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Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more

By
Mohit Kumar
Mohit Kumar
|Updated on:15-May-2024 09:33 AM

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ByMohit Kumar

Updated on:15-May-2024 09:33 AM

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Discover essential tips for driving your SUV in adverse conditions such as snow, sand, mud, and water. Stay prepared and ensure a safe journey with our expert guidance.

Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more

Power and versatility on the road make driving an SUVan exciting experience. But in unfavourable circumstances—snow, sand, dirt, or water, for example—the excitement can swiftly give way to difficulty. In addition to talent, successful navigation in these conditions necessitates a thorough understanding of how to adjust to the constantly shifting road surfaces.

We will go over important strategies and pointers in this guide to help you drive your SUV with assurance in a variety of challenging situations. We'll go over everything you need to know to drive safely and responsibly, from driving at night to navigating slippery roads. So fasten your seatbelt and get ready to use these professional driving advice to master the art of driving in bad weather.

Night Driving

Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more
  • When driving at night, lower your head lamp to allow for incoming traffic.
  • Keep your speed low enough to stop within the headlamp's lighted range.
  • Use your headlamp's main or dip beam to warn other drivers when you're turning, crossing, etc.
  • When changing lanes or turning, use your side indicators.
  • When parked in a risky manner or if your car is disabled, turn on your hazard warning switch to alert oncoming traffic.

Driving on a Rainy Day

Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more
  • Inspect the windows, steering, and brakes.
  • Inspect the tires for damage and air pressure.
  • Verify that the wiper blades are operating properly.
  • Steer clear of sudden stops and turns. It might result in a skid and a loss of control.
  • Use the lower ratios to slow down, and apply the brakes softly.
  • If there's low visibility, leave the lights on.

Driving Through Water

  • Driving through water that is flowing over guard stones should never be attempted.
  • A deep water crossing could result in major damage to the engine.

Should the circumstances necessitate driving across water at all, then;

  • Maintain a rapid idle while crawling the car in low gear.
  • Apply the brakes multiple times to dry the liners and restore the original braking force after driving through water.

If water infiltrates the car, do not try to start the engine.

  • Tow the car to a secure location.
  • Drive the car to the closest AUTHORISED Workshop so that the water in the cylinders may be checked.
  • In addition, if water has gotten inside, the lubricants in the engine, gearbox, transfer case, front axle, and rear axle will need to be replaced.
  • Check the alternator and starter.

Driving on Sandy or Muddy Roads

Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more

If there is enough traction on the wheels, you will be able to continue in 4H mode. But it's preferable to use the 4L option if you foresee changes in the road conditions. Follow the correct process to shift the selector knob to the 4L position, then continue as usual. The 4L mode causes your car to accelerate more slowly while maintaining the same gear and higher engine RPM. You can shift up in any of the five forward gears or the backward gear to match your power and speed requirements.

  • Strive to keep the engine running at a steady speed; abrupt acceleration might result in wheel spin and traction loss, which could cause the car to bog down.
  • Avoid accelerating if the car becomes stuck in loose sand because this will simply cause the wheels to sink farther.
  • It can be challenging to determine how much traction is present in muddy or sandy conditions, and the car may become severely stuck. Only a slow pace should be used when operating. Before moving forward, if at all feasible, get down and inspect the path conditions.

Additional Note: You may choose to reduce the tyre pressure marginally for additional grip on loose surfaces, though with a slight loss of ground clearance.

Driving on Snowy or Icy Roads

Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more

Assign the 4H position to the selector knob. To ensure a smooth start and prevent wheel spin, gently release the clutch and step on the accelerator.

To prevent unexpected braking, keep a safe gap between cars and reduce your speed by lowering your gears. Steer clear of abrupt braking, turning, or acceleration. Such abrupt manoeuvres may result in traction loss, which would impair vehicle control.

Note: Use of snow tyres and / or tyre chain is recommended.

Climbing Sharp Gradients on Loose Surfaces

  • Choose the 4L mode and seamlessly transition into any appropriate gear. Smoothly apply power to avoid losing traction due to excessive engine revving.
  • A smooth slope should be chosen, and the right gear should be chosen to avoid having to change gears mid-climb.
  • Midway through a climb, shifting gears might result in a loss of speed and engine stalling. It's important to shift into a lower gear carefully to prevent losing traction.
  • It is never appropriate to manoeuvre a car diagonally over a hill. Loss of traction and sideways slide pose a risk and could cause toppling over. If it's not possible to avoid it, pick the mildest angle and keep the car moving.
  • Swinging the steered wheels left and right will maintain motion and boost grip if the wheels start to slip within a few feet of the climb's conclusion.
  • While going up a steep hill, quickly shift into reverse and let the car drive backward using the engine compression control if it stalls or loses momentum.

Descending Sharp Gradients

  • Choose the 4L option, then move into the proper gear based on how steep the grade is. Avoid excessive engine revving by using engine braking sparingly.
  • To prevent losing control in such circumstances, applying the brakes should be done very smoothly.
  • Choose the proper gear to avoid having to disengage the clutch or change gears while descending the incline.

Towing the Vehicle

Tips to Drive your SUV in Adverse Conditions: Snowy, Sandy, Muddy, Water and more
  • The best method for towing the car is to utilise a recovery van.
  • As an alternative, employ a stiff tow bar.
  • When your car stops abruptly, it could collide with a towing truck, therefore stay away from utilising flexible cable or rope.
  • Turn the Hazard Warning Switch "ON" to alert other drivers.
  • To utilise power steering assistance, keep the engine running in the idle position. Additionally, the brakes' vacuum will be built with this.
  • Use the parking brake to keep the car under control if the brakes fail.

Roof Rail

The car is equipped with a roof rack mounting provision. The roof and roof header mouldings that are positioned above the rear fixed glass can assist with this. The maximum weight that may be placed on this, including the roof rack load, is 100 kg.

Carbike360 Says

Mastering the art of driving an SUV in adverse conditions is not just about skill; it's about knowledge, preparation, and adaptability. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can navigate through snow, sand, mud, water, and even night driving with confidence and safety.

Remember to always prioritise safety above all else. Whether it's lowering your headlamp for oncoming traffic or selecting the appropriate gear for climbing steep gradients, every decision you make on the road matters. By staying vigilant, prepared, and informed, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way and ensure a smooth journey for yourself and other road users.

So the next time you find yourself facing adverse conditions behind the wheel of your SUV, remember these key tips. With the right approach and mindset, you can conquer any road, no matter how challenging it may seem.


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