering wheel rotations, driving thumbs-up is a good habit to get into off the top.
Need for speed
Off-roading on rough terrain doesn’t require speed and power the way driving on a track might. Low-range 4WD on a Jeep, with its low speed and low gearing at idle will haul you over most obstacles. Manual transmissions are best handled with a slow easing out of the clutch as you move slowly over obstacles. On the famous Rubicon trail, the average speed is between one and five miles per hour. Not exactly the Indy 500. Off-roading is a whole other animal.
Mud and Snow and Momentum
With an all-time system like Quadra Trac, you won’t need to manually engage your 4WD if you encounter snow or mud on the trail. In heavier snow, or if pulling a load, or if you require extra control at slower speeds, shift down to a low gear and move the transfer case to 4WD-LOW if necessary. It’s important to not shift too low, or you’ll lose momentum when traction is needed. If you do feel the Jeep losing traction, moving the steering wheel back and forth should help the wheels grab, but if traction is lost completely, don’t keep at it. Digging yourself down deeper is not the answer, and forcing the wheels to spin when they can’t grab is a recipe for getting stuck. 
Sand 
Love to whip around remote beaches and sandy trails? Drop the tire pressure by about 10-12 pounds below normal. (Restore to normal once you’re off the sand.) Go for high-range 4WD to get forward momentum, although sand conditions will determine whether you need a lower range 4WD and alternative gear selections. Go for wider turns to maintain momentum and traction. It’s all about moving forward, right?
Hills and thrills
More power at the base of a hill, and less as you ascend is the golden rule. It’s not safe to blast up over the top of a hill, especially if you’re not familiar with the terrain. You might also be sharing the trail, and safety benefits everyone enjoying the outdoors. If you stall out on the ascent, drive straight back down in reverse. On a manual, descend in low range, but do not disengage the clutch, as doing so can cause big damage to your clutch disc. Let the engine compression and your gears ease you down the hill. If you’re driving an automatic, use the low range and lowest drive setting. NEVER attempt to conquer the steepness of a hill by going at it on an angle. You’ll decrease the stability of your Jeep and as mentioned, safety is paramount. If it’s too steep for your Jeep, it’s not a good idea.
Crawling
Low gear and low range 4WD and as little throttle as possible will have you crawling with success in your Jeep. Never straddle rocks, but also don’t fear some scraping sounds. A Jeep 4x4 vehicle's skid plates and rock rails (vehicle and package dependent) will handle it. Drop your tire pressure by 3-5 pounds for better traction and to minimize the chance for punctures. (As with sand advice, return the tires to normal pressure afterward.) The best speed for rock crawling? One to three miles per hour.
Mind Your Manners
The same golden rule applies to off-roading as to any outdoor activity: leave no trace. (Well, except your tire tracks, of course!) Keep litter inside your vehicle, gather up other people’s garbage if you see it, stay on approved trails, observe signs and if a landscape seems fragile, don’t rip over it. There’s a great website to help educate you on trail etiquette when it comes to preserving nature, Tread Lightly
Be safe, have fun, and enjoy your Jeep! And by all means, stop by Ontario Chrysler and tell us about your favourite off-road spots.

Categories: Jeep